Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Remote Lithuania: The Hill of Crosses and Curonian Spit

This morning, I woke up at a moderate hour (9am-ish) with the plan to rent a bicycle and ride out to the Hill of Crosses, which is a place about 10km out of Siaulai, Lithuania. Lithuanians have been erecting crosses since about 1831 to remember loved ones and as a symbol of their resistance against occupying regimes. The Soviets bulldozed the hill three times, but the Lithuanians continued to sneak up in the night and stick crosses in the ground. Today there are over 100,000 crosses.

Three little guys in the town of Siaulai.

Much of Lithuania is non-smoking. All bars and restaurants. This park. Ferries. It makes me very happy. The same in Latvia. This is in Klaipeda in the sculpture park.

I was just in the Curonian Spit area, the town of Nida. The Curonian Spit is a sandbar extending off Kalingrad (a part of Russia). Half of it is owned by Lithuania, so you can walk down and look at Russia. You have to actually take a ferry to get to this part of Lithuania.
That's Russia- in the black in the background. Now I can prove that I have the proper foreign experience to run for president.

The town of Nida from the dunes.

I was quite happy, not many people there.

The fisherman had to mark their ships, because they were only allowed to fish in certain areas. So they used elaborately painted weather vanes as markings. It's something that was done only in this area.

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