Kaliningrad to Klaipeda – 220km or so in 2 days.

Blimey – having an interesting time on FB in Klaipeda putting photos into an album and creating and ordinary post. Looks a right mess at this end, and probably even worse at yours.

Pouring with rain outside with 800km ahead of us to Tartu in Estonia, where we’re now thinking of taking a train for the last bit in 10 days to Tallinn, our end stop.

Good to be out of Kaliningrad in some ways though already being missed – Russians are lovely, friendly, open, curious, but politically things feel so stuck in a Soviet-nostalgic past.

Lithuania, poor but EU, feels like the modern world.

I’m re-posting this in the hope that it’s more accessible. Let me know if not. (ah, having done this, I see that a visitor needs to click on the album at the top, rather than seeing pix automatically…

Our route these past two days, along the world’s longest sand spit.

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At last I know what the Russian for Fast Food is. Fast Fud.

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With its veneration still of victory in WWII, Russia under Putin chooses to stay focused on the past – while all around, Europe (for all its contradictions) gets stuck into the future. Yes, Russia suffered terribly in the war, but the relentless focus on Victory throughout Kaliningrad became very wearing. And sad when there’s so much to do to catch up.

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Majestic, aAncient tree-lined avenues of once-German East Prussia. — at Kaliningrad Oblast.

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Zelenogorsk/Cranz. Just before the Curonian Spit starts.

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The former bird-ringing centre in Rossitten, now Rybachiyi on Russia’s half of the Curonian Spit where Johannis Thienemann invented the ringing of birds in 1903. Sadly now derelict. — in Rybachiy, Kaliningradskaya Oblast’, Russia.

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Joannes Thienemann, inventor of bird ringing and one of history’s greatest ornithologists.

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Curonian Spit – the longest of its kind in the world, at over 100km

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Kaliningrad was fun, but the roads in EU-member Lithuania are of a different order. #reliefonthebum — in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

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In which Mark and Jutta pedalled like hell, making up for a two-hour delay at the (heavily-policed) Russian border into Lithuania to travel the length of the world’s longest sand spit in one day. 112km from Zelenogorsk/Cranz to Klaipeda/Memel (until 1919 the Easternmost extremity of the German Empire.) — at Klaipėda Art Hotel Bohema.

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