It's really worth to see the coastal part of the Baltic sea that stretches through Russian territory as there you can find different beaches from ours in Lithuania. You can find more wild nature and shores, less comfort and less civilization, but don't you think that we are a little fed up with all the comfort we've got. It's worth to see Zelenogradsk, Svetlogorsk, Jantarnoje and Kaliningrad as some places are growing up from the past times, some - are still having something from the past. But everything is much better than we thought. And people are ready to help you, just ask them.
You can say anything you want, but Russians are very open-heartned people and it's always a big pleasure to chat with them about the life particularly knowing their language. I speak it very well as I'm half Russian, so I felt like staying at home, but with more opened people around. And it doesn't matter that we have a different religion, politics and opinions, you will feel comfortable speaking with them. That's what I miss here, at home.
Just walk through this widespread city, see the different building styles, discover some left overs of the old Prussia era and act as normal tourist!
If you wana do some Russian Roulette, take a taxi...cheap but damn we had a careless driver who speeded up to 90km/h while commenting on the city.
Ask your hotel receptionist to book tickets to the Oceanography Museum, City Theatre and Zoo!
Fondest memory: Going down the magificent stairs to the Baltic Sea, enjoy the pure coast line of the Kaliningradskaya Oblast.
The promenade is about 2 kms long and many different steps bring you to the sandy beach.
At sunny days many stalls do sell all kinds of Amber/Yantar and around the old elevator there are some cafetarias with nice Czech beers for low prices. Walk urther and meet the 5 stars Hotel where Putin invited Chirac and Schroeder for a tete-a-tete. Prices per night at least EURO 100,00. Hotel has a nice but push private sun terrace.
At the end of this long beach road there are a few other bars with one decorated with old photos of Rauschen and Koenigsberg. Enjoy the scenery of happy Russians at the western borders sun bathing, playing beach volley or swim in the calm sea!.
On the countryside you can drive through beautyful long old alleys with wonderful trees, in Summer resembling almost green tunnels. Such alleys were cut down almost everywhere else in Europe because of reconstruction of the roads and of traffic security reasons. But here it looks really original - and 60 years older - than elsewhere.
But left and right of these alleys you see swamps where the storks stand catching frogs. This was under German time the German "Kornkammer" (grain treasury), extremely productive wheat and rye fields. When the Russians took them over they went with their ploughs a few cm deeper and were wondering about the pipes they found there and removed them all and this way destroyed a sophisticated drainage system and turned the fields into swamps. A sorts of successful fight against the German "colonization"
Fondest memory: No, not something of the category "Fondest Memory". On the 60 years jubilee of the Soviet/Russian Victory Day on 9 May it again came into my mind what the Soviet Union/Russia succeeded to make of the piece of territory they took over as a compensation for their part in the successful fight against Nazi Germany (which they call "Fascist" in memory of the Italian clown Mussolini). It looks much more like a depression after a lost war than the optimism following the biggest military victory of Soviet history....
Favorite thing: There are a few internet sites that provide more information about this city. http://www.kaliningrad.info/ is not often updated but contains much information. http://www.ostsicht.de is in German but has a big collection of pictures from Kaliningrad and many other places in the district. And I'm just plain jealous of the person who made http://www.euronet.nl/~jlemmens for what he has visited.
Past is gone. There is no Konigsberg. The old city exists in words, words are the only things left.
Now you can visit Kaliningrad. New city, named after a man, who had never even been there.