Friday, 29 July 2016

Leaving Lithuania

We have loved our time in Lithuania and are sad to see the tour come to an end. To everyone we've met, everyone who has become a friend, a big

Thank you!

To Lithuania, you diamond of the Baltic, we say:

Good night!

So that's it, back to the USA, time to get to know the motherland again, reconnect with family, friends and slurpees. One last image from the continent, starting our journey home from VNO:

The blog will continue. Posts will run three times a week. There will be a bit more cleanup of romps around Europe and then - who knows?!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Packing Up, Moving On

Every tour comes to an end, no more a reality than when the movers and their boxes descend. In a matter of hours, your life is boxed up and out of sight.

Mosh pit of cardboard.

A tradition, the special boxing of Mr. Rabbit. Lifeless living room.

So where's all this stuff going next? Where are we going? Time to get out your atlas again and start flipping lots of pages until you get to Asia.

We're going tall.

Yup, sign us up for three years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Our next adventure begins around July 2017. Book it!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Random Sights In Western Lithuania

Posing by the Curonian spit.

Plastics in nature. Flowers in a graveyard, camouflage that's easy to spot.

Small town store.

Leaning Lenin, fantasy fountain.

Dog after a rain storm.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Concentration Camp Museum, Macikai, Lithuania

When the Germans invaded Lithuania in 1939, they established a POW camp in the small village of Macikai in Southwest Lithuania. Polish, French, Belgian and eventually British, Canadian and American POWs populated the camp. When the Russians advanced, Germany evacuated many of the prisoners.

After WWII, the Soviets turned the camp into a prisoner/concentration camp. Germans and Lithuanian dissidents made up the population. The camp closed in the 1950s.

All that is left of the camp is one building, which was used for isolating prisoners.

Inside, a stark design of heavy doors and metal beds.

Office, decorated with the usual Communist propaganda.

Signs of a prisoner's life, drawings and a limited view.

About a block away is a cemetery for the prisoners who were killed.

Crosses and flowers. Many nationalities are represented and still mourned.

Back inside, Lenin, put in his place.

Monday, 25 July 2016

More Jewish Sites In Lithuania

The Holocaust devastated the Jews living in Lithuania. What's left behind? Head into any small town or village and chances are there's a synagogue, cemetery or both sites to see. A sad reminder of a way of life lost.

Jewish heritage tourism is on the rise in Lithuania and long forgotten structures are now starting to be preserved. History may be remembered.

The Big Summer Synagogue and the Small Winter Synagogue, Kedainiai. One of the buildings now houses a museum.

The synagogue in Sveksna. Jewish star around back.

Back in Kedainiai, a Jewish cemetery. Everything in Hebrew, no one buried there after 1941.

The rarest synagogues to find are those structures made of wood. This synagogue is in Ziezmariai. There are about a dozen wooden synagogues left in Lithuania. Preservation and restoration are moving forward on some of them.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Bird Watching And Ringing At The Ventes Ragas Station In Lithuania

If birds are calling you in Lithuania, there's no better place to go than the tiny Vente delta region. It's located on the lagoon side of the Curonian Spit and attracts multitudes of migrating birds. So many birds migrate there, the location includes a tagging and research station. And a little museum.

Old lighthouse on the point.

Bird station equipment and a little teaser at the entrance to the museum.

A 3-D teaser, one of many stuffed birds on display. Action!

Tools of the trade. Net 'em and ring 'em.

You really are at the point of the delta. Head down the jetty for a wide angle view of the lagoon.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Seeing Klaipeda In Waning Light

Nothing like a 10 pm sunset. Have a late dinner, take a stroll through the city and see where the light is still shining in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

Zeroing in on an apartment building.

On streets, through vacant lots.

Finding a seam.

Distant sun near a tennis court. Hiding building.

End of day reflection.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

It's Summer, Time To Camp In Lithuania

Summer and the days are long in Lithuania. Time to head outside and make the most of the abundant sunshine.

Gather the kids and get the camp fire going.

Camp cabin and heavy petting.

How best to use the camp fire? S'mores!

Sipping soda, watching each other's back. Line laundry.

Cruising the campgrounds.