To say that Russia and the ex-Soviet space is complicated (think war journalist Arkady Babchenko, whose back-from-the-dead story unfolded during our spring 2018 trip here) is something of an understatement. As we’ve travelled (not by bike this time), we’ve of course been aware and on occasion reminded of unpleasant undercurrents that remain, both Soviet and […]Read More Musings on Russia, 45 years on.
Rather than posting the full story on Facebook, here’s the concluding exchange BBC’s response to my complaint last month over John Humphrys’ interview with Tony Blair over Brexit. First their response, then my response to their response, then my original (3rd in this series) complaint. 9 February 2018 Dear Mr Brayne, Today, Radio 4, 4 […]Read More BBC Response to my Complaint over Humphrys Today interview with Blair on Brexit
After three weeks on the road with Daisy our tandem, from Warsaw through Kaliningrad (didn’t see any Iskanders, but BIG Russian manoeuvres about to happen) and Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (saw three British NATO trucks, seriously intimidating if you’re a Russian), we’re almost there. Mileage to be confirmed, and a selection of Riga-Tallinn photos below, […]Read More Riga to Tallinn (almost) – five days and 466km
105 km yesterday from Koldava to Riga airport, whence we cheated and hired a car today to visit the fascinating former Soviet Cold War eavesdropping station at Irbene – once so secret that from its inception in the mid-60s right through to 1989, the Americans had no idea it was there. And yet, it was […]Read More Inside Soviet Spy Centre in Latvia.
This from deepest Latvia, with 320km further on the clock in last three days, from Klaipeda (Lithuania) to Kandava just short of Riga. (Route here. ) Photos below (with captions) speak of Europe’s longest (definitely not highest) waterfall, in Kuldiga; of truly beautiful Baltic coastline; of old stately homes; local pride at being member of […]Read More Klaipeda, Lithuania, to Kandava, Latvia, 310km
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 […]Read More Kaliningrad to Klaipeda – 220km or so in 2 days.
As old Soviet hands (Jutta and I did after all first meet in Moscow 43 years ago in 1974 when we were both working there), we head out of Kaliningrad/Koenigsberg towards EU-member Lithuania today with mixed feelings. The Russians we’ve met here since crossing on Daisy from Poland five days ago, have been unfailingly kind […]Read More Leaving Kaliningrad – with mixed feelings.
Here’s our route over the past two days from Gusev/Gumbinnen to Kaliningrad/Koenigsberg – and a mighty interesting one it was too. https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/1918353884 178 km, average moving speed of 14.7 kph, and a completely delightful overnight stay (after late-evening thunder run to nearly 10pm) at new private Amelia Hotel in Pravdinsk (terrible name), formerly Friedland. Hugely […]Read More Grom Gusev to Kaliningrad through Friedland – with added Napoleon surprise
Fascinating to have arrived in Kaliningrad Region – looks, feels, smells even so much like the Russia/Soviet Union Jutta and I knew so well. Our two-day slow route in mapped on the right, from Mauerwald with its crazy WWII bunkers, to Gusev/formerly Gumbinnen.Read More Back in the USSR? First full day in Kaliningrad Oblast