18 г., October. Baltic Grass Spit, Russia, Kalina region, (weekend track)
Let’s dilute the mountains with the sea this time. There is a unique place in Kalina region. the Baltic Spit for grass. Actually there are two of them: Couronian and Baltic. Both are narrow strips of land made of sand washed up by the sea, separating the Baltic Sea from the bays. On the Curonian http://www.park-kosa.The national park, there are iconic sites such as the Dancing Forest, the dune of Efa. It is better known and can be reached by regular transport. Baltic, so to speak, is more “wild”, it can only be reached by ferry and for a long time it was closed to the public because a military base was stationed there. As a result, there is an absolutely unreal mixing of times on it visually by today. Here you can feel a few hours in the present, the late Soviet Union, Germany in the early twentieth century, as well as in an era when humanity was not yet in principle, but only pines, dunes and sea noise. I highly recommend a day trip, if possible. But you have to check the weather, because the ferry does not go during storms.
The ferry goes to the pier on the Baltic Spit. The dog on the ramp is a local, he’s having a good time.
First, you need to get from Kalina to Baltiysk, the westernmost city in Russia. You can do it by bus http://vokzal39.ru/kaliningrad-baltiysk.html. Train http://kppk39.ru/index.php/raspisanie/kaliningrad-baltijsk or by car. The variant with the bus is the most reasonable, in my opinion. In general, Baltiysk is worth to stay there a little longer: walk around town, see the harbor with ships and old German bastions, walk along the sea coast. After spending the night in hotel, you can go to the Spit, because the first ferry leaves at 7.20 of Kalina is pretty hard to catch http://gorbalt.The first thing you should do is to get to Kalina and Baltiysk, the westernmost city in Russia. There is also, of course, an option to go on a boat, the locals earn on such a kind of ferry. Then there is no need to be “tied up” to the ferry schedule, but it will cost a little more.
The map of the airfield from the museum of the spit for grass, there is one, but it is not working every day.
We (my wife and I) decided to do a light radial trek along the spit in the middle of October, thanks to the Indian summer and good weather. To stretch a little, and, moreover, to “walk” a new backpack Osprey (wife) and Lowa sneakers (me). Around 9 am we arrived in Baltiysk, bought tickets for the ten-hour ferry, walked around, and at the beginning of eleven we crossed to the other side. The ferry “Vistula”, by the way, built in 1962, made in Sweden. You can sail on deck, or in the so-called “salon”, where the stairs lead down. There are no portholes, but the whole atmosphere, the inscriptions in the Soviet style and the smell of fuel oil moves as if forty or fifty years ago. I recommend sailing one way on the deck, the other way in the “salon”.
Neutif airfield. Hangar (front), seaplane control tower and hangar (back)
In the village we did not stay long, and went straight to the abandoned airfield Neutief. It’s pretty easy to find, you turn your back to the pier and walk down the road. You’ll be there in about ten minutes, tops. The Germans built it in the 1930s and were very thorough. After the WWII when the Soviet Union had all these facilities the airfield was used as it was meant to be for quite a long time, but in the nineties the B-12 Seaplane Unit based there was disbanded and all infrastructure was removed. I would say that it was just time, and the airfield is morally outdated, but now we have the opportunity to visit it. There are some well-preserved buildings in Neutif, such as the seaplane control tower, but the most impressive are the hangars with reinforced concrete roofs, which are arranged in a sort of semicircle in front of the harbor, specially fenced off by breakwaters from the bay. On some of them you can climb old concrete stairs, the most accessible is a hangar, as it seemed to us. We, of course, took this opportunity. It is a beautiful view, but you have to watch carefully in order not to fall through the holes in the roof.
Hangar roof View of shipping control tower and Baltiysk harbor.
After we came down from the hangar we walked along the shore of the bay, past the harbor and towards the runway. We made a small stop on the shore, had a snack, fed the swans and went on. The strip is a wide road made of concrete slabs, overgrown on both sides with blackberries, and even in October, there were still a few berries on the bushes. The closer you get to the end of the lane, the stronger you hear the noise of the waves. A very unusual feeling. a grandiose concrete structure, completely deserted, sea air, sand, pine trees. And at the same time you are in the heart of Europe. When the strip ends, you can go left to the bay or right to the sea. The bay shore almost up to the water is overgrown with bushes, on its shore to pass anywhere is problematic, so we stood there for a while and went to the sea. The road there goes through a small pine forest and dunes, if I ever decide to test an all-season tent, I’ll do it here. The place is very good for it.
The runway of Neutif airfield.
The weather on this day was sunny and almost no wind, the sea was almost full of STIHL. It did not make much sense to go left towards Poland, because after a few hundred meters there begins a border zone, and the passage is prohibited, so we went right, towards the fort. The seashore of the spit for grass is a nearly perfect beach, wide, with clean sand. The only thing that spoils the impression is a large number of tire tracks, whether border guards drive back and forth, or someone else on the off-road. We saw neither. Halfway up the road to the fort there was once a battery of naval guns, just above, on the dunes. But the relief of the grass spit is constantly changing, the sand is being washed out to sea, then it gets sprayed by storms again. That’s why the concrete reinforcements kind of “slid” down to the beach. A very clear picture of how nature triumphs over civilization and how temporary what we create with our own hands is.
The closer you get to the fort, the more tourists you meet. In summer it can be very crowded, but in the fall people are less crowded. Around the middle of the nineteenth century the Germans built two forts. the Western and Eastern, to protect the entrance to the sea channel leading into the bay and further to the port of Kaliningrad, then of course, Konigsberg. The Eastern fort in the shape of five-pointed star is in Baltiysk on one side of the canal, the Western one. on the spit, on the other. It was planned to cross fire the enemy ships from them. To minimize the damage from return fire, the walls of forts were made one meter thick. Over time, the significance of these structures in military terms, of course, decreased, and then disappeared altogether. In addition, the sea is slowly eroding the walls of the Western Fort and part of it is already standing as if an island in the water. Perhaps soon it will go under the water, because it is essentially located on the sand. The topography of the grass spit is constantly changing because of storms, so everything, as they say, is in the hands of nature.
A former naval gun battery.
From the fort you can get a wonderful view of the canal, and if you have a soul full of sea romance, you can sit and watch the ships under different flags and different purposes, big and small, go by it. You can also go to the end of the breakwater, if you go left from the fort. There is a very unusual lighthouse, which runs (or used to run) on a nuclear battery RITEG. I do not know if this power cell is in the lighthouse now, but we decided just in case not to get too close, and as the time was approaching 4 p.m., we went from the fort to the right through the settlement to the pier, to catch the ferry.
Westerly Fort from the inside, with the breakwater and a ship putting to sea in the distance.
