Kaliningrad Oblast is an exclave between Poland and Lithuania with almost a million inhabitants. The area with the capital of the same name, Kaliningrad, formerly the German city of Königsberg, is part of the Russian Federation and at the same time the smallest oblast in Russia. Due to its abundance of amber, Kaliningrad is also known as the Amber Country. In the land connection between the exclave and the heartland of Russia, there are at least two foreign states in between, either Lithuania and Latvia or Lithuania and Belarus.

Kaliningrad borders Poland to the south, Lithuania to the east and the Baltic Sea to the west and north. For Russia, the Kaliningrad Oblast plays a very important role as a military base for its Baltic Fleet.

In addition to Kaliningrad, the largest cities in the exclave include Sovetsk, Chernyakhovsk, Baltiysk, Gusev and Svetly. The population consists of 83% Russians, 5% Belarusians, 5% Ukrainians, 2% Lithuanians, 1% Germans and other small ethnic groups. The official language of Kaliningrad is Russian, English, German and Ukrainian are also spoken. The Russian Orthodox faith is most widespread there.

Kaliningrad's economy suffers greatly from the area's isolation from its neighbors and its distance from the Russian motherland. Kaliningrad has the largest Russian fishing fleet, still practices cooperative agriculture and enjoys ever-increasing domestic tourism. For tourists from abroad, visiting the oblast is very difficult and therefore rather unattractive due to the visa requirement for EU citizens.

The important sights of Kaliningrad include the Königsberg Cathedral, the Local History Museum, Victory Square, the lighthouses, the Amber Museum, the fishing village, the Munchausen statue, the grave of Immanuel Kant, the Monument of the Fighting Bulls, the Honey Bridge, the Botanical Garden, the Orthodox Cathedral, the Friedrichsburg Gate Museum, the Immanuel Kant monument, the Philharmonic Hall, the zoo, the bunker museum, the family church, the naval museum, the dancing trees and the Curonian Spit National Park with its unique dune landscape.

In June 2018 I traveled to Kaliningrad for a day before continuing on to the World Cup. Thanks to my previously booked city guide Katerina, I really saw everything important about Kaliningrad in this short time. After a visit to the central Victory Square in the city center of Kaliningrad and the old town of Königsberg with its beautiful cathedral, there was also a trip to the popular coastal town of Zelenogradsk and the Curonian Spit National Park. To be honest, I had never heard of this impressive desert or dune landscape before and was quite surprised by it. I didn't expect this uniqueness and this untouched nature. During the short walk in this fantastic environment we even encountered moose, wild boars and foxes, simply unbelievable. Once again a big thank you to Katerina for this great and eventful day.

After midnight I went on to Moscow for the German national team's first group game against Mexico, which, as we all know, was lost miserably.