On Russian soil...?

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August 4th 2009
Published: August 4th 2009
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Baltic Sea Baltic Sea Baltic Sea

near the Russian/Kaliningrad border
Close to Krynica Morska, 12-07-2001.

I cycle through flat and open land leaving the hustle and bustle of big-time Gdansk behind me, natural tranquility around me while I do my daily work-out on my rusty old lady who though producing creaking sounds every so often seems to be doing just fine otherwise.

I have my lunch with a bunch of local day workers having a quick smoke and coffee break from loading huge bales of gold colored hay on and endless row of cranky trucks. Inky black coffee with the taste of residue floating on a badly polluted Thrid World river. The smell of freshly dried hay under a Polish sun is pleasant to my nose though while I eat my Giro, a sort of Polish version of the Turkish Döner Kebab and hopefully nutricious enough to keep me going for another couple of hours on my bike.

Cycling further east the region becomes more undulating with farms giving way to pine forests, peacefull country roads glide away under my pedals while I enter another peninsula having found no name on the map but only the first half of it is Polish while the last part belongs to Russian controled Kaliningrad and surroundings.

Burned out empty custom houses where vegetation is quick to regain territory in the name of Mother Nature, some human produced debris like empty beer cans, silver paper used for barbecueing by bored Polish border guards though not a living soul in sight on the Polish side. Menacing looking german shephers at the other side of a shiny iron gate fighting against their leashes at my sight, controled by super young Russian soldiers armed with even more menacing looking guns that somehow seem to dwarf their owners who are dressed in their unkempt army greens though badly in need of a good wash

No way will I even try to bribe these paranoid looking seveteen years olds into letting me set foot on Russian soil, not even occupying one of these abandoned custom houses on the Polish site for the night...they might come during the night to clean me out or maybe hope for free Polish vodka.

Instead I leave these Russian kids who are so far away from mother's cooking pots and washing machine alone guarding a long since forgotten border gate in the middle of nowhere and no traffic ever to check, behind cycling back a few kilometers before making camp on the beach


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