There are persistent rumors about an underground passage to Baltiysk under the canal, which is more like an “urban legend. But if they find it, I would not be very surprised. The Germans built such an airfield practically on the sand, why not make an underground passage to it. As for us, the way back was standard. we took the ferry, and we returned to Baltiysk at about half past four. In total we spent about six hours on the spit. For an unhurried walk to almost all the iconic places. it was enough! But it is better to come for a couple of days and look at the spit at different times of the day, and then you will have the fullest impression of this wonderful place.
The Baltic Grass Spit
Baltic Grass Spit (Vistula Grass Spit, lit. Aistmarių Nerija, Polish. Mierzeja Wiślana. it. Frische Nehrung ). a narrow strip of land (grass spit) separating Kalina Bay from the main part of the Bay of Gdańsk The length of the grass spit is 65 km (of which 35 km in the northeast belong to Russia (Kalina region), the rest to Poland) 1. width. 300-1800 m in the middle and southern parts and 8-9 km in the northern part. Covered by sandy beaches and partially wooded dunes. Connected to the mainland at the southwestern end (in Poland), from the Russian side is separated from the mainland by a shipping channel in Baltiysk. The northern part of the spit for grass is called Pillau Peninsula 2.
Baltic Spit for Grass
A difficult case: I want to write, but I do not know. as. Kalina knows everything about the spit, and everyone else does not always get to it. Sometimes you want to, but it gets stormy, and then the ferry does not go, and there is no other way to get there. This place is unique in any sense: the natural conditions, history and fate. And the second difficulty, the usual. too many photos. Threw away mercilessly, but still more of them than I should have.Before the war, the grass spit was called Frische Nehrung (“Fresh Grass Spit”), nowadays its Polish part is called the Vistula Spit (Mierzeja Wiślana) and the Russian part, respectively, the Baltic Spit. The width of the spit for grass is 350 to 1,850 meters in the middle and to the south, about eight. Nine kilometers in the northern part. Most of the grass spit. it’s dunes, partially overgrown with forest, and miles of beaches with clean sand. Vistula Grass Spit. it is a well-developed and very popular resort area. Our part is in no way let go of the militarized past, and when the Poles dig a canal near the border, the Baltic Spit for grass will finally become an island of bad luck (purely personal opinion). You can see how it looks on the map (here): Two ferries run between the Baltic Sea and the Spit.
The first thing everyone sees on the spit. hangars. “German airfield is a unique aviation technical structure. It was built by the Luftwaffe and commissioned in 1939. Having the status of an airbase, it was part of the powerful system of coastal defenses of the German city of Pillau, which allowed the Wehrmacht to control the entire southwest Baltic Sea. The German airfield operated as both a land and seaplane airfield.The airfield consisted of three huge hangars for airplanes, two metal hangars for other equipment, administrative and service buildings. The German airfield was the only airfield in East Prussia that had no access roads by land and was supplied by sea. As a result, the East Prussian naval airbase became one of the best equipped in Germany.It was surprising that the hangars of the airfield were not built on solid ground, as is usual, but on quicksand. Almost a century later, the concrete taxiways and Neutif runway are still capable of receiving aircraft today. The airbase was ready for use in all weathers because the land airstrips were created at a 45-degree angle and were heated. Amphibious planes, which in those days were called flying boats, had no problem coming in and hiding in big concrete hangars with electrified gates.The German Airfield was supposedly the last air base erected for the needs of the Luftwaffe in Nazi Germany.As time went on, the buildings and hangars gradually deteriorated, the planes began to be stored on the runway. In the first half of the 90s. The Russian military left the air base because it was no longer needed. Today the hydro-aviation harbor is used as a mooring for small vessels and a training base for a children’s yacht school. Parts of the German inscriptions are still visible on some walls.” (from here)
The only real existing settlement on the spit is called Grass Spit, about the population I found numbers from 1200 to 800 (the latter seems more realistic to me). Administratively, it is the Baltiysk district. The conditions are clear by default: isolation from the mainland, no work, no school. If you are interested, you can read more here. But even with these entrances, there are people who do not want to succumb to the process of entropy. I constantly read Valeria Nadymova, director of the museum and park complex “Old Lunette”. They do what they can and more, but it is clear that they are not “strong enough”. They fought desperately to stop the dismantling of the hangars at Nightingale Airfield, but the owner won, one hangar is gone.
As far as I know, the population of the village. They are former military pilots and their families. The story of the grass scythe and the museum is told to us by an apparent former military man: clear, concise, logical, without too many words, but very impressive. I knew the facts, of course, but once again it gets through: what a terrible blood this land is watered with.Everyone rushes happily to the sewing machine, the subject is familiar: Singer, everyone says. No, it turns out, a special one, to repair the army equipment.The museum is modest, but I’m sure the funding is even more modest. A Granta, I think. And a lot of handwork, even elementary clearing of rooms.The museum already had a lot of glass floats, “kuhtyly”. “It is believed that they were invented by the Norwegian Christopher Faye of the city of Bergen, and the first industrial batch was produced in 1840 by Hadeland Glasswerk. Before that, fishermen used light wood floats to keep nets afloat, but they quickly got soaked, sank. And made in huge quantities until the 1970s, until they were superseded by plastic more practical and cheaper.In the beginning, production was very labor-intensive: master using a pipe blown a ball of glass, and the hole sealed molten glass seal. It was on it that the trademark was most often placed, less often on the side of the float, as it was more difficult.”They are tied with trawl strand, twine or thin rope, or placed inside a special net sleeve. Here is a sample of just such a float: it was wiped by sand and small pebbles, and under the net the primordial glass remained.The pride of the museum. Legendary “Enigma”, a portable encryption machine, found on the spit.As in any small museum there are a lot of small household items (expositions are replenished “from the gardens”). Except that in Old Luneta there are more all sorts of army stuff.
My husband said we should definitely say: this is a Schmeisser StG44 assault rifle, which is so similar in appearance to our Kalashnikov assault rifle. Below is a Mauser rifle.
Only the rudiments of tourist infrastructure are still forming on the Baltic Spit, but the cafe in Old Luneta is already fascinating, the lunch was delicious. Also, they say they bake a wonderfully delicious loaf and pies there.Very symbolic both for the grass scythe and the museum: flowers and a helmet.An elf, a real elf!Grass scythe’s obligatory attraction. Western Fort, built in 1869. A visit is all the more obligatory because no one knows how long it will live, despite its status as a sanctuary.It wasn’t built on the shoreline, but the sea has come right up and is beating relentlessly. Frankly, I’m not very fond of all sorts of fortifications and do not want to get into their specifics, so only photos, and if you need quite complete information, with photos of 2016 and 2011, it’s here.In the upper corners of the gates you can still see parts of the bridge’s lifting mechanism.
Remains of one of the caponiers.You can see the monument to Empress Elizabeth on the North breakwater of Baltiysk.The day was very, very windy, the waves rolled in and crashed.On the Baltic Spit grows a lot of rare blue maritime bluegill, but it suffers from the fans of dry bouquets.And he’s both a honeycomb and his roots keep the sands moving.Rosehip is considered an invasive plant, but it’s very useful on the sands. The fact is that the first experiments to strengthen the avandyuns were carried out exactly on Frisch Nerung. Only after these experiments they began to strengthen the Curonian, huge spaces were planted with round briar.
