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Kaliningrad 2004 - Day 3

May 1, 2004

Individual city tour outside the official program.
Intro Photo Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Streetcar passes through Brandenburg Gate in Kaliningrad Sprinkling tram turns towards 9th April Street

On Saturday May 1, 2004, ten countries (including ours) celebrated their admission to the EU. But we did not feel anything special in Russia. We have traveled along the railroads, which were in today's program, already and so we (four Czechs, split in two pairs) were free to explore Kaliningrad on our own.

What we saw is shown in a gallery. The strongest impressions were from a May Day parade (they also have democracy, so it cannot match with organized celebrations from the 1980s, but it was still worth it) and unfinished city hall. It was also interesting to see a sprinkling streetcar. Of course, we also saw classical monuments, such as several gates from the 19th century. There aren't however many original buildings left. Several book stores were selling an excellent Atlas of Railroads in Russia, CIS and Baltic States.

In the afternoon, we were supposed to take a bus somewhere outside the city (we do not know exactly where), but our bus got broken shortly after departure and we had to return. Sightseeing continued. When coming back, we saw a huge highway bridge over the Pregel river, destroyed during the war (Melioratyivnaya Street). We also traveled through several streetcar and trolleybus lines, walked around the old city (e.g. at the University), to a market place and finally we searched for an internet cafe (and found it right next to the hotel).

Various curiosities, not only transport-related:

  • Buses in Kaliningrad are generally in a poor condition. Most of them come from Western Europe and sometimes it is possible to see names and advertisements of previous owners (though they remove them carefully). Buses run slowly and break down frequently.
  • Streetcars and trolleybuses are in a worse condition than buses - they run slower, are less used and are in a worse condition. Streetcar lines are being closed.
  • Tickets in public transport are sold by conductors. A single ticket costs 7 RUR (about USD 0.30). A passenger gets on, sits down (if there is place) and a conductor approaches him in a few moments. There are two types of tickets - for buses (issued by Ministry of Transport) and for streetcars and trolleybuses (issued by Kaliningrad Transit Authority).

Updated: 2005.11.08

© Jan Pešula, 2004