Amber is ubiquitous in the city of Kaliningrad and in the surrounding area. There are shops, souvenir stalls, one can buy all manner of jewelry and decorations at the airport and train stations, in the street and in newspaper kiosks, even at the food stores and in hotel lobbies. And of course one can see amazing things made from amber at the museum. As our guide told us, some fifty million years ago amber was formed due to some chemical processes from tree sap which dripped, solidified and was swept away by the ever-changing sea. As fate would have it though this glorious mineral appeared thanks to the dense forests in Scandinavia, its huge quantities migrated via water mostly to what is now the Kaliningrad region. One can still find amber floating in the waves; there are also huge deposits in the open carriers. The amount produced is staggering, it is hard to believe that something which originated millions of years ago exists today in such abundance. The guides warn that some or even a lot of what is sold may be fake and tell visitors how to distinguish the real thing from artifact. For whatever reasons amber is very popular in several countries including India and China; buyers come to the area regularly and take away kilos of this lovely magical stone. Its uses are numerous, for instance it is widely used in medicine. Amber melts when heated, after all it is still sap. It is soft and easily breaks if dropped. And it brings joy to everyone who looks at it 🙂

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