I would like to start my first article about the place I was born, about the place where dreams come true and crumble – Zelenogradsk.
Is it possible to get by chance in this city? If you are not from Russia or Germany (Zelenogradsk was a German city until 1946), then most likely not. When you are planning a trip to the most western part of Russia called Kaliningrad region, you will choose the main city of it with lots of tourist and historical attractions – Kaliningrad. If you search in google about Kaliningrad region, the first thing that you get in your eyes is that the region accounts for 80% of the world’s amber reserves. Amber, among the people just a sun-stone, it is a hardened gum of the oldest coniferous trees. It is also likely that you will find information that Kaliningrad region, or rather, Kaliningrad, has preserved the spirit of wartime. There are many German homes, where every corner steeped in history. So we can talk endlessly about Kaliningrad. But this is just a centre of the region, where we collected from the whole region amazing things: amber, history, photographs of the sea, a special atmosphere and packed it all in decorative boxes-museums, memorials, monuments, Europeanized streets for tourists and so on. In case you want to know where wonders are born, where you can settle and not leaving your room to enjoy the best sunsets, which are followed and admired by even the most sophisticated travellers, where you can walk along the coast of a sea to collect a whole handful of sun-stone. I can give you an answer – Zelenogradsk. The city is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea only twenty-four kilometres north-west of Kaliningrad. In 1999 Zelenogradsk is recognized as a resort of federal importance, specializing in balneotherapy. And indeed, the city enjoys the status of a health resort, a place for ill patients with bronchopulmonary diseases and problems associated with joints. Mud baths, mineral water, clean sea air full of iodine do its magic thing.
The German city
I remember being a child, the Germans often came to our city. They came to school, meet with the locals of Zelenogradsk, brought humanitarian aid. They wanted to participate in the life of the city, how to delay and stop the time, feel in front of Zelenogradsky, and accordingly to its residents’ responsibility and the desire to help. But still, every time I saw in their eyes regret, as it was awkward to look at the city that inhabited foreigns. The Germans used to visit Zelenogradsk, probably because of the stories, which was told them by grandmothers or grandfathers about how they were happy in their home before the war. They want to see the German church on the Moscow street, walk around the centre of the city, where located many German houses, which are still in excellent condition.
Restaurants and interesting places
After arriving in Zelenogradsk, you will feel very comfortable and relaxed. Zelenogradsk is a small and cosy city. There is no metro, no traffic jams, no hurry. But you can find here some tiny coffee shops, where aromatic coffee is cooked and delicious desserts are prepared, small restaurants on the beach, where you can sit down for a cup of hot wine and watch the lovers walking along the beach. Also in our city, there is an excellent wine bar, in which a lot of wines of different classes are represented. So, my personal favourites are the Blazer coffee house located right at the railway station and a restaurant with the funny name AM!Bar, located at the end of the promenade to the east. The wooden building is made in dark soft colours, muted light in the hall, the fireplace, nice music and, of course, the best chefs in town make this a terrific place that we always want to visit. One more interesting place is a wine bar called Mistel and located in the opposite part of promenade from AM!Bar.
As well Zelenogradsk is famous for mineral springs, so in the very centre of the promenade, you will see one of these sources and everyone can try mineral water from it for free. In the summer, when there are many tourists, you can observe people standing near the pump-room with bottles. The mineral water is very good for the digestive organs, it is used for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention.
As I previously wrote, in Zelenogradsk perfectly preserved old German buildings, many of them renovated. In 2015, a major overhaul of the water tower on Moscow Street was renewed and nowadays there is a museum of cats (one of the biggest in Russia) with an observation deck on the top of the museum, from where you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of Zelenogradsk and the Baltic Sea. By the way, there are many cats on the streets of the city, that’s why we have a sculpture of a cat at the end of the main walking street.
Surfing on the Baltic Sea
In addition to all the city’s cultural heritage, we have the sea. The main purpose for people who come to Zelenogradsk. The Baltic Sea is not similar to other seas. The average temperature in it is about 19 degrees (in the summertime) and about 1 degree (in the wintertime). Zelenogradsk is one of the most popular places in Russia where you can surf. Some surf schools work here, but only one works all year round (BalticSUP&SURF). Zelenogradsk is held the championship of Russian on surfing every year.
Amazing sunsets in Russia
Every day ends with a spectacular sunset on the coast of the Baltic Sea. People used to see sunsets with friends and families. Many people say our sunsets are the best demonstrations of nature. You can not get tired of them. Locals believe that in the last moment when the sun sets over the horizon, the sky illuminates the birch ray, the moment when it is necessary to make a wish and it will certainly be satisfied. I have grown up, but still, believe in it. Zelenogradsk is a city of dreams, everything is possible here. It is only once to visit there. It’s worth it to visit this place.