I visited the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in 2014 for 72-hours, having arrived by bus from Gdansk and then leaving by train for Minsk.
It has actually been my only visit to Russia thus far, although I do have a Trans- Mongolian train trip (St Petersburg to Beijing) booked for later this year that now seems highly likely to have to be rearranged.
When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Russia decided that it would keep hold of a slice of Baltic coast for its naval fleet, because the vast majority of inhabitants were Russian and also due to 90% of the world’s amber being mined there that helps to swell Russia’s coffers.
Formerly part of Prussia when it was known as Twangste (up until 1255) and then part of Germany when is was named Konigsberg (1255-1945), the Kaliningrad Oblast was created and repopulated with ethnic Russians in 1945, named in honour of Soviet leader Mikhail Kalinin.
Geographically it is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania and was used as one of the host cities during the 2018 World Cup.
With a 72-hour tourist visa secured, we used it to the full, seeing everything there was to see in the slightly odd Kaliningrad City and also by taking a train out to the ‘Amber Coast’ town of Svetlogorsk.
Here are a few photos from the trip.
Inside and outside the Foxtrot Submarine maritime museum exhibit
Inside & Outside Kaliningrad Train Station
The Amber Coast
My Train Travel Books
Kaliningrad will feature alongside all of the former Soviets (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania & Estonia) in a future book in the Wilbur’s Travels series.
Part One detailing my travels by train across the Balkans is available now from Amazon
The city beginning with the letter K that I would most like to visit that I haven’t yet? Karachi in Pakistan.
How about you?
Look out for L tomorrow.
It has always struck me as a curious place that I would definitely visit. I read once that getting a visa isn’t so easy?
I am struggling with a guess for L…
Leicester (my home town)
You are getting too good at this! L is outside Europe. 72 hour Visa was easy but had to use an agency to book hotel alongside. I sat next to the border guard who stuck it into my passport!
That rules Luton out then.
I will allow myself another guess – Lima or Luxor.
Great cities both but not this time. I totally forgot about Luton!