Distant and Recent History - A Time to Reflect


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Europe » Lithuania » Trakai
July 11th 2012
Published: July 12th 2012
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Immediately after breakfast, I dashed out to the shopping centre to get some packed lunch and, as you do, came back with a bus ticket! As I walked to the trolley bus stop, the number 5 was just arriving - great timing - so I climbed aboard, stamped my ticket and was at the bus station before you could read a short story.

I then went into the ticket office to get a ticket to Trakai but was confounded by a Russian who was asking the lass in the office too many questions. Every time she beckoned me over, he's push back in and ask another question. I got fed up and just stood with my back to him so that he couldn't get back in!

After a thirty minute stop/start journey with the driver in the early stages of Parkinsons', I eventually arrived in Trakai.

This has got to be one of the most picturesque places in the world with its fairy tale castle, painted wooden houses and stunning lakes.

I firstly went for a walk around one of the lakes and across several very uneven and wobbly pontoon, into the forest. There, I spotted a stone indicating the site of a Nazi massacre of Jews. Indeed, there was a narrow path, almost hidden, leading of the track which, just 100m into the trees, culminated in a memorial to a number of Jews massacred in 1941. Despite being in the forest, I could hear no birds - although their resting place is now so tranquil.

Back by the lake, I decided to sample so local cuisine. The area has been the home of the Karaim community for over 700 years. They practice a form of Judaism and have maintained their own culture and traditions. It transpired that their traditional food was very similar to a Cornish Pasty - but not as nice!!!

Anyway, after lunch, the fairy tale castle beckoned. Although a virtual ruin in the 1970's, it was rebuilt during the Soviet era.

After maxing out on coins and badges of office, I made it to the train station and back into Vilnius. Back on the trolley bus, the over excited driver managed to separate the pantograph from the overhead wires - something not uncommon seeing as he had all the necessary equipment.

That evening, there were no balloons, but a drink in the SkyBar.


Additional photos below
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Massacre MemorialMassacre Memorial
Massacre Memorial

So peaceful today. It struck me that, in all that horror, no-one would have even thought that years later, they would be remembered and people from all around the world would come and stand and think.
Local Lunch ...Local Lunch ...
Local Lunch ...

Mine was Chicken and Mushroom
... and dessert... and dessert
... and dessert

Two of my Five a Day
Local PoliceLocal Police
Local Police

Not only were the police armed, but the Segway was equipped with a siren and blue lights!


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