Belarus - Some places are just quietly beautiful

Belarus is a country that few people outside of Europe know. There aren't many reasons for an outsider to know it, to be totally honest. As for me, it’s where I was born. I have a love/hate relationship with this country. I thank my parents and my lucky stars that we left to make our lives in Australia. I would definitely not have had the same opportunities in Belarus. 

But, motherland is motherland. Once something is imprinted into a mind during those childhood years, it stays forever. No matter how much Belarus frustrates me, I have a connection with it. My childhood memories are here, in the forests, in the meadows, in the lakes. 

The nature here isn't like the Himalayas, nor the Sahara. There isn't the same level of visual drama. But it is precious to me. There's a quiet kind of beauty and grace in Belarusian landscapes. I'm not sure if anyone who's not from here cares for them or appreciates them, but that doesn't even really matter. I think it's worth documenting what I see in Belarus, as much as the famous natural wonders in other parts of the world. 

Over the past few years this is what I've been doing. I've talked about my Russian UAZ van a few times on this blog. I bought it to go to Mongolia, but things didn't work out. Now it's the perfect vehicle to explore the Belarusian countryside. That's the car I'm driving in the video above. 

The above photo is from Mayak in Braslav, a place I've talked about a few times here. Braslav is a region of many lakes. The little islands on these lakes look spectacular (in a quiet way) from above. 

From above the islands make fascinating shapes. One thing I learned is that to have even a relatively small island fit into the frame, you have to get up really high. 

There are interesting shapes all over the fields too. This image was taken near my friend's house. Looks like an ostrich head with a beak and a neck.

I'm off from Belarus real soon, but I'll keep coming back to photograph in the countryside here.