More of Curonian Spit and Random Thoughts

 

Easter Monday was a holiday here so time for another day of exploration.  Friends from Toledo, Dick and Linda Ward, joined John and Rachel, Chayah and Noah, and Chuck and I for a visit to the Curonian Spit.  You might remember that when we first saw it, the dunes were covered with snow.  There are several things to see out there so even a second trip did not cover everything.  We took a bus from Klaipeda which crossed over the lagoon to the spit on a ferry. Noah liked the boat but was disappointed there were no fairies.

This trip we went as far as Juodkrante which is about half way down the spit.  The day was sunny and not so cold–lovely.  We had lunch at a nice little restaurant and then took a walk up the Witches’ Hill and across the spit to the Baltic.  The children kept up wonderfully–in fact they walked ahead with “Papa Chuck” while Old Grandma Bonnie hobbled along–last in line.(The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.)  Witches’ Hill has many interesting wood carvings along the way, most of them representing characters from folk tales which we are not familiar with, and some of witches, and devils.

Pretty lunch! Sort of Chicken Kiev with spinach, ham, and cheese.

John photographs entrance to Witches' Hill.

A funny bench--a heavy load for the characters carrying us.

My favorite carving,

Probably an interesting story here.

One more example of these interesting carvings.

Hiking with Grandpa.

We reach the Baltic. This beach stretches for miles and I'm sure John and Rachel will be visiting it several times this summer.

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Here are a few Lithuanian curiosities to share with you.

First:  Juice in Lithuania.  I have been amazed at the large variety of juice available here.  Not only do they have the familiar Orange, Cranberry, Tomato, Pineapple, Apple, Grapefruit, and Grape–they also have Peach, Pear, Blueberry, Plum, Cherry, Blackberry, Red Orange, Kumquat, and even Banana juice. There are also mixtures as we have.  I had never even  realized Bananas have juice.  The juice display takes up quite a lot of shelf space in all the grocery stores and Chuck has tried quite a few varieties.  I stick to OJ.

Juice as far as the eye can see

Packaging of Ice Cream:  Not all of it is packaged like this, but I’m sure you can imagine how difficult it is to deal with ice cream in a flimsy paper tube.  Sometimes Ice Cream is named “Cow Candy.”

Ice Cream roll.

Napkins:  Sorry, no photo.  When you go out to a restaurant, there is a napkin holder on the table which has cocktail size napkins in it.  Only once have I gotten a normal dinner napkin.  When we went to the Lithuanian home, we also got the very small napkins.  The larger ones are available in the stores but not the big packs we are used to.  I suppose Lithuanians are much neater than we are and don’t need to wipe up as much.  Obviously, they do not eat fried chicken.

Here is the most popular appetizer in Lithuania, Kepta Duona which means fried bread.  The dark bread is cut into strips, and fried and then served, usually, with a sort of cheese sauce on top.  It has a very strong garlic flavor.  Nearly every restaurant offers this.  We like it.

Would you believe that, with the exception of about 1 hour of Animal Planet when we first got TV in our apartment (in February), we have not seen any TV since leaving home and don’t miss it?  Would you believe that I have not seen one airplane since we arrived on one in Vilnius–not even when traveling?  In the US, planes are always going over somewhere but here we are definitely not under any airline routes.

That’s it for today!

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