Unexpectedly, our local guide took us to the border. I had seen pictures of the Lithuanian-Russian border at Kybarti, and Chernyshevskoye, Kalinigrad Oblast, so I knew what to expect, but somehow just being there was jolting.
On our return trip from Gurkaimas/Gutkaimas (See the next post.) our local guide still had time to take us on a detour back to Kybarty/Kybarti right alongside the Russian border. I really could see Russia from my car window! I could also see the guard towers. Vilius told me later that the bushes right next to car were “Russian.” And that the border guards had certainly been watching our car, especially when we stopped, and I rolled down the window so I could take a few pictures!
The continuous row of colored glass fragments imbedded into every inch of the 5 feet high concrete wall that forms the Kibarty/Kybarti border still reminds the passerby of a Soviet regime so alienated from the freedom of the West we so take for granted.
Even though we were there two times on a Saturday afternoon in July, we did not see a single vehicle near the border area in either direction.
Once back in Kibarty/Kybarti, we headed west again, noting the mileage east to Kaliningrad, (formerly Koenigsberg, East Prussia), and west to Wylkowiszki/Vilkaviskis and Marijampole. This sign helped me understand the distance from East Prussia to the Wylkowiszki/Vilkaviskis area.