Blogs from Lithuania, Europe - page 4

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Europe » Lithuania » Vilnius July 10th 2012

Left the hotel at 09h00, walking across the Green Bridge to view the Soviet statues left as a reminder of what was and then continued down Vilnius Gatvė to the main Tourist Information Centre and the Town Hall. City doesn't appear to be as vibrant as Riga nor even Tallin. Then continued on to the Republic of Užupis where I studied its constitution: Everyone has the right to live by the River Vilnelė, while the River Vilnelė has the right to flow by everyone. Everyone has the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof. Everyone has the right to die, but it is not a duty. Everyone has the right to make mistakes. Everyone has the right to individuality. Everyone has the right to love. Everyone has the right to be not ... read more
One of Four Soviet Statues on the Green Bridge
One of Four Soviet Statues on the Green Bridge
One of Four Soviet Statues on the Green Bridge

Europe » Lithuania » Vilnius July 9th 2012

Arrived in Lithuania after having started in Estonia two weeks ago and spending some time in Latvia. Got no idea what to expect from Lithuania but the first stop - the Hill of Crosses - was interesting. Walking around, I found one to remember the Russian massacre of the Poles in Katyn - a similar memorial being close to my home in the UK. The remainder of the day was spent at a slow crawl on an empty motorway, eventually arriving in Vilnius at 17h45. After a meal, I went to find the Shopping Centre and an ATM, before wandering across the White Bridge, into Lukiškės Square, along Gediminas Avenue to the Cathedral, before returning by the river footpath to the hotel ... and bed!... read more
Another Empty Motorway
The Hill of Crosses
Katyn Forest - not Forgotten

Europe » Lithuania » Vilnius July 8th 2012

Today has been epic. Ever since visiting Krakow last summer I have been waiting for that city/country where I feel at home and at ease....and Vilnius is that city. I actually love it. The Lithuanians are a quirky bunch and I think that's why I fit in! I had to get up at 5.30 this morning to catch the bus. Last night actually, the Omid Djalili guy ended up to be a member of the mafia. I think he is a good one to have on my side. Since it was raining I stayed in and he gave me a beer. I have wondered why people keep staring at me in the street and had decided it was one of 1.I look shit 2.I look amazing (if you've ever seen me in 30 degree heat....) or ... read more

Europe » Lithuania » Vilnius June 15th 2012

Thursday 14th June 2012 We were off before 0700, both of us waking before the 0615 alarm. Actually, neither of us slept that well, finding it hard to sleep and then waking expecting the alarm to go. This happens when we have an early departure. As it was the tram was just coming, the train was about to leave, and we ended up at the airport so early they hadn't even assigned a gate for our flight. When we arrived at Vilnius airport we caught the local bus into town for the princely sum of A$3, this covering both of us plus an extra ticket for the luggage. Once at the terminus we saw the hotel across the road and were soon in our new 'home'. The Panorama Hotel is aptly name as due to its ... read more
Dinner in the Sky anyone?
Hill of the Three Crosses
Modern buildings in Vilnius

Europe » Lithuania » Vilnius June 1st 2012

Motorhome News from Lithuania Lithuania Chapter I Saturday 28th April 2012 Once again we turn into new territory; up into the Baltic States beyond Poland, edging our way northwards towards the southern shores of Scandinavia and the western fringes of the old USSR; to delve into the history, the landscape, wildlife and culture aflicted by invasion from all sides for centuries. Is that why we continue travel; to learn more about that which is beyond the horizon; that Christopher Columbus feeling I was talking about? There's a little bit of the old Soviet Union tucked into the corner of the Baltic coast to the northeast of Poland, leaving us little choice of roads northwards into Lithuania. Some roads run through the small Russian enclave of Kaliningrad that gives access to the Baltic Sea when ice seals ... read more
Bird ringing station at Vente
The Lithuanian coastline
Minija house

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Europe » Lithuania » Vilnius » Trakai » Druskininskai May 13th 2012

Just a brief update to put out a link to the tracked routes that I captured using Map My Tracks (www.mapmytracks.com) with my iPhone. If you are interested in the detail regarding the route that we took on our epic journey around Lithuania, then the detail is here. Enjoy.... read more

Europe » Lithuania » Vilnius » Trakai » Druskininskai May 13th 2012

I wanted to add a word or two specifically about the wonderful children of Rugute, known affectionately as Rugute's Captains. During our little jaunt around Lithuania, we were honoured by the presence of many of the children that the Rugute charity supports. many of these children are actively receiving treatment for their conditions, some are thankfully in remission. All of them warmed our hearts and strengthened our resolve to complete our journey. In Panevezys we met : Naglis, Zilvinas, Vilte, Ignas and Kipras we were also met by friends of Rugute, Ieva and Benas. In Siauliai we met : Julija and her brother Mindaugas, Ugne and Abhajus In Klaipeda we met : Reinoldas and his sister Simonija together with Domantas and his brother Danielius In Silute we met : Justina In all cases, these children reminded ... read more

Europe » Lithuania » Vilnius May 12th 2012

Made it. The guys completed the gruelling 518 miles as they rode to Barclays Technology Centre in Vilnius. I was able to join them and cycled in with others from the office for the last 3 or 4 miles. The welcome was fantastic with well over 50 people waiting to welcome us back from the trip. The day started early and we reached Trakia at around 2.00pm for the traditional lunch of Kibinai which is served in that region. Then it was on to the final leg into Vilnius and the usual photo call under the city limits sign on the outskirts of town. The forecast rain had pretty much held off and the Friday afternoon traffic was the main challenge to arriving on schedule at 4.30pm.... read more
The finish line.

Europe » Lithuania » Platelai May 11th 2012

So today dawned bright and clear for a 110 miler to the beautiful lake of Platelai. We were all feeling a little tired from the previous wet start, but soon made excellent time under a cloudless sky. We passed Siaulai in early afternoon where we were cheered in by severalrugute Captains and their parents. After an all too short visit, we had to head onwards again with our hearts and determination refreshed after our visit. The afternoon consisted of a long slog up the A11, before turning off onto side routes through gorgeous rolling countryside on the last 20 miles to the lake. We reached our Day 2 destination around 8pm tired, but eagerly anticipating the coming days. Food and a jacuzzi soon saw us refreshed and ready for Day 3... read more
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Europe » Lithuania » Palanga May 11th 2012

Today was a long, hot day. We headed out of Platelai onto a long uphill climb to the A11. Our hope was that we'd soon be westward bound towards Palanga on the coast, which we soon were. However the wind picked up considerably and slowed us by 3-5 miles per hour. We made it to Palanga by 2pm, later than originally planned and stopped for lunch. Here we picked up National Cycle route 10 which took us all the way into Klaipeda via a beautiful, car free, trail through woodlands and quiet lanes. In Klaipeda we visited with more Rugute Captains and enjoyed a much needed rest whilst we heard their stories. It was here that we decided to change our Day 3 destination to Silute rather than Taurage as the earlier headwind had hit our ... read more
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