Rivers, lakes and Lithuania - oh my!

Community Highlights Europe Rivers, lakes and Lithuania - oh my!

From Gdansk we travelled by small country roads towards the region of Masuria - the land of a thousand lakes. We stopped near the tiny town of Braswald at a camp site nestled into a loop of the river. We didn't realise that Braswald was called Braunwald in WWII and the Nazis had some underground bunkers here and a lab where they invented flying saucers according to the myths. We stayed just the night and went on further towards the lakes by tiny roads.
Our first really wild camp was near Wydminy, just outside of town on a peninsula in the lake. Rory loved it! She found sticks galore and even almost went in the water with Max. Well, at least her front legs and only in to her chest. It turned out that the locals liked taking late night walks out onto the peninsula which kept us a bit from our peaceful slumber. But it really wasn't a problem.

We kept driving east and stayed in the Wigierski National Park and took a stroll around one of the lakes.
Every village in Poland had at least a couple stork nests like this one. The storks are thought to make ones lands fertile.

Another day, another country and another time zone on Tuesday - we arrived in Lithuania and had to turn the clock forward an hour. But first things first. Before we headed out of the national park that morning we had to run some errands in town and ran into police instead. They said the light was red, our driver said it was orange, but you better not discuss this with the police. Anyway, they let us off with a small fine and a receipt as 'souvenir' as the cop explained it. The two officers were really friendly and of course they wanted to have a look inside of Bruce and know more about our camper. Especially since their computer did not feature the Bucher brand, or a car with the name Duro. In the end they put it in as an Iveco campervan! They wished us good luck on our journey and we headed off towards the border.

The only camp site listed in the ADAC guide near Vilnius is the one we used as our base to explore the country's capital. So did all and any Germans in the country. The site is full. As soon as one camper van leaves another one takes its place. It pays to arrive early in the day.
On Wednesday we went into town as early as we could and kinda fell in love with Vilnius. We entered the old town through the Gate of Dawn and had breakfast in a small restaurant ("Istoriju") just inside of the gate. It was great and put us in a good mood.
Gate of Dawn / Tor der Morgendämerung
We walked around for a bit enjoying the architecture from the Rococo and Baroque eras. Vilnius has a lot of churches. Eventually we came to the Basilica and climbed its bell tower. Originally the tower was incorporated into the city walls, and only later transformed into a bell tower. We both got a bit spooked when the bell rang out 10.45 as we were standing right next to the actual bell doing the ringing. It was loud!
To earn our lunch we also climbed up the hill to the castle which houses a museum that had some really good installations on each floor. The one that got us the most however was an exhibition about the human chain in 1989 spanning all three Baltic countries with several million people taking part. What a show of solidarity. It was a very peaceful demonstration for freedom from the Soviet occupation. Goosebumps stuff.
We walked back towards the old town through some gardens along the Vilna river and had lunch. The local speciality is called Cepelina (spelling might be off), or also known as Zeppelins. Potato dumplings filled with meat, cheese or mushrooms and served with a heavy sauce with cracklings. Very filling!
We also visited yet another 'country' - the Republic of Uzupis, the Bohemian part of town around the 'Angel of Freedom'. They even have a constitution of 43 rights which are translated into 23 languages and displayed along a wall. A few of the rights in the constitution were:
A dog has the right to be a dog.
A cat is not obliged to love its owner but must help in time of need.
Everybody has the right to die, but this is not an obligation.
...and many more.

This featured blog entry was written by maxari from the blog Adventures in Bruce.
Read comments or Subscribe

By maxari

Posted Wed, Jul 31, 2019 | Lithuania | Comments