We wanted to spend just one more night in Lithuania before arriving in Russia, but things don’t always go according to our plan. We had to stay one extra night.
February 15 was a very windy day and the road became also hillier. Up and down with head wind towards Klaipeda we went. There we stayed with a couchsurfer, Lukas, who used to live in Denmark. Though we arrived at Lukas’ family home when it was already dark, we had lively night talking about Scandinavia and the Baltics. For all the physical work during the day, we get a lot of mental stimulation at night.
The Baltic region is very beautiful between Klaipeda and Kaliningrad. The 150 km long and few kilometer wide Curonian Spit is a wonder of nature. Beautiful sand dunes and pineforests as far as the eye can see. And this was the place where we got a hint of a real adventure. We are going to Russia!
The first country outside the European Union. Valentin actually has already been on the Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit in July 2010, when the Baltics suffered an unbearable heat record of 40 degrees. It hadn’t been that hot in Lithuania since the reign of the last Russian tsar. Crazy… But we didn’t have any issues with the heat in February. The weather was okay but pushing the bikes in the sand in headwind and rain was just one more excuse for a huge lunch that we ate on an abandoned bench in the middle of the forest.
We underestimated the length of the Curonian Spit. So we had to spend the night in Nida, a holiday resort just two kilometers from the Russian border. We got treated with a lot of roasted fish by a Lithuanian lady who ran a small guest house by herself in a completely dead village. A bit spooky but a very nice experience. We were supposed to on the Russian side of the border that night. The reason why we still didn’t cross the near border then was that the next town in Kaliningrad enclave was still a bit further away and the border guards might suspect something weird with two cyclists in the middle of nowhere at 9 p.m. in February crossing the Russian border, like spies who came in from the cold.