|Kalinigrad to Klaipeda - hardly spitting distance|
|Rainy day for Kaliningrad Site-seeing|
|The plaque by the ship monunent|
|My walk through Kaliningrad to the bus station|
Anyway, eventually I got to the Brandenburg Gate and it was a lovely, if a little sad-looking site, surrounded by towering Soviet-style apartment blocks. Bizarrely, part of it was now used for a marzipan museum. Now I love marzipan but I wasn’t quite in the mood.
|Pretty Brandenburg Gate|
|Klaipeda wasn't on the departures list - but no problem|
|Michael gave me a badge from his concert in Karelia|
|Platform 1 waiting for the Klaipeda bus|
|Heading to the Spit|
|Last stop at a Russian town before the Curonian Spit - Zelenogradsk|
|Russian lady kindly got off to buy me a delicious snack. "You are our guest." - Спасибо!|
|Only 61 podcasts to listen to. Love Tim Harford and "More or Less"|
Aah... the BBC
|Narrowest point of the spit|
|Endless forest flashing by on both sides|
We were making very good progress and the thought occurred to me that maybe I might be able to watch the Germany game after all. Once we'd crossed the border to Lithuania, surely there'd be other transport to Klaipeda so if I could get off somewhere I would be able to find a bar and watch it there.
|Almost at the border|
Anyway, soon we were back on the bus. 100 meters down the track, we were all off again and doing the same routine at the Lithuanian side of the border. Same thing. But no questions and no smile this time.
|Beautiful Curonian lagoon|
|Nida - last Lithuanian town before the Russian border and the widest part of the spit|
|Folk ensemble getting ready for the concert|
|Lauzas ready to be ignited|
|Balandeliai were delicious|
(I think he said "scheisse!")
Here we go. So much for that idea.
But wait. Sweden continued to thwart Germany's attacks. Even when they hit the post and the rebound came back, Germany failed to score. Then Boetang was given a second yellow card and so sent off.
With Germany down to ten men, perhaps this was a step too far for even them.
The clock was ticking down. Five minutes of injury time was almost up. I started calculating. If Sweden and Mexico got a draw then Germany couldn't qualify. This could be it. They could be out.
But then Germany won a free kick on the left of goal. Toni Kroos stepped up and blasted it into the far corner beyond the Swedish goalkeeper who seemed to be out of position for the shot, perhaps expecting a cross.
Damn! Now Germany are back in the driving seat in the group. A win against South Korea (surely a formality) would certainly put them through, maybe even as group winners.
If that was a bit of a downer, I'd soon be up again as I walked over to the Jonines concert. I couldn't have timed it, or positioned myself, better.
Almost as soon as I got there a dance group performed the lighting of the fire dance. Wow! How brilliant that was. I even joined in with the communal dancing for a bit although it didn't feel right with my back pack on my back.
I milled around and took in the concert atmosphere for another half an hour or so but started thinking it was getting late and Klaipeda was still a long way away. I decided to leave Nida and try and catch a lift.
Unfortunately, nobody else seemed to be doing the same thing. Everyone there seemed to be staying in Nida. To take me to Klaipeda would cost me 65 Euros, the driver said. But he could take me to the nearer car ferry port for 50.
"Ok" I squeaked.
What a relief!
|My walk from the Ferry port last night|
The Curonian spit is almost perfectly flat, which makes it a great place for cycle riding but for me, the emotional roller coaster of going along its length included some great heights and a few troughs too.
|No sign of life at my hotel|
|What a journey|
What a day!
(I'll do a World Cup summary tomorrow.)