GENERAL INFO (Jump to Diary)|
The Republic of Lithuania is a unitary semi-presidential republic, which covers 65.300 square kilometres. It is home to 2.831.670 citizens, of which 83% are Christians.
The currency is Euro, worth 7,46 Danish Krone. The GDP is US$43 billion.
The climate, which ranges between maritime and continental, is relatively mild.
Among the larger and interesting mammals are the European beaver (Castor fiber), Wild horse (Equus ferus), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Moose (Alces alces) and the Wisent (Bison bonasus).
The flora does not really hold anything that interesting to me, but the entire nature.
It is mostly cloudy, and I get a few showers. I try to capture the wooden huts, houses and barns while driving pass them, but the lack of light make it difficult. Here are so many starlings and a lot of storks on the fields. The harvesters are busy, and here are still a lot on root. I see a single herd of sheep; the first in a long time.
I pass a small town, and the modern bridges and road layout look so strange among the old wooden houses. I meet another torrential rain, and start thinking of a hotel. It is fine to sleep in the car, when it is raining, but not if it is steaming hot at the same time.
Here are a lot of lakes, and all seem to be popular by summer guests. A lot of signs show off to what I believe is huts for rent. I reach my camp half pass six, and it have just been opened after some bikers from across Europe had it all for a week. It is next to the huge lake, and pretty nice.
I make a short stroll along the lake, mount the mosquito nets and eat my luxurious dinner. Then it is time to finish up Poland. The southern Lithuania.
29/7. I wake up at seven, open the windows without opening my eyes, and sleep additional two hours. Then I drive around and across the big lake to Trakai. It is an old town, almost entirely made up by small wooden houses. Even some boats are made in big planks.
I park in the far end of town, and walk back along the lake shore. Here are colourful boats, swans, ducks and other water fouls, plenty of old wooden houses and great views in general. Some troll-like figures in the lake-shore could be a local version of Neptune - or something completely different?
Trakai Castle is located on the second island, way out in the lake. Wooden bridges leads out to this rather impressive red brick fortress. It is nicely rebuild, and if it wasn't for the long, not moving line to the ticket shop, I might give it a closer look. Now, I just cast a breath look inside the court yard, and do a walk around it.
I do a loop around the souvenir stands, where there are some rather good clay figures and a lot of amber. Then I walk back through town, and it seems like it is really unspoiled: all the souvenirs and restaurants was at the castle shore. Here were also a lot of small boats, offering cruses around the lake, and pedal-boats for the adventurous.
My next target is 340 kilometres away, on the western shore, across the central Lithuania. The GPS estimates two and a half hour, and that must be by big rods. Actually, the lakes and alike make the A1 quite attractive. It is through some lovely countryside, with mainly wooden farmhouses, huge fields and a few real modern an big cities. Here don't seem to be anything in-between.
Some real dark clouds are lilted up by lightning, and I just make it to a roadside restaurant, before the sky opens. Actually, here seems to be a restaurant for every five kilometres or so. While I'm about to leave, three old Swedes try to start a motorcycle. I offer jumpstart, but it don't work. Apparently, his combined generator and starter have had it.
Through more fields, bushes, cattle farms, lake lands, large forests and nice countryside in general, and I get to Klaipéda. Here are a lot of huge ferries, but also some small. Despite here are only around 300 metres to the peninsula, there are three ferries serving it. Before long, I'm on one of them, and then on Curonian.
It is basically a dune, covered in pines. The western sore is a perfect beach, the eastern swamp. The entrance fee for Curonian Split National Park is €20, and I had expected a bit more wild nature. It is mainly pine plantations and the perfect wide beach.
I stop many times, while I head south towards the Russian border. I find a few interesting plants and some nice views, but not as expected. Here are some scatted wooden houses and a few small villages. All touristed, and with a lot of art. Strange sculptures in a lagoon, sand figures on the grass and granite on the shore.
I do a long stroll along the western shore, but only come up with a very few seashells. Some small Fabaceas do real fine on the sand, and I can't figure what species it is. Some of the inland dunes are covered in lichen under the pines.
I end up way down south at the campsite, and do a tour to the nearby town. It is only tourism, and nothing interesting at all. Back at camp, I find the restaurant and get a tasteless vegetarian pizza. When it start to rain, I get inside, and are joined by an old German. He was borne in South Africa, and have travelled a lot. It get way too late before I get to work, but it was a real interesting conversation. Trakai with Castle, Middle Lithuania, Curonian NP.
30/7. It is a greyish day, and I get to sleep till nine. I start with a tour down south to the Russian border, then all the way up as north, as I can drive. However, I fail to find anything interesting, I haven't seen yesterday. I drive straight on to the ferry, and it sails, before I pull the handbrake. I set the GPS for Zemaitija National Park, 80 kilometres north.
It is through familiar landscape, and it get better, when the sun start to break through at noon. Here start to be an few old buildings in granite among the many wooden ones. I try to get a close-up by the storks in the roadside, but as soon as I slow down, they take off. Some of the chicks are now foraging with their parents on the fields, and some of the newly plough fields are dotted with storks.
I have seen quite some brown signs with the looped square sign on, but only text in Letish. One sight is only 300 metres away, and I kind of get the archaeological-geological name. It turns out to be several huge boulders with old markings on. The biggest: Šilalės kūlis is 7,5 x 5,5 x 4 metres.
I have gambled, and taken the straight road to the next sight in Latvia, and as expected, the border is symbolic. Just a single EU/Latvia sign. Northern Lithuania, Zemaitija National Park.
Lithuania is a pretty country, and easy to travel. However, I fail to find that many real interesting sights, and the rest is a bit too familiar to me.
I have driven 717 kilometres, taken 406 photos and spend €97, pretty much even divided on diesel, camps and food. The next adventure will be in Latvia.