Next we had a boat ride. Since I do not know anything about ships, I will not comment on it. We did not get to the ship cemetery, it rained heavily.Building cormorants:)
Belgian cargo ship sailing the Sea Canal in the direction of Kaliningrad.
The most frequent photos from Baltiysk. These are ships and swans. We were told that swans are in the allowance of the Baltic fleet:)
This is Admiral’s yacht.Nice, what can I say.
Two views of Baltiysk embankment
Gradually, land on the spit is starting to be bought for the construction of mansions, but their number is still small. Mostly old German houses in different state of preservation.This is an abandoned barracksThe space around quickly gets covered with briarberry.This barracks was luckier, we stayed here. The conditions are quite decent. The façade is already almost covered by the not very common maiden triostrene grape (Wikipedia says that in Russia it is found only in the south of Primorsky Krai). The interesting thing about this liana is. it all grows from the same root.Verandas are attached, there are pergolas. In general, good place.The corridors still have German tiles.The wind and rain increased, but we could not avoid going to the sea. In general the weather was not at all like in July, on a spit with such weather it was quite severe.
bluegrass.There is wind and waves on the sea, but in the harbor it is quite peaceful.”Today the hydro-aviation harbor is used as a mooring for small craft and a training facility for a children’s yacht school.”On the tower you can see the traces of a clock face. There used to be a flight control center (I don’t know the correct name). And more hangars. We didn’t get to the runway, we limited ourselves to this place.
With all my non-interest in military history, I can not help but understand that the entire airfield complex was a miracle of engineering thought. But it turns out that we do not need it. Right now the grass scythe is in “intermotion” state. The status of a national park (and even a specially protected area) for it is not yet possible to achieve, “wild” tourism is really wild, I will not write about naturalistic details. Very vividly written and dramatic. here. I have the impression that the inability to cope with all the problems will simply close the spit. I wish I were wrong.We were not lucky with the weather, we are going back to Baltiysk.
If you need more information, there is a website “Baltic Spit for grass”. Not professional and I do not know how it is supported.
From the bird’s eye view, the Baltic Spit (the Poles call it the Vistula Spit) looks like a crescent, swaying on salty and fresh waves at the same time. The nature here. both on the Polish and Russian sides. is marvelous. 96 species of birds are nesting on the spit, including 5 species listed in the Red Book of the Baltic region. Also of special value are 13 rare plant species, including the red-listed flower. May palchatokorennik, which grows in Russia only in Kalina region and the Crimea. And it’s a bit of a pity that tourists go straight to the sea, ignoring the centuries-old emerald kingdom of Kosovo’s forests. Last spring, this very rich forest was cut down by the Poles for their project. sawing scythes for grass.
If you look at the images from the quadcopter, the forest is scorched like napalm. Here’s
So it’s all about economics, the reader may ask. The fact is that, from an economic point of view, the construction of the canal is a waste of hundreds of millions of zlotys. Elbląg is not a very big port in Poland, not holding a candle to such a giant as the sea port of Gdańsk on the Baltic Sea, handling almost all maritime cargoes bound for Poland. The professors of the Gdańsk University of Technology calculated that the investment in the sawing of the fence (around 880 million PLN or 15 billion USD) will pay off in 450 years. And that’s assuming that the Elbląg port’s turnover increases tenfold, reaching 1 million tons a year.
To the economic turmoil was added the ecological turmoil. The inhabitants of the Russian settlement, situated on the very edge of the spit, told the author of these lines about it very succinctly. For example, a local fisherman Bogdan Malanin, whom I caught unloading pikeperch on the shore of a freshwater bay, spared no epithets. “Poles don’t understand that the spit will wash to hell?. “A fisherman smoked a cigarette and cursed Let someone from Warsaw come here when the storm is 30 meters per second! I’ll see how it holds up on the dunes. And so the grass scythe is eroding before our eyes, it’s become so much so that we have to protect it, not blow holes in it. Every year there are less and less fish in the bay, because it gets saltier”.
Malanin explained that at high and low tides sea water comes in through the Baltic Strait. And if the Poles dig another canal, salt water, which is heavier than fresh water, will enter the bay from two sides, and then according to the law of communicating vessels, as the fisherman summed up: “Hana will come to the bay, will become the common sea Laguna, and all freshwater fish will die out”.
“Poland is mocking,” echoes Reserve Major Mikhail Poberezhny, who works as a tour guide in the Park Museum of the Baltic Spit for Grass “Old Lunet The European Union banned them from digging up the Baltic Spit, so they heard what they said? We are digging the Vistula Spit, not the Baltic Sea Spit,” Poberezhny said. The bastards, what can I say. Not only will all the freshwater fish in the bay die because of this channel, but the grass spit itself could go underwater. One could speak of an ecological catastrophe”. A former naval officer explained that the current in the Baltic Sea invariably runs from west to north, which means it initially undermines the fragile sandbar. “Though the Poles will reinforce their canal with concrete, the surge and diversion water will inevitably erode the infrastructure,” Poberezhny predicts.
So, if we put aside the assumption that the powers that be in Poland are idiots, there is only one factor left for investing a huge sum of money in a knowingly loss-making and environmentally destructive project. the military.
An officer of the Baltic Fleet reserve, who worked on operational positions, told an anonymous correspondent of “Top Secret” about the main military secret of Poland.
“Apparently, the Americans have found the most vulnerable point in the defense of the special region. through the Vistula Lagoon. If you look at the map, the intentions of the U.S. and NATO are clear. The Baltic Fleet naval base is stationed in the city of Baltiysk, but the path to it goes through the Baltic Strait. Block it and that is all. our ships will be left, as they say, only to dry their oars. Such naval bases are usually built in bays and gulfs to protect ships from storms, but therein lies their Achilles’ heel. After all, it is much easier to block the exit of warships from the harbor, than to hunt for everyone on the high seas. The canal can be mined, a ship runs aground and the fleet is trapped. That is why the military pays utmost attention to the safety of navigation in such straits. But in contrast to the Black Sea, Northern Fleet and Pacific Fleet, where Sevastopol Bay, Kola Bay and Amur Bay do not border with any countries, only the harbor of the Baltic Fleet is next to the water border of a foreign state, and even a NATO member,” said a naval officer in the reserve.
According to the interlocutor of “Top Secret”, the construction of shipping corridor through Vistula Spit should be linked with the bulk island, which Poles will build simultaneously with digging a canal, using the released soil. The area of the ellipsoid-shaped island is not insignificant. 181 hectares. For comparison, the area of the state of Monaco is 202 hectares, and 36 thousand people live there. man. What is this island?? The Polish media have already announced that the island will be closed for tourists and local people alike. And this can only mean one thing. the object is being built for military purposes, the military expert believes.
