We left Kaliningrad and drove straight and great roads to the border. Here, the service was much nicer and gentler than where we came into Russia. Anyway, it took an hour and a half to get through.
One of the customs asked how much alcohol we had in the car. I asked Anne who thought there were 6 bottles of beer. Then the custom laughed and asked for wine, vodka and marijuana. There were more questions about the Teslas power, how fast I could drive and whether it really had two engines.
Then we were suddenly in Lithuania. We reached the first charging station with less than 160 km on the battery. We still had two charging stations within reach if this one did not work. There was no charge fear.
There was already a Tesla on the station (there are no Tesla Superchargers in Lithuania). We struggled to get the charger started. It turned out, however, that the owner of the second car spoke Norwegian. He told that this charger only managed one car at a time. We waited for him to finish. Then the charge went smoothly. 50kw station. We filled up in 40 minutes.
There are a number of public charging stations in Lithuania. On these you charge for free. This was one of them.
We charged again at a similar station before we arrived in the seaside resort of Palanga.
It wasn’t that easy to find our accommodation in Palanga. Some streets were closed for traffic after 13:00. This disturbed the Carsten computer. Especially because our accommodation was located in the city’s largest pedestrian street.
Anne jumped off, found our place and talked to the staff who thought we could drive in the pedestrian street. We just had to say we lived here – if anyone asked. I drove slowly through the crowd and everything went well.
We haven’t seen so much of Kaliningrad. We know we have enough power on the car to get to chargers in Lithuania and therefore leave the car in the pakking area. Does not take the risk on being dependent on a Russian charger with user manual written with creepy characters.
Besides, the area here around Verkhniy Prud is quite idyllic. Verkhniy Prud are some small, narrow, lakes that are a few kilometers long. The areas around are green lawns, trees and flowers. All the walkways and bike paths are in good condition and where there was a little damage the workers are repairing – on Saturday.
When I walk here I get a strange feeling that everything is fake. That everything is set up to fool me. That all these happy people are hired actors who are only here because of me.
Like the young restaurant manager who spoke good English (and German) and arranged a great lunch dish for us and softened the music. He didn’t know how to make Irish Coffee and we forgot to tell that there was cream on top. We got Irish Coffee without cream! After the food, he followed us all the way out of the restaurant.
We’ve been to amber museeums before but this beats everything we’ve seen. This was art.
A great skateboard court with lots of kids and youth. What strikes me is patience. There are children who have to be kept on the board or the scooter by Mom or Dad together with young people who rage around and do tough tricks.
In short, we had a great time in a beautiful area with good food and nice people.
I forgot to say that the buildings around are nicely maintained and a good blend of 18th century and modern style buildings.
Today we drive from Malbork to Kaliningrad. A very short leg of 137 km. We belive we cab drive both in and out of Kaliningrad without charging the battery.
UP to the border the trip went well on beautiful roads. Less and less traffic the closer the border we came.
The border crossing took a couple of hours. We were there in the morning and came straight in. Here is a lot that has always been. Paper should be filled out. Some in two copies (copy machine?). Narcotic dogs and mirrors to light under the car. The lady behind one of the counters need the help of a colleague to understand that it is allowed to put zero (0) in the box for engine volume. She checked the car documents (car card?) as well.
Well through, we got wide roads all by ourselves. Behind us we had the border crossing and it took just about half an hour between each car they let through.
We were surprised that the Tesla route instructions did not work on the Russian side of the border. The screen showed a map with poor resolution. The car is shown on the map, but no route instructions. We connected iPhone to the Tesla and got driving instructions from there.
A group of cheerful youths showed us willingly the way to the hotel after we had walked up and down the streets to find it.
The hotel was okay and the room was large.
The area surprised us. It was fantastic. A lake with park around. Great tiled bike paths and walkways. Restaurants – we got the best meal of the trip this evening. Lots of people of all ages.
Children playing everywhere, but mostly at the big playgrounds. There are youths on skateboards and roller blades. No loud voice, just talk and laugh. On the lake there are electric boats and bicycle boats. There is a large and modern amusement park here. No garbage. It is simply idyllic.
Within walking distance of the hotel there are several restaurants. This is the trip’s positive surprise and will probably be the highlight of the holiday. A contrast to what we have read online. We were recommended to drive by.
Having said all this, we must remember that it is not the case throughout Russia. The country has major challenges in terms of democracy and human rights.
The hotel EdMar in Malborg surprised with high quality and great service. We got a garage place so we could charge the car in a regular outlet. 17 hours time, but then we will have enough power so we can come all the way to Kaliningrad tomorrow and further to Lithuania on Sunday.
We had a walk in the castle and I, a pensioner, got bread from Anne’s so I could feed the ducks.
From the hotel terrace there was great view to the castle. The castle is Malborg’s big and only attraction. Lot of people. And it’s great. It is probably the largest brick building I’ve ever seen.
Does Malborg have more to go with? Yes, it’s actually Jacek’s hometown. Jacek is our good friend and neighbor.
After cleaning and vacuuming, we said goodbye to Ula, our hostess in Debowy Gaj. Ula was a wonderful host. She arranged with bikes, fired in the fireplace, checked where there were charging stations and when we left we each got our little farewell gift.
