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How British ambassador to Belarus travelled to ancient town of Turov

Many high-ranking foreigners open countries anew thanks to a diplomatic mission to a certain state. Fiona Gibb, the British Ambassador to Belarus, admired the beauties of the Pripyat together with her mother.

The high guests from the Foggy Albion chose probably the most "British" weather to feel the unique atmosphere of Polesie.

You walked a lot in the woods today, how do you like the weather? It seems to me that it is already quite cold!

Fiona Gibb, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Republic of Belarus:
I would not say. In general, it's already October, and this is normal. Perhaps it's a bit damp, but overall I'm comfortable.

Nigel Roberts, writer, author of a guidebook about Belarus:
I went to Polesie - to the land of fogs and swamps. And I'm very glad that we were lucky enough to see such melancholic and beautiful autumn here.

The banks of Pripyat abound in various representatives of flora and fauna of Belarus. The latter were not ready to communicate with the Ambassador. But instead the tourists had an opportunity to touch literally every inhabitant of the woods in safe conditions.

By the way, you came with your mother on this tour. Did you know that we celebrate Mother's Day in Belarus on Saturday?

Fiona Gibb:
No, really? We usually celebrate that in March. How fortunate was I to book a restaurant for Saturday night! True, we were just going to have dinner with friends. And now there is another occasion, thank you!

While Fiona Gibb studied historical trade routes in an attempt to project them onto the present day, Nancy Murray Gibb, the mother of the United Kingdom Ambassador to Belarus, dreamed of another historical adaptation.

Nancy Murray Gibb, mother of Fiona Gibb:
What a beautiful headdress! What a beautiful apron! Oh, I would buy one and wear it.

Over the 20 months of her diplomatic service the Ambassador traveled an impressive list of Belarusian cities, but this is her first time in Turov.

Fiona Gibb:
Look how beautiful it is here! And so few people know about this! I think Belarus has a great tourist potential. But it seems to me that your people should use English more actively, especially in museums, so that it is clear what you see and what you read.

For example, here is the foundation of the church of the XII century, and in general there is no information in English, so I simply could not fully understand the information, various religious terms. Nevertheless, your government made an important step to attract tourists (including from the United Kingdom) - a 5-day visa-free entry.

Do you think we need to extend this period?

Fiona Gibb:
Absolutely, yes! The first and last days are arrivals and departures. Three days in Minsk and, maybe, you will have time in Mir and Nesvizh. But this is not enough to go to Brest in the fortress or in Vitebsk, or here - to Polesie. I think you should extend to at least 10 days or even to 30. A month would be much better.

Nigel Roberts agrees with this. He wrote an English-language guide to Belarus and comes to this country for a long time. Our country is his second home.

Nigel Roberts:
Many readers write to me, having visited Belarus, that they were very impressed by nature and people and say they want to come again. Despite the fact that the number of tourists, including from the United Kingdom, increases every year, this is only the beginning of the construction of a bridge between our countries.

By the way, gastronomic cooperation can certainly become one of the blocks of this bridge between Belarus and the United Kingdom.

Fiona Gibb:
Of course, I love draniki (potato pancakes) with sour cream, but usually eat them in winter, because it's heavy food, and after that you have to run a lot. I like river fish. I'm a vegetarian, but I love and eat your milk and cheese.

It was not difficult to check it: Turov operates its cheese factory, where Belarusian milk is used to make Italian cheeses. While 80% of the products are exported to Russia, they have all chances to come to the UK's shops.

Fiona Gibb:
Now there are certain problems with the supply of products to the EU market, but when the United Kingdom withdraws from its membership, I think everything is possible. After all, really, it's very tasty! Quality is very high, just superb.

Fiona Gibb and her mother enjoyed the Belarusian cuisine to the fullest. This is the moment when knowledge of languages plays no role at all! Here people speak the language of friendship, and this seems to be the most distinctive feature of Belarusians.

Fiona Gibb:
It seems to me that such people are what distinguishes Belarus. Most of all, I value that spirit in your people.

Today we were shown an ancient rite. And these women, this music and national food... You just forget about the rain, because this positive mood and hospitality, color and spirit of people make you happy.

Nancy Murray Gibb:
I would not want to leave this place. In the summer, I will come and settle here. I will come to Belarus for Christmas too. You have a wonderful country, wonderful people, just take care of it.

British ambassador travelling to ancient town of Turov