“The island may house a submarine sabotage unit, whose task is to mine vessels passing through the Baltic Strait. It is also possible to install long-range reactive artillery on the island, which will take aim at the naval harbor of the Baltic Fleet itself. The distance to the target from the island. no more than 25 miles, our ships can be seen through the optics on the water surface. And finally, the island will become a harbor for low-lying warships, which will just come in through the newly dug channel. Certainly American destroyers with a draught of 10 meters would not be able to sail in the Vistula Lagoon, but NATO missile corvettes with a draught of up to 4 meters. Danish, German, Dutch corvettes. can easily fit in the water area,” the officer continued.
It is obvious that Russia will not let NATO corvettes through the Baltic strait to Elblag. Thus, the channel is necessary for Americans, first of all, as a military transport corridor for delivery of small combat ships to the underbelly of the Russian exclave. In addition, the logistics for the island will be delivered through the canal.
Also. It was already the practice of the U.S. Navy to mine port infrastructure. During the Vietnam War in 1972, the U.S. dashingly carried out Operation Spending Money. Money). The name eloquently symbolizes the cynical ingenuity of the Pentagon. cheap and sour. So, almost half a century ago, U.S. naval aircraft dropped mines on six key North Vietnamese ports, set to activate in five days (so that foreign ships, including Soviet ships, can safely leave the harbors). In the end, the Vietnamese failed to clear the approaches and were forced to sit down to humiliating negotiations.
“I hope that the command of the Russian Navy is aware of all the above circumstances and has a clear plan of counteraction,” concluded the expert.
The reader will again ask. so why are the Polish Greens not protesting against the barbaric destruction of the forest, the sandbar and, consequently, the fish and birds? After all, if you don’t delve into U.S. war plots, there’s no politics involved in tearing up the Vistula Spit for grass. A rare work of nature is being killed right in front of our eyes. The answer is simple: “In the unhealthy political atmosphere in today’s Poland, the person or organization that would organize such a protest would very likely be detained and accused of working for Russia.”.
So commented “Top Secret” famous Polish politician Mateusz Piskorski, who recently came out of jail himself. The leader of the party “Smena”, who had openly criticized the present Polish regime for lying under the United States, experienced firsthand the baseless accusations of working “for Russia”. The Polish Internal Security Agency (Agencja Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego (ABW). Ed. ed.) detained Piskorski in 2016, accused of spying for Russia and kept him in custody for three years. In May 2019, the court released him on bail, and although it is equal to the value of the apartment, it is already clear to everyone that real spies do not bail.
“Not only Polish but also German environmentalists oppose the construction of the canal, but none of them dares protest. They would be immediately accused of having ties with Russia, since any criticism of the present Polish government, much less the American suzerain, would be presented as cooperation with Russia. The Polish political elite got to the point where they already saw “the hand of Moscow” in the European Commission, which had condemned the Perekop. It’s absolute nonsense. “Brussels is under Moscow”, but Polish authorities are into such nonsense,” considers Mateusz Piskorski.
There’s a good old-fashioned double standard. I remember when, in the late 2000s, a t. н. In the case of the conflict over the Khimki Forest, the environmental coalition immediately included the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Greenpeace and the International Socio-Ecological Union. And on Vistula Spit they have cut down 50 thousand hectares of forest. trees, making a clearing up to 1 km wide and 1.5 km long, and silence from prominent green movements.
At the same time, the Polish expert believes that the ominous scenario on the Spit will not come true, because it is purely a party project. over, the project of one man. the chairman of the Russophobic ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) Jaroslaw Kaczyński. “Yes, they have cut down several hectares of forest, but, in my opinion, no one will make serious investments before the elections to the Seimas next fall. What if the PiS loses??. Piskorski wonders It is important to understand that the channel is Kaczynski’s personal project. He himself is invariably elected from Elblag, and every time, since the mid-2000s, he has promised to build a canal for the well-being of the district. Kaczynski wants to prove that he is able to make big investments. There have already been so many misfires. For example, PiS announced that it would build a huge airport in Warsaw, but it didn’t succeed because Kaczynski quarreled with Chinese investors. Then there was the idea of creating two twin skyscrapers in Warsaw to eclipse the Stalinist skyscraper (the tallest building in the Polish capital is the 231-meter Palace of Culture and Science, built from 1952 to 1955 with Soviet funding) Note. ed.). But again a scandal. an international company from Austria accused Kaczynski of “large-scale fraud”). So the scam with the overkilling of the Vistula Spit for grass is the last straw that the already not young Kaczynski is grasping at.”.
There was no luck, but unhappiness helped. Warsaw’s barbaric plans have prompted the Russian authorities to finally pay attention to the infrastructural hopelessness of our part of the Spit. “Very beautiful, but neglected places,” is how Governor Anton Alikhanov described the area. According to the Kosovars, he is the only one of six governors in the modern history of the region who has visited the isolated village in the last 20 years.
On the Baltic Spit, time really does seem to have stopped. The main attraction here is the dilapidated Luftwaffe hangars built by the Third Reich in 1939. From here, during the Nazi aggression against the Soviet Union, torpedo and seaplane reconnaissance planes aimed at the “Drang nach Osten” (Attack on the East) took off. After our victory the hangars were the spoils of the Baltic Fleet, and were used to repair Soviet B-6 and B-12 amphibian aircraft. With the collapse of the USSR the anti-submarine weapons base on the Spit was closed. What to do now with rusted iron-concrete skeletons. know neither the authorities, nor military, nor business.
Simple logic suggests that the Baltic Spit should be cultivated in order to attract tourists to the unique sandbar (as it is in the neighboring Curonian Spit, which is a national park of Russia). The deputy of the State Duma from Kalina Alexander Yaroshuk even declared that the Baltic grass spit should become “something like Russian island” (and in case of implementation of Polish plans the grass spit will really become an island). with dolphinarium, water park, pier for yachts, beach infrastructure, etc. д. However, the military component is currently interfering with such plans. In Soviet times there was a military airbase here, and today there is an air defense battery and frontier post “Normeln”. the westernmost frontier post of the Russian Federation. Today, just over 700 people live in the village, mostly former military families, because the Baltic Spit for Grass is primarily a strategic site of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
“Foreign tourists can enter the Spit only by permission of FSB. over, one permit is necessary to visit Baltiysk, and another to visit the Spit for grass,” military pensioner Mikhail Poberezhny told “Top Secret” Even the citizens of CIS countries. Belarusians, Kazakhs. are obliged to get such permits. As you understand, in this way we immediately cut off a whole category of tourists. Not many people want to bother with these gaps.
In confirmation of these words one of the local residents, basking in the sun at the pier, said that she herself had seen how the Germans had been “turned around recently. “The ferry came in, several people came out with cameras, saying in German. The military approached them immediately, checked their documents and sent them back on the same flight. We spent ten minutes on the spit,” the woman said.
