My first trips to Belarus were connected with a visit to the Minsk automobile plant for work and were remembered by the strong feeling that the Soviet Union had not left the republic.
The hotels were of terrible quality, and you could only eat if you found a working canteen at lunchtime. But there was no doubt at all about the quality of the products used in cooking. As I remember, I was pleasantly surprised by the very clean streets with the paradoxical fact of no trash cans.
The years passed and the fertile potato country changed along with the whole world. Once again, Belarus was checked out by me as a tourist on my way to a road trip to Europe. Fashionable restaurants began to appear out of nowhere like mushrooms after rain, and freshly renovated apartments in the city center became the best option for temporary accommodation.
At some point, the ISUZU business connected me with the republic and, having opened a company in partnership with representatives of the local banking sector, trips to Belarus became more frequent. Those same years have gone so far that atmospheric wine bars and restaurants of European quality with a menu of oysters, foie gras and other delicacies have appeared in Minsk.
Of course, in terms of the level of development, both Belarus and Russia, and Minsk in comparison with Moscow, are in different weight categories, catching up with all the social trends of their older brother. But it has definitely become more pleasant to stay there if there is business there or the route to Europe passes through the republic.