2015 August 26 tour. Part I
Outside the city of Volgograd, we wanted to visit Pitomnik (main German airfield inside the “Kessel” from where the last German airplane departed from the Stalingrad cauldron) and Kalach-on-Don (where the “Kessel” encirclement of the 6th Army was completed by the Red Army). For this purpose, we contacted Stalingrad Battlefield Tours/Volgograd Sputnik Travel Company. Mikhail Shuvarikov, Company Director, responded instantly and offered us a custom-made tour. It was splendid. We will never forget that tour and day. It was without doubt the best tour we ever took. We visited Gumrak railway station, Pitomnik airfield and several memorial spots on the road to Pitomnik, on the road to Kalach and in and around Kalach. Mikhail Shuvarikov and his driver Sergey were both very friendly, pleasant and skilled guides. Mikhail has in-depth knowledge about the Battle of Stalingrad. But also concerning non-WWII-subjects, especially present-day Russian society and the Western perception of Russia, it is very entertaining to talk to Mikhail and Sergey. They are intelligent, open-minded and critical minds. A day with them against the landscape of Pitomnik, Kalach-on-Don, the Don-Volga-Canal and Don river is more than worthwhile.