Poberezhny, a major in the reserve, came to the Baltic Spit with his family in the 1980s, he served as deputy commander of the anti-submarine arms base. “I’m the last one to leave here. The aviation was transferred from the spit for grass in 1995, and I was laid off in 1997,” recalls the Kosovan. According to him, for tourists to start coming here, they have to buy the land from Ministry of Defense, because the passage deep into the Spit for grass is prohibited almost immediately behind the village. Today the only tourist attractions are bike rentals for 100 an hour, four stores and a museum with “diggings”. mainly war finds from the bloody battles in April and May 1945.
According to the statistics of the ferry company, in 2018, the spit was visited by 66 thousand. tourists. For comparison, the neighboring Curonian Spit is visited annually on average more than 700 thousand. organized and transit travelers. How two opposite concepts. closed militarized zone and open tourist cluster. can get along on one natural object, time will show. If, by that hour, the grass scythe hasn’t gone underwater due to the whim of the neighbors.
Russia’s southernmost point on the map: coordinates
Russia’s southernmost point has an altitude of 3.5 km. It is located near the mountains Raghdan, Nesen and Bazardyu on the border of Dagestan with Azerbaijan. This point does not have a clear geographical name. Many people call it the Bazardüzü peak, but in fact Russia’s southernmost point is situated 4 km to the north of it.
There is quite a variety of fauna in this area, and the climate is very warm. Of course, as you go up into the mountains, the temperature begins to drop, but at the bottom it is stable around 20 degrees, and in summer rises to 40 degrees.
VISITING THE CURONIAN SPIT | Tiny Strip of Land on the Baltic Sea!
Coordinates: 41 ° 11′07″ с. ш. 47°46′55″ в. д.
Testimonial: Baltiysk Spit for grass (Russia, Kalina region). A tour of the westernmost corner of our vast country.
Hello! Today, in continuation of my stories about our vacation in the westernmost region of our country, the Kalina region, I would like to tell about a walk on the Baltic Spit, in turn, the westernmost part of the region. On the spit we visited during a one-day independent trip from the regional center to Baltiysk. Immediately upon arriving in town, we headed for the ferry that leads just to the spit, or rather to its eastern end, to a village called, oddly enough. grass scythe, which is part of the town itself. Here’s the view of the Spit from the Baltiysk waterfront.
They are separated by a strait that connects two bays, the Kalina Bay and the Gdańsk Bay, which is actually a part of the Baltic Sea mainland water area. We were crossing the not very wide strait on the ferry called “Vistula” (Latin name for the Vistula River). Nearby, on that day, there was another vessel working at the Nida crossing. both ways.
It does not take long to sail through the strait, about ten minutes, if we do not have to skip ships that periodically follow the main fairway on the way. The strait, in fact, was formed not so long ago, just over five centuries ago, as a result of a violent storm the waters of the current Kalina Bay, the former lake and the Gulf of Gdańsk, that is, in fact the Baltic Sea, joined, forming the current strait.
And here we can already see the ugly-looking pier, where we moored our boat. Nearby, in a small house, there is a grocery store, one of two that we met walking along the spit. Prices, by the way, apparently in connection with the minimum of competition, can not be called humane.
Met us, including such a cute kitten.
It is tempting, by the way, to call the Baltic Spit an island. To some extent this is true. After all, those who got here, further to the Polish part of the Spit for grass, which belongs to a little more than half of it, and can not get because the border is simply no border crossing. Yes, and even to the border ordinary citizens can not get, because so far a large part of our half of the spit for grass is still under the control of the military. Well at least the eastern end of the grass spit is open to the public. In the beginning in the mid-90s, but only for Russian citizens, and checked the documents, and only ten years ago free access to the spit was open to all.
But the infrastructure is still in not very satisfactory condition. Although tourism is gradually developing, although it can not be compared with other seaside locations in this region, which I was able to visit on this trip. Work on the landscaping of the territory and infrastructure is piling up here.
First of all, after disembarking on the spit, we went to the museum “Old Lunet”, about which I have already left a separate review.
This museum was created by enthusiasts who love their land, the Baltic Spit. Told in the museum about the fortifications that were erected here during the time of Prussia to protect the city of Pillau, today’s Baltic Sea, from possible shelling, and about the now-abandoned Neutif airbase, the remains of which I will show you later. The history of these places is primarily related to the buildings used for military purposes. There used to be a tiny fishing village somewhere around here, also Noitif, of which there is no trace left.
The word “lunette”, which is present in the name of the museum, is a type of defense structure. There are three lunettes built here, and it was in the third lunette that the museum complex was built a few years ago.
The real gem of museum’s collection is German portable encryption machine “Enigma”, found somewhere on the pier. Many people may remember the famous story related to the disclosure of the code, which was used in the encryption with the help of this very “Enigma”. There are books and movies devoted to this story. And one of these machines was found on the spit and donated to the museum.
After visiting the “Old lunette”, our way went further, along the shore of the strait, in the direction of the so-called Western Fort. On our way we met some surprisingly well-groomed buildings, which seem to have been recently repaired.
These are the German buildings erected to house the personnel who operated the aforementioned Neutif airfield. The foundation of the settlement, which is located at the eastern end of the spit, is connected with that time. At present, as I have already mentioned above, the settlement is called “grass spit” and is formally part of the city of Baltiysk.
And here we can see the Western fort, despite its name, which is located at the northeastern end of the grass spit. It was named this way because it is situated on the western coast of the strait, which separates the Spit from the actual mainland part of Baltijsk. There is, by the way, also an Eastern Fort, on the opposite coast of the strait, in the main part of Baltiysk, but it, as I heard, is in private hands, and access to it is closed.
Today the fort, as you can see in the pictures, is not in the best condition, to put it mildly. Alas, time plus water do their destructive business. By the way, the fort is not as old as you might think, this year it will be a century and a half old. But nevertheless it is quite an interesting monument of fortification history. It reminded me of another German fort, once located at the end of much more famous and popular Kurshskaya Spit, just opposite Klaipeda. But that fort is in incomparably better condition. It is adapted for the needs of the Maritime Museum, which I told you about in my time.
In spite of the fact that the fort has the status of cultural heritage object of regional significance, but it does not reflect on the state of this historic place. It is clear that there is not enough money for everything, but still, looking at this picture with sadness, we can imagine how many such interesting constructions would be enough money spent on the reconstruction of some palace in the suburbs of Gelendzhik ((.The territory of the fort isn’t guarded at all and one can get there without any hindrance, for example, through such a gate visible on the photo.
The yard, alas, is cluttered with different garbage. We climbed the walls of the fort, which surround the inner space of the fort. Looking a little to the right, to the east, in the distance you can see the strait separating the spit from the mainland of Baltiysk and the two breakwaters protecting the exit of the strait into the waters of the Gulf of Gdansk of the Baltic.
