A Travellerspoint blog

Hello Vilnius

Travel to Lithuania

semi-overcast

Another travel day. Bus to vilnius. went on a trolley bus to the hotel and saw a few people were setting up a concert or something. Instead of an orientation tour first up, we wandered down one of the main streets to find some food. There were markets and food stalls everywhere. Had an evening orientation walk that turned out to be fun, just the girls. Vilnius has a smaller old town but so much older, Lithuania is a very old country.

Posted by noraht 17:45 Archived in Lithuania Comments (0)

Curonian Spit

Not just another Sand Dune

13 °C

An early start with a short ferry ride across to the land known as Curonian Spit. Our local guide took us to some of the must see points on the Spit, like a climb up the witches hill that has carved wooden figurines to illustrate various Lithuanian folk tales, for instance I did not know that placing your hand on a witches wooden boob would grant a wish. now I do.
The sand dune itself is actually impressive, I mean it is of course a sand dune like any other, but the pine forest that surround it add a different feel, as do the ground cover grasses and the marshy swampland at the base of the dune.
The UNESCO Heritage listing is not just because there is a sand dune here, it is only one element, there are also the houses that present a view of life in a fishing village. Thomas Mann spent summers writing here in the 1930's simply because he was inspired by the beautiful views of the Baltic sea and lagoons.
It is a beautiful spot, even if we did see it in cold rainy windy conditions. Not to mention how hard it was to not swallow a mosquito, they weren't ones that would bite you but they massed around you making it difficult to see in front of you.
Tomorrow, more travel and carrying of heavy backpacks

Posted by noraht 15:15 Archived in Lithuania Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Travelling to Lithuania

Lithuania, land of nature not internet

overcast
View Long Service Leaving on noraht's travel map.

Went a wandering to find some snacks for the bus today, got lost essentially trying to do a big blocky and missed a turn. Got back to the hotel in plenty of time though.
This bus not nearly as fancy as the first one, sigh.

The longest walk to get to the guest house, but the room was huge, and we get breakfast so bonus.
A bit of an orientation around Klaipeda, which is a cute little town, the restaurant where we had dinner had a caramel beer that really did taste like caramel, would make a nice Beerfloat.
Also Lithuanians are very tall and like basketball.

Tomorrow off to the world heritage listed sand dune.

Posted by noraht 13:23 Archived in Lithuania Comments (0)

Riga exploration

History is a good thing

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This morning was a trip to the Latvia ethnographic Museum, a bit of a bus trip to get there, but not too bad.
I had no idea what an ethnographic museum was, but this was actually quite interesting, although because it was chilly, well it was hard to concentrate. Basically the museum was a huge park with examples of the different living quarters and other prominent buildings that existed in the different regions of Latvia. Windmills, blackyards, churches, pubs and bath houses. But these examples were actual buildings that had been reassembled at the museum to preserve them and what they represent. During the tour we came across one of the men making repairs to a fence, using prepared sticks collected from trees he was doing the work by hand, using the methods from 200 years ago, so the preservation is not just the building but the knowledge as well.

Riga has an old town too, so we wandered around, had a look at another church, this one though had been reconstructed after being destroyed during WW2, up the lift to the top of the tower for some photos.

Sleepy afternoon in preparation for some travelling tomorrow to Klaipeda.

Posted by noraht 13:12 Archived in Latvia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Leaving Tallinn

Departing the fairytale city

rain 6 °C
View Long Service Leaving on noraht's travel map.

So up bright and early this morning to catch the bus from Tallinn (Estonia) to Riga(Latvia). So very early.

The bus was no ordinary bus, we had free Wifi, newspapers, there was a coffee machine so could pour any hot drink that you wanted, hot chocolate, Tea etc. There was a tv which alternated between landscapes with elevator music, tourist tips on various cities serviced by the bus, and bad music mixes from the 80's and 90's.
There were power points and you could even slide your seat out into the aisle a bit if you didn't like the person sitting next to you. The best bit being that we were in the economy seats, Business class was at the back of the bus and in addition to all the facilities that we had access to, they had some more free snacks (water and a bag of what looked like mixed nuts) and bigger seats that could turn and tables. very luxurious.

We arrived and checked into the hotel at about midday, had lunch then went on a walking tour of Riga. Strange little town. Horrific history involving several occupations by invading forces, the biggest markets I have ever seen, housed in giant hangers that were made from old zeppelin hangers, a mix of wood and stone houses. There is no one big thing to see in Riga, but it is certainly somewhere that I think deserves several days to just experience the life of the city, rather than hitting the sites. Much more interesting at the second and third glances.
Also, tiny eating and drinking establishments make for intimate drinking sessions, even if you are with strangers.
Side Note, Riga has outstanding local beers, dark and sweet but not heavy, so easy to drink.
Tomorrow off to the open air ethnographic museum.

Posted by noraht 13:14 Archived in Latvia Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

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