[lit-ideas] Re: Travel instead of war...(was something less cheerful)

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2006 14:34:42 -0400

My son lived in Vilnius for over a year (just a few meters outside the protected Unesco centre), so we have visited there. He has been to all the places you mention. Brought us Stalin and Lenin mugs for Christmas one year from Stalinworld. In particular, he highly recommends Nida and the Curonian Spit (another Unesco site) jointly owned by Lithuania and Russia. The highest sand dunes in all of Europe. Google Witch's Hill on the spit. And, even better, google Hill of Crosses. Try Images. Empowering story attached to it. And Lithuania has a sculpture park that marks the exact centre of Europe.

Lithuania was quite an eye-opener. The food was lovely -- much better than Prague. Better ingredients. Better presentation. Better everything. One of my fondest memories (we were there at Christmastime) was of an ice storm. Someone (the city?) delivered great piles of sand to certain street corners and the elderly ladies came out with little buckets and distributed the sand along the sidewalks. Such sense of responsibility for others. Such sense of community. I would certainly recommend Lithuania (and the lovely Turkish restaurant near the city centre).

What does "pub quiz silver line to Stalin"  mean?
Ursula, lost in North Bay

Teemu Pyyluoma wrote:

--- Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Let's talk travel instead of war... We're off to Paris, Berlin, Riga and Avignon this August.

Baltics in general is home to a lot that is weird and wonderful, so if you have time, take a sidestrip from Riga. Jurmala is a nice beach town, although I'd recommend Pärnu up North in Estonian side of the border, two hours drive from Riga. If you are traveling overland from Berlin, do consider stopping at Lithuania. Vilnius is a fine medieval postcard city, never been to Kaunas myself but people seem to like it too. Or you can go to the Stalin World (http://www.grutoparkas.lt/index-en.htm)

What intrigues me however, I am kind of itching to
just hop a ferry to Tallin and drive south, is the
beaches in Lithuania. Best in North Europe they say,
and as answer to pub quiz silver line to Stalin. They
were pretty much closed (!) during the Communist rule,
which means they are not yet full of sea side resorts.
The idea was that the traditional fishing was impeding
progress and thus no entry to the beaches, or
something like that. Nida would be the town to go, and
by the way is an Unesco World Heritage site. The
tourist sites inform me that Thomas Mann used to spend
some summers there, I wonder if he wrote anything
about the place?

Cheers, Teemu Helsinki, Finland

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