Lithuania
Kauno technologijos universitetas

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13 travelers at this place:

  • Day13

    Tag 13

    June 27 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Nach einer Partynacht ging es für uns direkt bis kurz vor die polnische Grenze in die kleine beschauliche Stadt Kaunas. Die Strecke dorthin war nicht besonders Ereignisreich, aber zur Abwechslung gab es am Rand nicht nur Wälder sondern große, weite Felder und lange Straßen.
    In Kaunas angekommen, haben wir in der Nähe unserer Unterkunft ein georgisches Restaurant gefunden und sehr lecker zu Abend gegessen.Read more

  • Day8

    On the Road Again

    June 10 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Although our time in Warsaw and Vilnius has been very pleasant, we didn't come all this way to just wander about sightseeing. We are a cycling group after all, and we want to experience what it is like to pedal our way through the Baltic States.

    We knew that the day would begin with a bus transfer, but we had no idea of what type of bus would be provided for us. I had visions of all twenty of us jammed into some Soviet era minibus. This could not have been further from the truth. We emerged from our hotel to find a HUGE modern (and air conditioned) bus waiting for us across the road. If the bus itself was not of gigantic enough proportions, it was enlarged even further by the very impressive bike trailer mounted behind it.

    This was easily the biggest bus we have ever used on any previous Ghostrider adventure. The opulent size meant that our team members could spread out inside the bus and really enjoy the ride. We even found that the bus was so long that passengers in the front and rear seats were in different time zones. Our driver answered to the name of Vaidas, although it was a bit of a shame that he spoke almost no English.

    In spite of his lack of English, he was obviously a skilled driver and managed to manoeuvre the behemoth through the narrow streets with comparative ease. About an hour later we arrived at Trakai Castle. While we explored the large lakeside castle, Vaidas unloaded the bikes from the trailer. Once again the temperature started to soar towards 30C. All that cold weather clothing stayed securely hidden in my case.

    After a look around the castle we stopped at a lakeside restaurant for lunch, before finally getting on the bikes for the first time. We were relieved to discover that the bikes appeared to be brand new, although it was impossible to tell what brand they were as they had all been painted the same green. We spent a short time adjusting the seats and loading the panniers, but soon we were underway.

    We had been promised that the Baltic States were "flat and cool". That was obviously a lie. After a couple of kilometres we encountered the first climb,and it was progressively followed by a succession of others. That was not in the agenda, nor was the blazing sun and high temperatures. We quickly realised that this was not going to be an easy ride after all.

    Because of the large number of riders, we divided into two smaller groups, each one guided by a GPS equipped rider. From time to time we stopped to consolidate the groups and make sure that everyone was OK. The scenery was superb and the road was relatively quiet. The few vehicles that were there gave us a respectful separation.

    The rolling green hills reminded me of Finland and Sweden, but the dilapidated houses reminded me more of some of the old villages we had ridden through in Hungary. At one stage we rode into a tiny village and found a general store that sold ice creams and cold drinks. That really was a welcome discovery.

    At around 4 pm we were met by Vaidas and climbed back onto the bus for a transfer to Kaunas, the second largest town in Lithuania. It took about 90 minutes to reach our hotel - the Best Western Santaka. Judging by the enormous sizes of the rooms, this was probably once one of the finest hotels in the city, however it is now showing its age a little.

    When I tried to have a shower I discovered that the hot and cold taps were fitted back to front and the plug hole did not drain. I was soon standing in 10 cm of warm water. All part of the experience.

    Tomorrow we head off early for our second day of cycling. The weather forecast is for the weather to be even hotter. Sometimes the life of a Ghostrider is not as glamorous as you might think. On the other hand, it sure is a lot of fun.
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  • Day11

    Kaunas

    August 6, 2018 in Lithuania ⋅ 🌬 23 °C

    Kaunas is known as Lithuania’s city of museums,which made my choice to spend a Monday there somewhat ironic, luckily it is also another surprisingly charming and beautiful Eastern European city. Compact and easily walkable, it has a nicely preserved old town, a number of green parks and, due to it having been the first capital of the Republic of Lithuania from 1919-39 a number of very impressive administrative buildings and cathedrals. What drew me here was reading that it had just recently been announced as the European capital of culture 2022, which from past experience is always a good sign that somewhere is worth a visit.

    My hunch wasn’t wrong, despite the huge amount of renovations going on to spruce the city up and make it look the part, the place proved to be very cool and relaxing after the craziness of Riga. It also helped that the hostel was very chill, which allowed me some early nights and some planning time for the next legs of my trip.

    Monday was spent exploring its nooks and crannies, wandering the old town, crossing the river to take the furnicular to a view point looking over the city from the opposite bank and exploring the parks, one of which contained an old soviet theme park. The theme park is still somewhat functioning, with a surreal mix of rusted, broken down or dilapidated rides and more recent, but by no means more impressive, add ons. My favourite had to be repurposed electric wheelchairs, which had been converted into bumper cars with kids careening around the paths barely being able to reach the handlebars.