If you look in the opposite direction, you’ll see the seemingly endless coastal beach zone, stretching along the northern shore of the spit for grass. Too bad the weather was not very favorable on that day, or we would have certainly strolled along the Baltic seashore. But it is thought that it is not safe to swim there because of the currents, which are also affected by the breakwaters that enclose the exit from the strait.
In the meantime we moved to the walls, bordering directly to the shore. Earlier, as you can see, in particular by looking at old drawings and pictures of the fort, the Baltic coast was more distant from these walls. Not only that, the fort was surrounded by a moat, remains of which we saw from the opposite side, and behind the moat there was also a strip of land, and only after that the waters of the Bay of Gdańsk. Nowadays, as you can see, Baltic waves, it’s possible to say, are washing the gradually ruined walls of the fort.
The remains of some buildings, evidently also belonging to the Western Fort, are already surrounded by water.
I want to warn you right away that it’s not very safe to wander along the walls. In particular, we found an opening in the upper part of these walls, overgrown, as you can see, with grass.
Meantime we came to the place, where not far from the fort the South breakwater begins, one of two protecting exit from the strait, or as it’s called here Canal. Again, we can see the remains of what seems to be parts of the fort.
You can easily walk along the breakwater, it is more deserted than the opposite North breakwater, visible in the distance. But it was a very windy weather at that moment and we did not dare to go down to it. And later on the North breakwater, when we visited the continental part of Baltiysk, we walked along it. To be more exact, I was alone, and my wife was passionately collecting amber on the shoreline.
And just before the beginning of the North breakwater, on the other shore, you can see one of the most terrible and, in my personal opinion, mediocre monuments that I have ever seen. It is a wretched parody of the “Bronze Horseman”, set up in memory of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, under whom, as you know, during the Seven Years’ War the territory of East Prussia, including then-Pillau, was occupied by Russian troops and even became part of the empire for a while. From here it still looks more or less, but up close.
To be honest, it’s much nicer to look at the ships passing by.
After admiring the sea view from the top of the fort we went back to the exit of the fort.
Next to the gate leading to the exit, we see a door leading to the interior of the fort, I’m not sure what it is, barracks or, say, casemates. You have to enter with caution though, taking into account the half fallen off piece of wall you see in the picture.
Inside one of the corridors, it seems that it has been recently, oddly enough, renovated. Or maybe just inside there is less negative environmental impact, I can not say exactly.
After walking around the fort we went down to the shore of the Baltic for a while. The beach, as you can see, is quite deserted, but the weather is appropriate. In other weather conditions, judging by the pictures I’ve seen, there are a lot more people here.
Here is how the walls of the fort look like from the beach. The scenery is stark, of course, but it still catches the eye.
Next our way was to the opposite side of the spit for grass, to the former airfield Neutif. We walked along the alleys of the village, running parallel to the strait. It looks more like some kind of village in this place. Just a rural idyll.
Some private houses make quite a pleasant impression. Although, to be fair, there are enough ruins, too.
Gradually, in recent years, tourism began to develop. Accommodation for guests is represented mainly by the private sector, in particular, these small mini-hotels. I did not check out the prices, but they say the are lower than elsewhere on the coast.
Eventually we approached the southern shore of the grass spit, passing it, it turns out, almost through. Not reaching the shore, we saw a fairly modern, by all appearances, radar tower, the main, if I may say so, architectural dominant of this part of the spit for grass. Even from the opposite shore of the strait, from Baltiysk itself, it’s clearly visible.
On the approach to the buildings of the abandoned Neutif airbase there is a memorial with a common grave of Soviet soldiers and officers who died during the landing on the spit and the fighting at its eastern end. As a result, as I told in my review of the museum “Old Lyunet”, it was possible to go ten kilometers further inland. The Wehrmacht troops, on the other hand, who remained encircled in fact on the rest of the Fritsche Nerung grass spit, as it was then called, surrendered only after the surrender of Germany.
Battles at the very end of April killed about two hundred Red Army soldiers, most of whom are buried here.
And here in the distance you can see the ruins of the former German airbase Neutif, established here in the late 30s. Also, at the end of the war, it was used by the Soviet Air Force for almost half a century. But after the military left here, over a quarter of a century, it got pretty “shabby” and is a pretty heartbreaking sight.
Actually we did not get to the runway designed for conventional airplanes, it is located a little bit further to the west from the main buildings of the base. It is interesting, first of all, because it was intended for seaplanes in addition to the usual aviation, which are able both to take off and land on the water surface. The best of the surviving base buildings is this brick tower, probably once used as a flight control tower.
It is not safe to enter some of the structures of the former airbase.
And then we reached the shore of a semicircular artificial bay that was designed for taking off and landing of seaplanes. The bay is surrounded by hangars where aircrafts were parked. Somehow these buildings are reminiscent of some unfinished factory shops.
As I wrote above, this airbase was also used during the Soviet period. At that time it was simply called a “grass scythe”, just like the settlement, because German names were not quite common in this area. And at first, judging by the photos that we saw in the museum “Old Lyunet”, which tells, among other things, about this airbase, the so-called “flying boats” “Catalina”, of American production, were based there. It seems that they were received during the war as part of the Land-Lease program and were in use for some time.
The next photo shows the bay used for takeoff and landing of seaplanes. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I read that during the construction of this airbase electrical cables were laid across the bottom of the bay to which projectors, apparently waterproof, were connected and turned on at night to give pilots orientation during landing.
The main part of this takeoff and landing bay is separated from the Kalina Bay by a low breakwater, where fishermen’s boats are moored nowadays. And so all around is silence and desolation, but nevertheless a place for relaxation.
We made a small break on the shore. On this side of the grass spit, by the way, the wind conditions were much calmer than on the Baltic side, at least during our visit to the spit. That makes sense.
On the opposite side of the strait we can see the Baltic Fleet ships moored. It was just a wilderness for spies)).
On the way to the pier we walked along the street named in honor of Captain Leopold Nekrasov, who died during the battles on the spit.
And here we are at the pier, where we waited for the ship called “Vistula” to arrive, which was taking the ferry between Baltiysk and Spit that day, and back, respectively. As I told in my review of the ferry, the tickets are checked only at the landing point in Baltiysk, but on the return, while boarding the ship, nobody looks at the tickets.
All in all our walk along Baltic spit that day took about four hours, which has flown by unnoticeably. Bearing in mind the weather was not the best, there was nothing else to do here. Besides we wanted to walk around the main part of Baltiysk. In general, this part of the grassy spit, directly adjacent to the strait that separates it from Baltiysk, left a mixed impression. On the one hand, very few tourists, an interesting museum, created by enthusiasts, romantic fort, deserted beaches, secluded places for relaxation, on the other hand, a kind of general devastation and poor infrastructure, the same stores and cafes, as if welcome from the 90s. But anyway we didn’t regret at all, that we found some hours for visiting this, the most western corner of our country.
