I've got no idea why but when my friend Jessy asked me whether I wanted to go with her to Russia, I said yes. It's not that I was afraid or anything, I mean you have to think a bit before giving an answer to such a question. But whatever, I agreed, we packed our things, booked a flight, and set off.
I think, one of the reasons behind my decision was my deepest desire to see the sea. Of course, we have see as well, but I just wanted to meet something different. I guess that's my trouble: always looking for something new and different, you never know what it might lead to.
Anyway, here we are in Kaliningrad. The airport is really awful. Seems like the war ended just a couple of months ago. I'm just wondering if they really tried to restore it.
The road from the airport to Kaliningrad was quite OK, it must have been build just a couple of years ago, probably. Really wide and modern. The cars we met were all expensive brands and foreign models, I was really astonished.
Kaliningrad was quite unusual. The houses were really high, ten stores, probably, in grey colours, in blue, yellow and pink colours. Never seen things like that. I was just wondering how it might be inside. We rented a flat at Kaliningrad flat rentals because it was really convenient, first of all: they organized a flat and a transfer for us, helped us fix visas, it was good, and then, I was really very curious about how ordinary people live in Kaliningrad.
Well, their flats are not what we are used to. There are very few private houses, actually. An ordinary family lives in a flat consisting of one bedroom, one living and a kitchen. Bathroom and toilet, of course, are also there. And everyone lives so close to each other. I think they must be very good neighbours!
On day 1, we took a walking tour around Kaliningrad. We decided to go up and down the river Pregel (or something like that). There is a wonderful park with sculptures and an old Cathedral. In the Cathedral, there is Immanuel Kant's grave. I think, it's the biggest place of interest there. The Cathedral itself is very interesting, there's a historical mini-museum inside, and a fantastic library. The construction dates back to Kaliningrad's Prussian period. In the park, there were also many newlyweds. I guess it's a tradition to come here and take a picture of your bridesmaid jumping in the air.
When we followed up the river, we reached the World Ocean Museum (http://www.russianmuseums.info/M1008). It consists of several buildings, a ship and a submarine. It was such a little submarine with tiny berths, and everything else which is soooooooo tiny. I could hardly squeeze myself into the narrow passages there. But it was great, I've never been on a submarine before.
By the end of the day we became really hungry and started searching for some pizzeria or something. Everyone said that if you are in Russia, or Kaliningrad, you should go and eat some Russian borsch. But no thanks. I googled borsch, and there was nothing nice in it, just beetroot. Anyway, we decided to follow the main street which still bears Lenin's name, and found a pizzeria somewhere in the cellar. They call it Papash Beppe and there is a Viking ship on the porch, if a cellar has a porch, of course. Obviously, the ship must be remnant from some older times because they serve just Italian food there. We had to wait for quite a long time, but it was worth it. Pizza was just awesome. And at the end they serve you some really tasty liqueur for free. For better digestion as they say. The only thing I didn't like about this place is that people smoke inside. I do dislike smoking but in Kaliningrad people can smoke anywhere they like! That's just awful.