Minsk is the capital of the country at the very center of Europe.
What waits there, and in the countryside beyond? Scenes of extremes come quickly. You'll be able to find many in a package of stories and photos - and an audio slideshow - published at boston.com/travel this weekend.
To get in the mood for the journey, check out this bit of Belarusian rock 'n roll.
For more blogging from Belarus, click here.
Photo: Essdras Suarez/Globe Staff