Drive from Latvia to Vilnius, Lithuania


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Europe » Lithuania » Vilnius
August 2nd 2006
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 54.6896, 25.2799

We woke to drizzle; disappointing but not surprising, given the rain last night. But as we start to make our drive out of the hills, the rain stops and the sun emerges.

Near the Lat-Lith border, we stop at Pilsrundale -- a Rastrelli palace -- I guess he ran out of clients in St. P. The palace is very him, very Baroque, very impressive. Lots of restoration work has been done recently. Most rooms are open to the visitors, which is very cool. And, it's a self-guided tour, so it's easy to take one's time. The detail work is interesting -- esp the plaster mouldings. We particularly liked the plaster flowers that drape over the mirror glass. Outside, we also liked the cranes, nesting on the chimneys.

Ate lunch at the cafe in the Palace, then drove into Lithuania. We had decided to make a detour to the Hills of Crosses -- having been told that Lithuania is a very Catholic country. The Hill is amazing -- hundreds of thousands of crosses deposited on a hillside. Some are huge, many tiny; some are made of expensive materials; most of unfinished wood. Some are deliberately stuck in the ground; others are just piled willy-nilly. It was fun and entertaining. People-watching: lots of tourists, a few pilgrims.

It's still a long drive to Vilnius; we stop once for coffee at a road-side cafe (a wood hut, with large oak tables, and a hundred years worth of funk).

We got a little lost coming into town but not too bad ... mostly because road to hotel is closed ... but we finally figure out where we are and find the hotel. But the hotel is overbooked (do you know what reservations are for?) but they have arranged for us to have rooms at another hotel nearby, so -- a hiccup, nothing worse.

Ignoring the Argentinian restaurant in our hotel (El Gaucho!), we find a Lithuanian restaurant for dinner. While still meat and potatoes, the quality of ingredients seemed better than we've had elsewhere this trip ... and the prices were lower. Plus, there's a huge aquarium, so it was all good.


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