Kaliningrad, Russia 1

Trip Start Jun 08, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday 25 August
Up at 9 where I was greeted by Muskovite, I said beer is in the fridge, he said he knew and he'd drunk the them, so god only knows what was going on the previous night. Got my bag, changed in toilet to much confusion of cleaner, Bag back in cellar and went for a run to Baltmore tours, where the office girls started uncontrollably giggling, to pay for tour. There visa machine wouldn't work so they took €5 off the bill if I paid in cash. So I ran too first place, broke, second place didn't accept card so fortunately found an English speaker who directed me to the Moscow hotel where I got money. Ran back to Baltma tours, paid then continued run, got lost but found football stadium, newly constructed Russian church and Teutonic gatehouse. Still lost but managed to find my way back to hotel. Showered then back to gatehouse for a mega museum with loads of former German Konisberg artifacts and even old weapons the local archaeological group had dug up. Lots of guns from WW1 and 2 which had been restored to fully working order so I could play with cocking them. I asked English speaking, lovely female guide if shed like to join me for a drink in the brewery, her favourite pub, but she said she was married. Walked past house of the soviets (never used as there was a 4 storey tunnel linking cathedral on other side of river which flooded), built on site of a magnificent 1255 Tutonic castle, damaged by RAF during WW2 and dynamited flat at end of the war. Walked back to bunker and museum, both closed so went to brew pub again. Full again but someone left so sat at table and was soon joined by 3 businessmen in the loosest form, one who spoke a little English. It seemed they were having a little falling out so when 2 left the 1 stayed and got smashed, saying his love was in Moscow repeatedly and not listening to anything I was saying. He left without paying and I was joined by 2 attractive ladies then a little later by 2 men 1 who started speaking to me so I announced I was English and then he spoke in Russian to much hilarity. I got slightly abusive and the 2 men left and we were joined by a female friend of the girls. We, I mean I, had a slightly drunken discussion as they'd never met an Englishman before, but I was slightly sloshed and was winding them up so they left, without paying their bill. I was now drinking out of a large kind of anchor beer bottle so I forced myself to finish the one, then major bill. Walked home the way I came. Went for a naked piss in middle of night down a very long corridor so ran there and back.
Saturday 26 August
No water in night so feeling slightly rough. Shower locked so stank for the day. Went to excellent German WW2 bunker where General Otto Lasch signed surrender to Russian troops in April 1945. Onto excellent museum with lots of WW2 artifacts, amber museum, under construction church and square where mainly very young newly weds have there photos taken. Id visited all the sites so walked back to brew pub. Quite quiet compared to Friday but joined by rough looking lot who fortunately found a table of their own, then faced with a girl waving at me so say hello and she joins me, I recognise her but from where? Then the bloke from 2 nights ago joins us, oh yes its his girlfriend dolled up. We have a nice chat and laugh but so many of my questions lost in translation. They invited me to a disco the following night, paid then left, so I walked back a different way - well I had a map, but got lost so got a taxi for 2€ as I was scared with all the tower blocks. I gave him 4 before he moved and at the hotel wouldn't give me change so I held out my hand, he gave me 1€, but I shook my head and he gave me the full change. Couldn't get into hotel until someone else arrived to get in so must have been smashed.
Sunday 27 August
Up quite late, shower locked again so got key from head cleaner. Strolled to Internet cafe and found some hotels in Zelenogradsk. Strolled on to railway station, no English, but managed to find out at international ticket section where to buy internal tickets at different part of station. Girl spoke English , she told me the train left in 3m - strange as my information was in 1 hours time, so no time for ticket so ran to get on train. Moscow time must be 2 hours ahead of local time. When ticket man came I pointed to a Cyrillic labelled map to what I thought was Zelenogradsk and he shook his head and sold me the ticket - strange. The train stopped and everyone got off so I asked this bloke and he kindly delivered me to the train, telling the passengers to tell me where to get off. Got off train - big fuck up - in the middle of nowhere. I asked lady at ticket office - no English so walked to main road, 1 shop selling fruit and farmland all around. 3 ladies sitting at closed shack so asked them in sign language I need a bed. They started laughing and eventually I realised the place I changed train was the place I wanted. They said a bus came at 3pm so this 70 year old man tried to flag down passing cars. Waited at bus stop for a while then thought Id go for a drink with the ladies outside the shack. It was closed so one of the ladies gave me a bottle of beer, lots of laughs, the shack opened so I brought them all a beer, then big uproar the bus was coming and it was only 2pm - strange. I sprinted to the bus stop leaving my beer and not really saying goodbyes. Bus terminated at train station where Id changed trains - shit. No map no information so went for a stroll, found a hotel sign that was on my list so after 3k, as this was the car route, found it.Receptionist spoke no English but then she called in her colleague - perfect English - aaaaggggghhhhh. Turned out she was an interpreter guide for Baltma tours so I booked her in for the spit tour as buses were rather infrequent. She advised on a good bar so I went and got smashed overlooking the Baltic Sea. Couldn't get back into hotel until security showed I was pulling instead of pushing open gate.
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