Yesterday we landed in Russia, the Worlds biggest country, it took us 13 hours from Trondheim, Norway to Kaliningrad, Russia via Riga and Minsk. If we would have taken a direct flight it could have been done in 3 hours. So there you go, travelling here aren’t always fast, with bureaucracy, transfers and waiting as a normal routine. The Russian Federation is big, in fact the biggest country there is out there, with 145 million people in an area of 17,075,400 km². They have 9 time zones throughout the country with Kaliningrad Oblast starting at +3 to Magadans +12.
On this tour we are travelling to 4 different Russian cities to see and experience a bit of the country, this is actually a country you could spend years seeing but as everything else we need to take it in batches, some now and some later.
We are now in Kaliningrad, Russias smallest Oblast, the name Oblast is a type of Administrative division in some Slavic countries and is used as a term for province, state, zone or area. Kaliningrad is also different because they are not part of the country Russia, they are an exclave between the countries Lithuania and Poland. So to get here you either have to fly from Moscow, St Petersburg or Riga or by land via Lithuania or Poland. Kaliningrad is also referred to as Kaliningradskaya with a population of 1 mill facing the Baltic sea. Is been under Polish and Germans and the architecture in the city tells the story of that. After the war, Kaliningradskaya oblast became one of the most militarized regions of the USSR. Headquarters of the Baltic fleet was located in Kaliningrad, after 1991, the town of Baltiysk former Pillau remained the largest base of the fleet. The region has industries in machine building, ship building and repairing and possesses 90% of the Worlds Amber. The oblast name was officially Konigsberg until 1936 when it was changed to Kaliningrad.