Looking at the calendar last week, I counted 15 weeks completed of the 21.5 total that we will be here. Considering that for two weeks before we return we will be traveling about Europe and the last few days we’ll be busy packing up and saying goodbye, that left just five (now down to four) normal weeks to live here in Klaipeda. I thought of several things I wanted to see or to do before leaving and decided I’d better get with it because the weeks seem to fly by. So I prepared my “Klaipeda Bucket List” and began to check things off–like walking to the river and taking pictures of houses and fences as we did last week, experiencing the beautiful ice cream at Akropolis (it was tasty), and, this past week, visiting some museums, monuments, streets, and the dock area, and…
tasting new things. For our family dinner last Sunday, we purchased a Sakotis. This is a traditional cake and is an important dessert in Lithuanian celebrations such as weddings or birthday parties. The name means “branched” which describes its shape and it is baked by painting layers of batter onto a rotating spit in a special oven. There is always a big supply of these in various sizes in every grocery store so we definitely wanted to try one. It is rather dry and not very sweet–we decided to put chocolate syrup on ours thereby Americanizing it a bit.
Last Thursday we visited the Museum of Minor Lithuania which is what this particular area of the country is known as. It was quite a collection of “stuff” like any historical museum. Chuck always enjoys the old coins and money and old maps–they have certainly changed over the years as Lithuania has a history of change in area and occupation. My favorite exhibits:
On Saturday, despite the return of the usual intermittent rain, we set off to explore a part of the dock area closest to downtown.
The Arch, below, is a monument which stands right beside the Dane River downtown and commemorates when Klaipeda region was reunited with the rest of Lithuania in 1923. The right side of the top is rough and unfinished because the small area formerly a part of Lithuania, now known as Kaliningrad, which lies right below this area, is still a part of Russia so the union is not complete. The inscription reads “We are one people, one land, one Lithuania”
On Sunday as we were walking to the Orthodox Church, we passed a Soviet cemetery and were struck by how this monument to fallen Soviet soldiers resembles so much the Vietnam War Memorial in DC. There was a long wall with all the names written on it (this is just one side of it) and nearby, statues of soldiers. Of course, these soldiers are big and blocky and very Soviet-looking.
Having been turned on to the Art Nouveau style in Riga, I came across some examples here in Klaipeda.
I guess you’ve noticed by now that I like to look at buildings–hope I haven’t bored you with all these pictures.