Kaliningrad & Russia
Ha, I caught myself again. Yes, I am such a planner and detailed oriented when it comes to planning my travel routes. But shortly after my visit to Gdansk, I realized that it is impossible to drive along the coast further to Lithuania without crossing a small piece of Russia. Kaliningrad.
The Kaliningrad area is located in North Eastern Europe. The Russian exclave is wedged between Lithuania and Poland and covers about 15,000 square kilometers – slightly less than the German state of Thuringia. There is also a 250 kilometer long coast to the Baltic Sea.
What’s the big deal you might think?! Well, first of all I don’t have a visa and Fiete doesn’t have the necessary vaccinations.
In the past, citizens from the Schengen area could enter the Kaliningrad region without any problems. There was a simplified procedure for obtaining a residence permit – the so-called 72-hour visa.
As of 31 December 2016, this special arrangement has unfortunately been canceled. The Russian government is currently planning to introduce an electronic short stay visa in Kaliningrad. But this is only planned from July 2019.
To apply for a Russian visa, you need a passport, a visa application form, a photo and a proof of health insurance. Check. No problem at all. But you also need a proof of willingness to return such as a flight return ticket or the booking of an organized tour. I don’t have any of that as I am driving with my motorhome. So I decided to not apply for a visa.
Just like all countries in Europe, the EU pet passport must bear the identification of the animal, a valid rabies vaccination (at least 30 days and a maximum of 12 months) have to be provided crossing the border to Russia. No problem.
In addition, a veterinary certificate which is not older than 10 days before entering into the country needs to be provided.
Another reason to skip the planned 250 kilometers along the Russian coast line.
Detour is the solution
Here is the solution. An almost 450 kilometers detour from Poland to Lithuania around the small piece of Russia along the coast.
Let’s get the motor started. See you in Lithuania!