    I had a choice on Tuesday to either stay in the City and hit up the museums or to head out of town to the Ninth Fort. I took the second option, which I’m very glad I did. The Ninth Fort is located an hours bus trip away and is one of a circle of forts that were built prior to WW1 by the Russians at the cost of $500 million in todays dollars and, which collectively made up the Kaunas Fortress. Seeing as it subsequently took the Germans a total of 11 days to take the city, the money may have been better spent elsewhere. However, what it is most famous for is being the site of a succession of brutal prisons and concentration camps, first by the Lithuanian Republic, then the Soviets and finally the Nazi’s who used it as an extermination camp, mainly for political prisoners, but also Jews and Russian POW’s. This was not a concentration camp, the only reason for people being taken there was to be killed. In total over 50,000 people were murdered in less than 3 years by being shot, stabbed or beaten, unlike other camps where gas chambers were built to ‘sanitise’ the operation. A single breakout of 62 prisoners in 1944, before the final liquidation, where the only survivors and witnesses to the horrors inflicted within. Once the Soviets were back it was once again used as a prison camp and staging post for the deportation of ethnic Lithuanians to Siberia. Today, it forms the basis for a spectacular, beautiful and very moving museum and is towered over by a fantastic 40m high brutalist communist sculpture erected in 1984, which is an appropriately awe inspiring and amazing sight.

    Right next to the sculpture is a large green field, which is where 50,000 people are still buried and is marked by a simple memorial and a number of simple plaques from European cities where some of the murdered originally came from. One of my favourite rooms in the museum though was one devoted to those who harboured and protected enemies of the Nazi regime. Hundreds of portraits and a sentence describing their heroics, it was incredible moving and, surrounded by so much misery and horror, a fantastic and uplifting reminder of the personal courage and fortitude displayed by so many in the face of such overwhelming fear and brutality.
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  • Day7

    Ankunft in Kaunas

    May 21, 2017 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Ein langer Tag. Etwas Kultur in Norden. Feuerwehr auf der Fähre und einen Ritt von über 100 km am Stück.
    Auf der letzten Rast wollte uns junges Volk mit Sekt bewirten. Wir lehnten ab - er war nicht gekühlt.
    In Kaunas angekommen, stellten wir fest, dass Frank hier als Reiseleiter gilt. Pädagogik ist voll sein Ding! (SZ)Read more

  • Day10

    Vilnius to Kaunas, Lithuania

    August 21, 2017 in Lithuania ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Today we woke up to drizzly rain. First day on the cycing tour was good. Did a walking tour of 700 year old Vilnius in the drizzly rain. Very pretty and old. We weren't looking forward to riding in it but we then got on a bus and drove a bit to see a castle at Trakai and have lunch. Best castle set up I've seen so far. All the rooms were open with great displays of normal castle life for the Duke.
    Then the rain stopped and sun came out as we got ready for the ride. Rode 27 k along a country road, then back on the bus to Kaunus. Very nice, a few rolling hills but easy enough. Just came back from a lovely Lithuanian meal in a great little restaurant. They seem to eat late here or maybe just our guide does ??
    There is 14 of us- all Australians!! A great bunch - lots of laughs.
    4 couples from a bike group in Melbourne, 2 from Sydney, 2 from Coffs Harbour, Nicole my room mate from Brisbane and me.
    Was great to be back on the bike 😊😊
    Good news- Nicole got her luggage just before we left Vilnius
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  • Day6

    Kowno

    May 3, 2018 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Drugie największe miasto na Litwie. Tymczasowa stolica Litwy, podczas okupacji Wilna przez Polaków w okolicach 20lecia międzywojennego. Miasto muzeów (np. muzeum diabłów). Europejska stolica kultury 2022.

    Okazuje się że to zajebiste miejsce, które chciałbym lepiej poznać. Jeden wieczór to zdecydowanie za mało.Read more

  • Day22

    Kaunas, Lithuania arrival

    July 17, 2016 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We took a 3.5 hour ride from Latvia to Lithuania today. The travel was easy (but early... 6 am) and then we went into a sound check. I saw a bit of the city but we have a free day tomorrow. My plan is to go to bed early and then explore tomorrow.

  • Day9

    Kaunas

    June 19, 2018 in Lithuania ⋅ 🌬 20 °C

    Mit mir kamen gestern vier Mopedfahrer aus Hagen beim Hotel an. Wir haben uns nett unterhalten und abends sowie beim Frühstück wieder getroffen. Bevor sich unsere Wege endgültig trennten sind wir noch ein Stück gemeinsam Richtung Memel gefahren.
    Wirklich Spaß gemacht hat die Fahrt nach Kaunas allerdings nicht. Tierischer Wind, der immer wieder die Richtung änderte, dazu heftige Boen und immer wieder Regen. Außerdem ging es so gut wie immer nur geradeaus. Das längste Sück waren 117 Kilometer ohne Abzweigung.

    Aber Kaunas hat eine schöne Altstadt und ist preislich angenehm. Morgen geht's nach Polen.
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Kauno technologijos universitetas

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