Poland - Russia
Stay away from the border!

After two visits to the BY-LT border, I got more interested in the EU-borders. These borders are real old fashioned borders, that means you have to do something to cross them and they are well protected. More or less. That makes them unattractive for the standard visitor who prefers easy travelling and avoids border areas where you have the feeling you are in ominous area. But they stimulate the feeling that they are the end of the world, or at least at the end of the country. And it makes them desolate. Blocked roads, closed bareers, high fences with bared wires, traffic lights on red, lots of cameras, waiting trucks, nogo zones, border guards with guns, armed militaries… It took me some time to find another attractive border, easy to reach from Eindhoven and feasable in a long weekend. I decided on flying to Gdansk and then go to the border of Poland and Russia, the Oblast Kaliningrad. Wizzair has really attractive flight times (leaving Friday morning, back Monday round noon) so it gives 2,5 days of time!
So, I decided to do that.
I planned to start at the coast near Braniewo and use the Sunday to visit the border area near Bartoszyce.
I informed at my Facebook border friends and they gave me some helpful hints: the no-go zone on the Polish side is usual 15 meters, and it seems to be forbidden to photograph objects in the border area, exept the border itself. It didn't became exactly clear how to interpretate that.
I decided to try to visit also Russia to see if I could approach the border from that side as well. In the end that was not the best idea. It costed me a lot of money to get a visa, I had to pay much more for the rental car to take it into Russia and it took many hours to cross the border. Moreover, they have a huge no-go zone and when they catch you there, it will be the end of the weekend.
But that was information I only heard shortly after my arrival in Poland.
My visit to the border was not unattended by the Polish border guards. They caught me 4 times and gave me 2 penalties for entering the 15 meter zone. It costed me quite some money and time as well. Although they only did their job, they didn't trust me. Sometimes they advised me: 'Stay away from the border!'
I think they thought I was a spy, or a potential smuggler. They were not convinced that I was only interested in the border itslef and the border poles. Maybe if I had informed them before, they would have understood me and could prepare my visit. Anyway, they didn't make it easy for me. And I annoyed them as well, I caused some panic I think. In the end it all happens at the border with Russia. And Russians are not ery populair, I think they are very afraid of Putin. I fully understand that. At the other hand, the border guards were always friendly to me and it's their job to keep the border clean. No rude words or threats. They were professional and never told me anything about their methologies of finding me.

The order on the menu on the left and on the top of the pages may be a bit confusing.
I made it from West to East, but doesn't reflect my travel in a chronologic way.
So here the story-line:
I started on Friday afternoon near Braniewo, where I found the bordermarkers 2415-2417. The story you will find here.
After that I drove to Russia, where I had a hotel in Novoselovo.

On Saturday morning I went back and vistited 2389-2394 near Grzechotki. The story you will find here.
Also on Saturday morning I visited 2395-2397. The story you will find here.
On Saturday afternoon I started Zgoda (which means 'permission' in Polish), where I vistied 2410-2414. The story you will find here.
Afterwards I visited 2408-2409, also near Zgoda. The story you will find here.
And I ended the Saturday trip at 2399-2403. The story you will find here.

On Sunday I visited the Bartoszyce area. Starting in Ostre Bardo with 2253-2256. The story you will find here.
Then the borderpoles 2257-2259, also near Ostre Bardo. The story you will find here.
After that I went to Szczurkowo where I visited 2260-2264. The story you will find here.
I finished in Szczurkowo at the borderpoles 2265-2270. That story you will find here.
Afterwards I didn't feel the freedom to visit more of the borders there and I went back to the east, where I visited Krynica Morska. The story you will find here.
I finished my tout at the airport of Gdansk, where I arrived Sunday night and from where I flew back home on Monday morning.