Sept. 9, 2017
Lithuania is the largest of the three Baltic states. (Estonia and
Latvia are the other two.) It is about the size of W. VA and has
a population of 2.8M. It is a republic with a female president.
The currency is the Euro. While not the capital, Klaipeda is the
third largest city and an important port. Lithuania was part of
the Prussian empire until 1918 when it became independent. After
WWII, it became part of the Soviet Union until the breakup in 1991.
Lithuanians are fiercely proud of their country and its flag. Anyone
with a house is required by law to fly the flag on national holidays
or they will be fined.
joined one of Oceania's tours which took us out to the Coronian
Spit. This is a 60 mile long, thin peninsula a short ferry ride
across the lagoon. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our destination
was one of four fishing villages on the spit. Our first stop was
a visit to the Hill of Witches. A trail winds through the woods
and features 80 oak statues depicting legends and stories of Lithuanian
include gods, witches, devils, and dragons. They were carved over
a 3 year period starting in 1979 by 30 carpenters. We couldn't have
asked for a better guide. She was a school teacher who with great
animation and theatrics, brought the stories of the statues to life.
To see a short video of one of her stories, click
After the 1.5 hour walk through the woods, we stopped at a weather
vane gallery. During
the 19th century, there were 133 villages on the spit. With so many
fishermen vying for space on the lagoon, the Germans decided to
require each boat to have a carving showing which village they were
from and therefore where they were allowed to fish. Over the years,
the vanes became fancier and depicted more information about the
fisherman and his family. We were invited to rest in the back yard
of the gallery and have a cup of amber tea, which is suppposed to
then went across the street to the Lutheran Church where one of
the visiting pastors talked to us about the history of the German
heritage in the area.
returning to Klaipeda, we walked over the sand dunes to the Baltic
Sea where some stuck their toes in the water. This was a very nice
day and a pleasant change from touring old towns, buildings and
To view more photos from our visit to Klaipeda, please go to Klaipeda
Photo Gallery. To read about the next location visited, go to
Locations Visited Photos Map