For a short vacation break, I did choose to visit the Baltic region, starting in Kaliningrad (Königsberg). The geographic location of Kaliningrad is quite extraordinary, being an exclave of the Russian territory, bordering Poland and Lithuania.
Moreover, since this town was in the most westerly region of the former Soviet Union, it was of strategic importance during the Cold War – and therefore off-limits to foreign visitors. Still today, Kaliningrad marks the Western border of Russia.
The city’s overall atmosphere is quite intriguing: It sometimes feels very (Western-)European, still with a distinct Russian touch. Compared to Moscow and St. Petersburg, I felt that Kaliningrad remained surprisingly raw and authentic, although it is a touristic place.