Minsk, Belarus

It’s a gorgeous cold, snowy, sunshiny morning. You can feel the cold air slip into your lungs as you breathe deeply, once again savoring the fabulous night before in Vilnius. We took a day bus for a 4 hour ride through the snowy countryside… all the trees icy frosted white branches. Stunning, if you’ve never seen that before… Every twig!

The border crossing from Lithuania into Belarus is a shock to the system. Maybe the border from Mexico into the US has a vague resemblance. What is striking is the “security measures” that you feel. On we go to Minsk, Belarus, and we get the biggest shock of our young lives. What a gorgeous, pre-war and post-war city this is. This city was 90% leveled from World War II bombing, and the rebuild is magnificent. 20th Century communism under Stalin really adored classic Greek and Roman structures. It’s everywhere and gorgeous.

We arrived and went straight to a press conference at the Philharmonie, where we played the next night. They welcomed me like a real legendary guy. The staff and directors of the Philharmonie sat in on the press conference. Their questions were wonderful to hear and reflected how excited they were that I had come to visit, and I was feeling the very same way. I’ll be back with some comments on the concert.

Maxim, our promoter on this run, was born here, and with his longtime friend Vitale hosted a fabulous dinner. I had my second outdoor long walk exercise in a square that was a half-mile across and a mile long. I haven’t walked outside for a long time. It felt great.

More to come!

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