Independent travel to the Baltic Spit: clarifications and additions
Big post with information about Baltic Spit was already published on our site a couple of years ago. It is worth reading before you start reading the following material.
In addition to the photo report from the walk along both banks of the spit for grass, the past text contains general information about Baltkos, information about transportation, debunking tourist myths, etc. In a new article I will try to add useful information without repetition, in.ч. With photos and videos.
The previous trip to the Baltic Spit I made in mid-March, and now I went in early April. It’s gotten warmer outside for a dozen degrees, but that’s all. The picture on the other side of the mainland has not changed much: the grass spit is still beautiful, mysterious, unusual and addictive.
“The country that rose from the sea”: the story of the Baltic Grass Spit (photo)
The Baltic grass spit is a wonderful place for quiet sea walks. A small obstacle in the form of a bay, which must be overcome by ferry, cuts off the crowds of vacationers, and they remain on the city beach of Baltiysk.
However, true lovers of wild recreation land on a shore that once rose from the depths of the sea. The ancient Prussian name Fritsche Nerung, which means “the country that rose from the sea”, fully justifies its romanticism. This is how the sand dunes were formed, helped by storms.
The geographical name of the spit is Vistula Bay, but it is called Baltic Spit on the Russian territory. The total length. 65 kilometers, the area. 2 thousand hectares. Russian part of the Spit of grass is about 39 kilometers long. The width of the spit is from 700 meters to 4-5 kilometers.
Most scientists estimate the age of the spit of grass to be 5-6 thousand years. It is believed that the formation of the dunes began after the formation of the Vistula (today. Kaliningrad) Bay. However, according to the version of the historian Simon Grunau, the emergence of sand masses on the site of the Baltic Spit for grass began in 1190. According to him, a storm hit the area of Prussia, intensifying the currents, which raised the sands.
Here is what the all-knowing Wikipedia says about the spit: it is a natural phenomenon, which is the counteraction of two natural forces. Sea waves and coastal currents move the sand to the shore, and the wind moves it to the spit itself, forming the dunes.
There is another story, which has no confirmation. Some scientists are inclined to think that once upon a time the part of the grass spit shore where the woods had grown has sunk to the bottom. This version is believed by those who know that to this day mossy trunks of various species are found at the bottom of the bay. That is, it turns out that trees have been growing in this area for a long time. Later you will understand why this is surprising.
In Lydia Dovydenko’s book “The Mystery of Pillau” there is an interesting fact about a piece of masonry found near the walls of one of the fortresses in Baltiysk in 2008. “Builders working on the territory of the present MES, when asked if they found anything interesting, breaking up a pit for a hangar, brought out of their construction house a quarter of a log 35 centimeters high, with clearly visible annual rings, showing that the radius of the log is 9 centimeters. The petrified tree is at least 6,000 to 7,000 years old. I gave it to the Baltic Fleet Museum”. writes the historian.
The most significant storm for the inhabitants of this area occurred in 1510. It created a large strait separating Baltiysk and Spit, which played a huge economic role in the history of the city. Pillau became a customs and trading center, through which hundreds of ships passed.
The wind’s influence on the formation of the grass scythe did not end there. Through the centuries and up to the present time, storms and seawater have alternately torn the dunes and created new islands, deepening and drying up the straits. Every storm leaves behind “gifts”, including numerous small straits.
Life on the grass spit was never easy. People every day had to fight the vagaries of nature and the constantly moving sands. For example, in 1824 it completely filled one of the villages. The picture that was revealed to the inhabitants was frightening: the former village cemetery was turned into a pothole, and mangled crosses and skulls and bones buried in the sand were sticking out of the ground.
Then it was decided to start strengthening the spit with the help of natural “holders”. trees. The inhabitants planted birches and alders from Pillau to Neutif, the village on the spit. The dunes were strengthened with iron bars, which somewhat spoiled the landscape, but were vitally necessary. They also served as signposts for the postal service.
Since the fight against moving dunes was an experiment, the society of nature lovers announced a competition for the best project of strengthening and ways to combat sand drifts. It was won by Professor Titius, who proposed landscaping the dunes with Siberian acacia and North Atlantic grasses. In 1797, for the first time state works were carried out to strengthen the dunes on the spit. By 1850 it was already covered with forest.
This process continued continually, but in 1918 nature again made its adjustments. On the first day of the new year, the strongest hurricane came to the territory of Pillau again, destroying centuries of human work. Thousands of trees were uprooted, and the reinforcement had to be made from scratch.
Today the Vistula Grass Spit is 81% forested. On its territory there are bushes of buckthorn, raspberry, juniper, elderberry, red currant. Coniferous and broad-leaved trees predominate in the wooded area of the spit.
Frishe Nerung has always been a great place for hunting and fishing. Many animals have chosen it as a home or place to rest during their migration. The fish, of course, deserve special attention. This region has naturally always been rich in it. What is more interesting is what kind of fish used to live in the Baltic Sea in the past. The most important for this area has always been the sturgeon. It fed Pillau and all the neighboring villages. The image of this big moustached fish was honored to decorate the emblem of the city, which is still observed by the citizens of Baltiysk.
The sturgeon is very fond of cleanliness and with the transition of ships to “dirty” fuel it has almost disappeared from these waters, only occasionally appearing today off the coast of Sweden. This is not the only amazing phenomenon in the history of the Baltic Sea. Some sources describe dead whales, sperm whales, and even sawfish washed ashore.
Ducks played a special role in the life of the population of the Grass Spit. There is a story when a fisherman from the local village caught 600 wild birds in one day. In difficult times, such as during the war, duck meat was a great help.
The largest and most famous village on the spit was Noitif. In some sources, there is information that several settlements before that were filled with sand. In 1822, three buildings and a post house made up the architecture of Neutif, but later a beautiful seaside town grew up on this spot. Its inhabitants were engaged in postal shipping and fishing. On the eve of World War II there were about 200 people living in the settlement, today there are 800 people in the village of Grass Spit, which is a continuation of the history of the Prussian settlement.
Farming was not developed here because of the sandy soil. Another product, amber, was extracted from it. The famous geographer from Danzig Philip Kluwer called Fritsche Nerung an “amber island”.
One hundred years after the beginning of the rapid development of Noitif, a hydro-aviation base was established in the area. Since then the Grass Spit has been closed to prying eyes. This regime continued after 1945, when Soviet troops built a military airbase here. It cannot be said one hundred percent that the closed area played a negative role for the Baltic Grass Spit. Perhaps because of this, residents and visitors to Kalina area have the opportunity to visit the wilderness.
Today, there are two settlements on the Russian Grass Spit territory. Grass Spit (formerly Noitif) and Rybachy. The main things to see here are the ruins of the military bases, which were written about earlier, the forts and the “remains” of the grand German airfield. On the Polish side of the grass spit are three settlements. Rybatski Konti, Krynica Morska and Piaski.
