What a welcome to LITHUANIA!! – just returned from a beautiful 900km road trip across the ENTIRETY of LITHUANIA (89th nation of my travels) and back over the last few days with Aiste Dapkunaite and Inga Dapkūnaitė – thank you so much ladies for showing me around your beautiful country!!
– many more pics in coming days, will feature a lot of this on my website this year.
Pic below is from the inside of an abandoned (formerly) TOP SECRET Soviet NUCLEAR facility buried deep in the Lithuanian forest that stored 4 huge nuclear warheads the Soviet Union planned to use against (and had aimed at) the UK/Norway/Spain during the Cold War.
We even got the chance to check out the inside of one of the huge missile silos and explore the whopping underground creepy facility!
On our trip we visited (scattered across the country):
- 1.) Vilnius.
- 2.) The Hill of Crosses (šiauliai city and region) – absolutely surreal place, a must see whilst in Lithuania!
- 3.) Zemaitija national park to find abandoned Soviet nuclear missile silos and the top secret launch site at the modern and excellent “Cold War museum” in the middle or nowhere.
- 4.) The whopping HB restaurant in Palanga to stuff ourselves senseless with traditional Lithuanian cuisine and some great regional micro brew beers, listened to Lithuanian Schlager tunes live and enjoy the uber kitsch decor.
- 5.) We slept in the beach side town Palanga where, this morning I swam in the freezing Baltic Sea for the first time in more than 3 years, wandered a local market, and very clean and beautiful beach!!
- 6.) Headed to Karklé and the surrounding lush, green national park to see more of the beautiful Baltic Sea coast and stop for brilliant views from “the Dutch mans cap” (Orlandu kepurės skardis) set among a beautiful moss covered forest of pines that lead down to the sea.
- 7.) Drove through and had a peek at Lithuania’s 3rd largest town of Klaipėda
- 8.) We finished the trip off exploring Lithuania’s 2nd largest city of Kaunas and stopping at one of the most surreal Soviet monuments in the whole former USSR – the “fort” in Kaunas dedicated to the 50,000 Jewish, Lithuanian and soviets murdered by Nazis on this spot. 30,000 of them were Lithuanian Jews.
- 9.) Wandered Kaunas city by night the headed back to Vilnius!
Thank you so much Aiste and Inga!!! That was an awesome trip around your beautiful country and an excellent introduction to Lithuania!
Plans for coming days are:
- 1.) Exploring Vilnius for a few days (old city, churches, KGB museum and many others, uzupio, everything weird and wonderful, bars and restaurants, Vilnius film festival and much much more)!!
- 2.) Trakai Castle (20/30kms from Vilnius) and if time permits:
- 3.) ****Soviet monument park of Grūto Parkas (100kms from Vilnius)- if can make it there with public transport!!
Next trip to Lithuania definitely planning to visit the Curonian Spit!!
—-more pics to come soon—-