Today we drove a little over 650 km. Our plan was to charge on a Tesla Supercharger along the way. To reach this we had to limit speed to 115 km/h on the highway. We therefore chose to charge one hour on a GreenWay charging station. Then we got time for lunch. Now we could set the autopilot at 140 km/h.
We arrived at the hotel in Malbork a little later than planned. The garage was full of motorcycles, but the very nice people at the hotel will empty the garage so we can connect the car to charge tomorrow.
Good room and we got time for a beer and a glass of wine before the evening.
This has been a quiet day. Some walks in the neighborhood, a walk in the local store and a couple of beers plus some wine on the terrace.
There are three things that hit me when it comes to Dębowy Gay. There are many ruins of old buildings here, but there are also many new / newly renovated buildings here and there are children’s laughter and adult chat in the gardens. Much more here than in Denmark and Germany.
The small local store was a nice surprise. The lady behind the counter was both gentle and helpful. She could neither speak English nor German, but it did not matter.
Now Anne has gone to bed and the hostess has been here and asked if she should fire the oven for us.
We are a little skeptical about the Poles’ attitude to security. We did plan to charge the car here, but since all the electric wires seem to be lamp wires, we drop it. The movable oven in the bathroom is close to the bath and the grounding pin in the plug is cut off to make fit in the socket. And the chimney to the stove – I don’t know.
We planned a quick trip to charge the car. The 30 km trip was fast enough, but it took a couple of hours to get the Greenway charger to power the car.
First we found that we had to register with Greenway. We did that.
Then it turned out that all communication around the startup procedure (on the mobile) was in Polish. We are exremely slow in Polish and it took some time.
Finally we found a nice English-speaking lady at Greenway support. She started the charging for us.
After 50 minutes of charging we found a small, medium quality restaurant and had medium quality dinner.
When we got back to the car we got an experience we never had before. People stood there and looked up the car – and photographed. Our car! I have now bought a Bugatti caps so that people should not think that this little Tesla is our only car (it is our only car). I’ve probably always been a wannabe money flasher.
I can only regret that I was unable to photograph the incident.
Back in the house we opened a bottle of good red wine that we had bought in Schwerin.
It took me 25 minutes to buy this bottle in a wine shop. The lady didn’t speak one word of English and didn’t accept that I just pointed to a few bottles. She picked up a chef from a restaurant. He did not speak English, but understood that I wanted a good bottle of red wine and a good white wine. I think he checked all the bottles in the store. Finally he found two bottles he could stand for. The problem was that nobody knew what this wine cost. He had to call someone, who didn’t answer the phone, to get the price.
The price we finally paid for the wine was pure guesswork. Thats ny guess.
It was this wine we enjoyed this evening of day 7. To the sound of bird chirps and grasshoppers (which I can no longer hear) and the wine? The wine was in the upper class.
Before we went to bed we said good night to the house cats.
We left Schwerin early in the morning headed for Debowy Gay. Today’s leg, 465 km, was not particularly challenging. We had planned 2 charges and both went as planned.
It was a bit of a transition from German highways to Polish highways. I guess the highway we came in in Poland was built by the ruins to carry heavy equipment. Firefelt’s bumpy road with speed limit 40 to 60 km per hour.
There was not much traffic here. We followed a trailer who had found that it was best to drive in the middle of the white line.
If you are not in the middle of a city then the speed limits do not mean very much in Poland. You will quickly make a queue if you think 70 means 70.
The transition from Germany is total. Our hostess thought we could come when it suited us. She mentioned no restrictions. Only opportunities. This was not a modern apartment. The house was built in 1850. We have the entire second floor. Three bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Several outdoor patios to choose from — depending on weather.
Of course, you should not be too critical to rent here. The house is really from 1850. But for us it’s fine. The price? A little over NOK 300, – per night.
I have to say that the apartment (Airbnb) is very good (470,- NOK per day). The apartment is located in the city centre. A small hall (?), a simple kitchen, bathroom and combined living room and bedroom. But there are two mysteries. See film clip.
One is the lying (landscape) eights – the infinity mark. Think there are five of them. Someone who can explain?
The second is the noisy chime that is activated by the door when we go out or enter the apartment. When we leave the apartment we hear it until we get out on the street one floor below. Why is it hanging there?
The question is why the hostess asked us to close the door carefully for the sake of the neighbors when the door to the degrees is overshadowed by this gong gang. No one can hear the door over the sound of the chime …
Otherwise, we have seen much of this beautiful city today. We should perhaps have had something from the castle, but since there is so much else we have dropped it.
The old town is great and full of small shops. Nice German town. I guess it’s four times as big as Tønsberg.
Schwerin is the city between seven lakes. The town is best known for Schloss Schwerin. A castle that has been a power center for 1,000 years.
Since we are going to stay in Schwerin for two nights, we should not be driving today. Of course, that was not the case. We decided to fill up the battery on the car. We first tried in Schwerin, but the charging stations we checked were either private (hotels etc.) or they were busy.
While Anne visited the castle, I drove to the nearest Tesla Supercharger. Here was a large fitness center with indoor slalom. I ate lunch with a view of the slalom tray.
We went for a long walk before we had a better dinner at Lukas.
Lukas is a nice fish restaurant where we got a very nice and charming waitress.