Alina Blyum’s Diary
Belarus Wetlands

« Back to all Posts

August 3, 2009: On the way!

Here we go! It's 5 a.m. The music of my alarm clock is unusually pleasant this morning :) Several hours later I'm on board a Boeing 737 taking me from Samara to Kaliningrad, the western exclave city of Russia, where I spend 6 hours before boarding my connection to Minsk. Luckily my mother's friend is living in Kaliningrad so she can show me around. Kaliningrad is a very nice and clean town. The former Kaliningrad Koenigsberg, it was annexed by the Soviet Army in 1945. Koenigsberg was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946 after the death of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Mikhail Kalinin, one of the original Bolsheviks. The German population was expelled and the city was repopulated with Russian citizens. German was replaced by Russian as the language of everyday life. The city was rebuilt, and went through industrialisation and modernisation. The appearance of the city changed dramatically over the years but there are still some traces of old East Prussian times. The so-called King's Gates is the only thing that remains from the big tower. Another takeoff and landing, and I'm just in time for the 7 p.m. meeting with other Earthwatch volunteers and project staff in the main hall of Hotel Academicheskaya in Minsk. So, we are a team of 8 volunteers from different parts of the world. I immediately see that this is going to be a very pleasant adventure because we have a very nice company - very interesting people with unique personalities. Let's have fun!


Click image to enlarge.