Published: May 19th 2009May 11th 2009
Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe. ~Anatole France
May 11, 2009, Monday, Trakai to Vilnius, Lithuania, “A Problem Day… Somedays are just not easy”, or “The Day Kel almost lost it”. As the rain came down, we parked and rushed to the bus, but we didn’t have the correct amount. (Why would the price change from yesterday?) Maureen rummaged through her purse and paid the additional amount, we took a seat. Ten minutes later, Maureen can’t find her wallet? PANIC sets-in as every article of clothing is being searched. As we arrive in Vilnius, the wallet is found.
Chapter II On to the next problem, today we plan to leave laundry at the hotel, but we are late for the pick-up. They “MAY” come back. We leave the laundry at the hotel and while we wait…
Chapter III “The Shortest Haircut of a Lifetime” Maureen found a beauty shop and tried to explain short sides, longer on top…”Ya! Ya! Ya!” She now has a very, very short haircut. (Haircut in France was short, but this is really short.)
Back to the “Laundry Hotel”--- No pick-up. So we began our journey to “Jogle’s” dry cleaner/laundry. As we are hauling our dirty sheets, towels, etc.,
etc., we discover the directions are not correct. So we get into a LITHUANIAN TAXI (unless desperate do NOT do this)…quite an experience!! Finally, “Jogle” will have the laundry in three days? That won’t work! Back to our crazy taxi driver still running his meter?? Please take us to the bus station, Maureen has had enough of Vilnius.
At the bus station, there is a bus waiting, so we jump on…however, it is a local bus (cheaper in price??), and we tour the rural area outside Vilnius, quite a depressed area, yet with new neighborhoods starting up. Finally we are back to our parking spot with our dirty laundry and our tired bodies. A fun day was had by all!!
May 12,and 13, 2009,Tuesday, Trakai to Kernave, to Geographic center of Europe to Moletai, Apple Island Campground. Kernave is an “exceptional testimony to some 10 millennia of human settlement in this region” by Unesco which made it a World Heritage Site in 2004. It is thought to have been the spot where Mindaugas (responsible for uniting Lithuania for the first time) celebrated his coronation in 1253.. The rural cultural mounds abd the archaeological remains of a medieval
town. Unfortunately the archeological historic museum is undergoing renovations.
Exploring the grounds and climbing the mounds was interesting then we stopped to chat with an English group, training folks to be tour guides.
Continuing north 0n A14 we came upon the Geographic Center of Europe! It is marked with many flags of the EU and a monument.
On we go toward the Auskstaitijos NP (Lithuanian NP). After grocery shopping in Moletai, we found Apple Island Campground. What a Gem!! It is located on an island and has a laundry facilities, and internet. Sometimes you can’t force things…they just happen. It is heaven in the Baltic Countries! It even has a restaurant/bar and a wonderfully helpful staff.
The weather is a bit cool 40’s a bit windy and some showers, but mostly sunny. Time to do laundry, internet and cooking.
There are more photos below