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Svetlogorsk Resort
November 2, 2006 16:02

You are walking along the beach in the rays of the red sun gradually descending from the skies to ultimately hide behind the horizon. The hissing waves are licking the shore as if trying to reach your bare feet to distract you from the sun. The wash of the sparkling waves is telling you a story of this land the blessed land of romance and beauty which casts its spell on everyone who happened to come there. You close your eyes in attempt to comprehend it all, absorb the hidden sense of what the Baltic waves are telling you. And suddenly you realize that the waves are revealing a great secret of these blessed lands; you understand that what you have just learned from the hiss of the ancient sea is here to help you solve this amber puzzle. You open your eyes and smile and then, all of a sudden, you feel the wet trace of a tear-drop running down your cheek as a manifestation of your inner peace and happiness.

Rauschen listen to the sounds this ancient name consists of! Rausch-h-h-h-h-en. What comes to your mind? Isnt it the wash of the amber Baltic waves? Originally called Rauschen, the city of Svetlogorsk is the largest Baltic Sea resort in the Kaliningrad region. Local historians believe the name derives from the German verb rauschen meaning in a broader sense to sough. And most probably it was the extraordinary gentle wash of the waves typical only for this place on the Baltic coast that put the residents of this tiny village on to calling their homeland this particular name back in the 13th century.

The citys modern history dates back to the 19th century when this miniature town started transforming into a large spa resort ready to receive those striving for fresh sea breezes and thick green woods enclosing the city nowadays. Svetlogorsk with its intricate labyrinth of little German-style streets lies on the green hills facing the expanse of the Baltic Sea. To reach the beach walk down one of citys 7 descents or use a specially installed elevator.

The favorable position of the city and its rich variety of underground mineral springs became crucial for turning Rauschen into one of the major spa resorts. Every spring has its unique chemical properties and is suitable for curing various diseases. By 1939 when the Second World War broke out this was a well-known European spa resort with well-developed infrastructure which included hotels and treatment facilities. The city survived the war with no serious damage. Shortly after the end of the war the Soviet leadership renamed the city Svetlogorsk (meaning a bright city) and picked up the trend promoting its spa potential and making it one of the Soviet Unions leading resorts.

Today, the city of Svetlogorsk has been given a new kiss of life. The travel industry is doing its best to meet the requirements of the most demanding clients and European spa standards; the hotels are being repaired and redesigned while the medical centers are being fitted with up-to-date equipment.

However, Svetlogorsk is not only about beefing up your health and immune system in spa salons. This city is rich in restaurants, bars, night clubs, discos and other honky-tonks you will be happy to squander your health improved during the day, and waste your money.

Apart from curing yourself of diseases, having a nice time in bars over pints of beer or shots of strong liquor, walking along the sandy beaches which sometimes turn out to be pebble and collecting amber you will hardly see more amber in your life - you can rent a mountain bike or roller skates to have an exciting city tour on your own. On your way you will certainly pass numerous volleyball and basket-ball playgrounds, tennis courts, an organ hall and an enchanting lake called Tikhoye (silent) sandwiched between the city and the forested hills. The Svetlogorsk air is fresh, transparent and smells of fir-trees and sea. It has a unique fragrant you would hardly come across in any other European or Russian locality. Maybe this is the very reason why those who once visited the emerald-green city of Svetlogorsk come back over and over again.

Artiom Ganin


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