Changing plans

Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
Trip End Oct 15, 2008

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Flag of Lithuania  ,
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Our first point of call in Lithuania was The Hill of Crosses, near the town of Siauliai. This is a strange little place where Lithuanians have been putting crosses on a hill as memorials to loved ones who have either died or back during the soviet reign those who got deported to Siberia. The soviets tried to demolish it, in the whole breaking of spirit thing, but still people would sneak past, gun wielding soldiers and through barbed wire fences to put up their crosses.
The hill is rather small, but it certainly was full. There were so many crosses that they had spread around the hill, and anywhere there was space smaller crosses had been hung to larger ones, or just thrown in the middle somewhere. It was a strange eerie place.

The other strange thing about that day was where we stayed. We needed to find a place to camp for the night, but the tourist office had just closed and we had no information. We thought we would drive to the hill and hope to find something on the way. Just as we were reaching the hill a hotel looking place had a caravan sign out the front, so we pulled in hoping we could stay. Well it didn't seem they had campers very often, they had to call the boss, and after much negotiation they said we could stay for 40 litas (12 Euros) but had to use the showers in the big house. We went up to have a shower later, no one was about. We went to have a shower the next day, no one was about, and we hadn't paid any money, so we left. Well we hadn't used any facilities, it was a very strange night!

Now we thought we had seen enough capital cities, so we thought we would miss Vilnius and go to Kaunas instead. Well it was a mistake, it was a beautiful day when we got to Kaunas, and no one was about, it just seemed dead, so we left and went to Vilnius.

We got lost trying to find the city camping which wasn't quiet open but they let us stay for the night anyway. Vilnius was a nice place, very done up, but still had charm. This place is the city of churches, every second building is a church, and big beautiful things they were too. We met an Australian couple when we went to the tourist office looking for polish camp maps. They had ridden their bikes from Dublin to Vilnius, so it seemed they had a polish map to spare! It had taken them three months to get there, and they were going to ride through Russia down through China and back to Sydney. (And we thought we were doing it tough in an old camper van!) They were quiet nice and we had a chat for a while, we were the first Aussies they had meet so far so they got a photo of us and continued on their way.

Miles so far: 4519
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