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WHS Get-together 2016

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Author clyde
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#61 | Posted: 16 Mar 2016 16:54 
Apparently you can apply for a temporary visa from Vilnius itself (from the Belarus embassy) if you're going to drive there. I was planning to do that before I opted to visit the 3 Baltic States at one go and visit Moscow in August instead. I might still visit Belarus from the Polish border when I visit the Bialowiezka forest some day ...

Author Walter
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#62 | Posted: 17 Mar 2016 09:57 
clyde
I don't know about visa, but driving might be difficult.
First rental car agencies will probably not let you drive into Belarus.
Then, traffic can be bad: While in Lithuania two years ago, I drove to Paliepiukai (one of the Struve Geodetic Arc site), 16 km west of Vilinus. The highway was totally blocked by long lines of trucks from the outskirts of Vilnus all the way to the border (35 km).

Author meltwaterfalls
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#63 | Posted: 17 Mar 2016 10:44 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
My experience of Belarussian visa's from a UK perspective in 2010 was:

-We used an agent to help us book a hotel, the hotel booking came with the letter of invitation
-Due to this we were only able to book from a limited pool of hotels in Minsk, at fairly premium prices.
-We were strictly limited to entering on the day we first stayed at the hotel (we had originally intended to visit Brest Fortress during the day and pick up the night train into Minsk, arriving there in the morning, but the embassy wouldn't allow us to do this).
-We were a little worried about leaving, as we technically were overstaying our visa, our train to Kiev crossed the boarder at 4 am the day after our visa finished, but this didn't cause any issues in the end.
-in 2010 at least the embassy in London only accepted payment by postal order!
-We could do the whole process by phone and post.

I really enjoyed Minsk, it was one of my favourite holidays, but that was perhaps in spite of the sights of the city which are mostly limited to Soviet era nostalgia.
We stayed at the glorious Hotel Belarus it doesn't have the most central location but it had all the Soviet chic we could need.
The In Your Pocket City guide was brilliant, the Beatles cafe in the suburb was an odd experience.
We organised a tour to Mir and Nezsvizh through Belarus Tour Services, who I would recommend, they were much cheaper than other tours offered which were preposterously expensive for what was a simple and slightly underwhelming trip.
You can get to the WHSs by public transport fairly easily from what I understand, however the link between the two cities was very tight on time, so we decided on the private tour to fit both into a day trip.

Author elsslots
Admin
#64 | Posted: 17 Mar 2016 14:03 | Edited by: elsslots 
Since booking the flight to Klaipeda yesterday, I am left with a probably common WH travellers' dilemma. There's a 3hr 10 minute stop-over in Copenhagen. And I keep on thinking: will that be enough for a quick visit to the Par-force hunting landscape? (35 minutes away by train).

Author meltwaterfalls
Registered
#65 | Posted: 17 Mar 2016 19:02 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
If it is 3hr 10mins between flights, rather than having that time to kill, I think it would probably be a little on the tight side, but if you want to get the blood pumping and stress levels up then probably just about doable, it's not like there will be masses to see anyway :)

As a warning I once flew from the furthest reaches of Copenhagen airport, it felt like a good 25 mins from security.

Though if you do end up stuck in the airport there are three branches of Lagkagehuset there, so you could just sample a multitude of weinerbrød instead, but perhaps that would do even more damage to your heart rate than the stress of trying to get to the hunting landscape and back in a few hours.

Author nfmungard
Registered
#66 | Posted: 18 Mar 2016 05:26 
3:10h overlay would net you 1h on site: 1:10h commuting, 1h getting in and out of airport ...

The park is big. To get to the hermitage is a 3km walk from Klampenborg Station. In my case, I had 2,5h to walk from Skodsborg to Klampenborg and in the end still felt rushed. Well, bring your jogging shoes and go for a run ;)

Different question: Looking into flying into Kleipeda Thursday night, visiting the Curonian Split on Friday and then taking the bus to Vilnius. Reasonable? Feasible?

Author elsslots
Admin
#67 | Posted: 18 Mar 2016 09:08 
nfmungard:
hermitage is a 3km walk from Klampenborg Station

It looked closer on Google maps. Not a straight line it is?

nfmungard:
Different question: Looking into flying into Kleipeda Thursday night, visiting the Curonian Split on Friday and then taking the bus to Vilnius. Reasonable? Feasible?

I think so. I do it a day slower, but if you're not deterred by travelling late at night it will work I guess.
Boats across to the Curonian Spit seem to run frequently all day. I don't know how full buses may be back to Vilnius on a Friday evening (could be sold out if you don't book in advance?)

Author nfmungard
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#68 | Posted: 18 Mar 2016 10:25 | Edited by: nfmungard 
elsslots:
It looked closer on Google maps. Not a straight line it is?

Huge park with what Danish people might call hills. Klampemborg is also quite crowded due to the amusement park. You could just rent a horse and a carriage from Klampemborg and tell the guy to be back in ... 50min. Saves you the jogging experience. By my very liberal standards regarding visits, it would still feel rushed and you might miss out on the park and deers.

elsslots:
I think so. I do it a day slower, but if you're not deterred by travelling late at night it will work I guess.
Boats across to the Curonian Spit seem to run frequently all day. I don't know how full buses may be back to Vilnius on a Friday evening (could be sold out if you don't book in advance?)

End of August should be nice at the Baltic sea. Connection from HH lands around midnight, so this may be stressful anyhow. So no need to rush this one.

Author elsslots
Admin
#69 | Posted: 19 Mar 2016 01:46 
Now we now the dates & location of the GTG, I'm going to lock this topic. We can continue working out the finer details in a new topic that I will start.

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