Day Trippin’ in Lithuania
I fell in love with Vilnius and Lithuania instantly on a recent trip. Vilnius is a small city, full of trendy coffee shops, craft shops and architecture and my favourite part - Uzupis (a free and republic state with its very own constitution.) However, it is a very small city and we spent a bit more time exploring other places in Lithuania - with 3 specific highlights.
- The Hill of Crosses - seemingly in the middle of nowhere (near Siauliai) erupts the Hill of Crosses. Pictures do not do this place justice and there is something slightly strange and magical about the place. Hundreds of thousands of crosses of all different types have been stuck in the ground and sprawl out over the hill. You can walk between them and leave your own to add to the collection. There are many stories, theories and myths regarding its origin, however, crosses have been appearing here for hundreds of years. Despite being destroyed twice during the soviet era the number of crosses continues to grow and has even been visited by a pope!
2. Trakai Castle - located not far from Vilnius is the fairy tale of Trakai Castle, situated on an island in the middle of a lake it is stunningly beautiful. You can pay to gain entrance to the castle, but you can walk around the surrounding grounds for free. On a sunny day - it makes for a perfect trip.
3. Zemaitija National Park - A majestic landscape of forests and lakes which on a nice day would be wonderful to explore either by hiking or biking. However, our reason for visiting was the Cold War Museum. One of the best museum's I've ever been to, set in a former Soviet nuclear missile base from the 1960's. The museum itself is located inside the bunker and well worth the trip out to see it.