Here is a description of the Western Fort you can find on the World Wide Web: “Located on the Baltic Spit. Condition is poor, as with many other forts in the Kalina area. Not guarded. Free access. Collapses are possible. Unfortunately, this is true. Only the outer walls and old photographs are left of the former might of this military construction.
The fort on the sands of Frische Nerung was built by Prussians back in 1869. The memorial stone with the date of completion of construction is surprisingly preserved to this day. This construction in the fortress of Pillau was created because of the weaponry evolution in other European countries. smooth-bore cannons of the 17th century fortress could no longer withstand the advanced cannons and powerful armor of warships. The walls of the fort were arc-shaped and covered the Pillau Citadel from the northwest.
It was a few kilometers away from the other fortifications of PILLAU. The walls were built of brick, and their thickness was one meter. In addition, a new material. concrete. was used to thicken and strengthen the walls after the use of high-explosive shells began.
Here is what Georgy Shakhnazarov, Assistant General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, wrote about Forte in his memoirs “With and Without Leaders”: “If the Russian soldier can rightfully be considered the best in the world, the second place should be given to the German. I was convinced of that when we had to take the ancient castle on the Baltic Spit. It was a grand and gloomy building, with strong walls, loopholes and towers, where several hundred SS men were crammed in. The advancing units encircled the castle on both sides, and we and the infantry regiment were ordered to crush the resistance of the garrison. Direct fire on the loopholes, began to smoke out, more than once on a megaphone offered to surrender, promising to keep you alive. But the defenders of the fortress held out for a few days. It is possible that the morale was kept up by a radiogram sent from Berlin and intercepted by us, in which Hitler promised iron crosses to everybody, thanked them for their heroism and told them to hold out until help arrived. What help was there if we already had the whole of East Prussia in our hands, and there were only a few weeks left until the end of the war.) When we eventually captured the fortress, we found only dead bodies and a few dozen half-burned, badly wounded people. The fort held out for another day after the salute given in the Honor of the capture of Pillau.
The fact of building such a strategic facility on quicksand is already amazing. However, the Germans managed to build a huge airfield on the spit, which was called, like the village, Neutif.
Its construction began in 1934, and a concrete factory had been specially built for it on the spit. The military facility was commissioned in 1939. It is interesting that the site was supplied with electricity only in 1938, that is, work was carried out in extremely difficult conditions.
Water played an important role here as well. The place for the airfield was deliberately chosen. the bay and the sea prevented enemy forces from penetrating and made the airfield the safest place on the territory of PILLAU.
If you believe the archival data, this facility would be the envy of some modern analogues. A hydro-gauging station was installed in the water surface, the airfield itself was illuminated and the land strips were positioned at an angle of 45°, so that they could be used practically in any weather. The airfield had three huge concrete hangars for planes and two metal hangars for other equipment. There was also a village, a casino, a school, and stores.
During World War II, Neutif was considered one of the best airfields. Despite this, it was only used twice during the war. The main event in the life of Neutif happened at the very end of World War II. the final battles in East Prussia were fought here.
Witnesses claimed that after the war, despite the intensive bombing, the structure remained practically intact and functional. It was also used by the Soviet army. However, like much in our region, it has been destroyed by indifference and time.
Rumor has it that between the Vistula Spit and the Baltic Sea there is a half sunken underground passage. By the way, from time to time historians do find some tunnels on the territory of Baltiysk, but still nobody knows where they lead.
The Baltic Spit for grass, unfortunately, is not as popular as its neighbor, the Curonian Spit for grass. It ranks among the most beautiful in the world, but there are many similar natural “structures” around the world. Thus, the longest is considered to be Arabatskaya Spit in the Azov Sea. It is about 110 km long and varies in width from 270 meters to 8 km. The total area of the “arrow” is 395 square kilometers. Except for the fortress that the Turks built on Arbat arrow in the 17th century, this place was wild. The first settlements here did not appear until the 19th century.
One of the most amazing natural features of the British coastline is Spern Point Grass Spit. Its peculiarity is that the width of the grass spit does not exceed 46 meters. The ecosystem of this place is also surprising. on one side of the grass spit, plants have “adapted” to be submerged in water every 12 hours. On the other side, where the sand moves, you can find plants that can retain moisture.
The La Manga grass scythe in Spain is different from these eco-friendly natural wonders. Its territory remained untouched until the 60s of the twentieth century, after which the spit began to build tourist infrastructure. At a width of 100 meters there are hundreds of hotels and restaurants.
Ashamed of Russia. How does the Baltic Grass Spit in the Kalina region look like in Poland
The westernmost point of Russia is near the border with Poland in the Baltic Grass Spit in Kalina region. Half of the grass spit belongs to Russia, half to Poland.
It seems to be the same on both sides of the border in terms of climate and all the parameters, but now the territory looks absolutely different, and when you see this difference, then you become sad and ashamed for Russia.
In Poland it is a modern resort, but in Russia it is ruined and the ruins of an old fortress.
On the Russian side, there are two small villages with almost nothing to live in. Almost all the locals, of which there are not many, take the ferry every day to the nearest town of Baltiysk, where there are jobs, supermarkets, and generally everything.
Houses are crumbling, although they are trying to maintain them in some livable condition. In general, the place looks very depressing.
On the Polish side it’s like some other world. There are also several villages there, which the Poles have turned into resorts.
When you see such a difference, it really becomes very sad and very shameful for Russia. There are the same opportunities on the Russian side, and maybe even more. But for some reason a modern and beautiful resort is in Poland, while in Russia, it is in ruins.
In Kalina area every year, thousands and tens of thousands of visitors, many of them would love to visit such a unique place as the Baltic Spit for grass.
But now all we can see here are the ruins of an old German airfield. And there’s nothing around.
In Poland, there are restaurants, cafes and stores everywhere.
In general, life is boiling, people are happy, the locals have a job in their village, they do not have to go anywhere every day.
Even in Russia on the spit you can see the ruins of an old German fortress, which no one is watching and which will soon disappear into history.
On the Polish side there are no such important places, but despite this, the spit is monitored, nothing is destroyed there, hotels work, there are good roads.
From the Russian side they can easily drive to the beach in such trucks, no one is afraid of any fines, because no one is watching the order. It’s not very pleasant to go for a swim in such a place, even if you come here by chance.
In Poland there are nice beaches where people go to have a rest. They come in families, they come with children.
In Russia on the spit there is such a store, it looks very scary. Here you can buy a loaf, water and maybe something else.
With Polish you can choose one of dozens restaurants and have dinner in a pleasant atmosphere.
In Russia on the spit just no place to walk. precisely, there is beautiful nature, forest and sand, but no recreational infrastructure.
In Poland, people specially come to the spit from big cities, to be in nature and with all the conditions for a normal life.
In the Kalina area, for some reason there are old cars scattered everywhere, just lying around and rotting.