Lithuania
Lazdijai District Municipality

Here you’ll find travel reports about Lazdijai District Municipality. Discover travel destinations in Lithuania of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

7 travelers at this place:

  • Day121

    Trakai - Seirijai

    August 27 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Reisekilometer 13.858 km
    Tageskilometer 191 km

    Trotz des ruhigen Platzes, war die Nacht etwas aufregend. Mitten in der Nacht ist Dirk aufgeschreckt und hat behauptet, einen Wasserspritzer auf das Bein bekommen zu haben. Der Blick zum Himmel zeigte jedoch Sternenklare Nacht, ohne ein Wölkchen. Was der sich so alles einbilden kann. Kaum wieder hingelegt, angeblich schon wieder einen Tropfen auf das Bein. Spritzt da ein Vogel irgendwas rein, oder ein Witzbold? Vorsichtige Inspektion der Umgebung zeigt keine Auffälligkeiten. Also doch Einbildung. Doch dann bekommt auch Tina einen Tropfen ab und jetzt ist sie motiviert ernsthaft zu recherchieren. Kurz nachgedacht und schon gibt sie das Stichwort:"Tauwasser", dann untersucht sie das Dachfenster und tatsächlich ist es klitschnass von außen und tropft offensichtlich zeitweise nach drinnen ab.
    Na, da können wir ja beruhigt weiterschlafen....bis plötzlich komische fauchende Geräusche uns wecken. Es hört sich an, als wenn der Wind kurzzeitig an den offenen Fenstern rauscht. Nur blöd, es geht kein Wind. Dirk lässt das keine Ruhe und da er durch das Fenster nichts sehen kann, geht er dann nach draußen und inspiziert die Umgebung. Und tatsächlich entdeckte er plötzlich wieder Heißluftballons, nur diesmal auf dieser Seite des Sees. Da ist Tina dann auch raus und hat ein paar Fotos gemacht. Danach haben wir uns nochmals hingelegt, als das Fauchen plötzlich wiederkam. Dirk meinte es ist so laut, die landen gleich auf unserem Dach. Tina als erfahrene Ballonfahrerin war jedoch der Meinung, das hört sich immer so laut an, bis der Ballon dann tatsächlich ca. 2 m über unserem Bus geflogen und 10 m neben unserem Bus gelandet ist. Wow.
    Der Tag ging ja schonmal gut los. Trotz des immer noch sehr warmen Wetters, sind wir dann nach Vilnius gefahren. Die Parkplatz suche war schwieriger als bisher, letztendlich jedoch erfolgreich. Die Stadtbesichtigung war schön und anstrengend.
    Großstadtbesichtigung bei über 25°C ist einfach was für Masochisten....vielleicht lernen wir das auch noch 😎.
    Jedenfalls haben wir abends noch ein wunderschönes Plätzchen direkt am See mit super schönem Sonnenuntergang gefunden.
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  • Day1113

    Veisiejai Apžvalgos Bokštas

    July 14 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    This is our last stop in Lithuania! The time seems to have gone so quickly but in keeping with a trend we seem to have adopted, Will has chosen us a cute countryside bokštas (viewing tower) to stay next to and surprise surprise, its beside a lake.

    We climbed the 15m high whirlwind shaped structure and took in panoramic views over Snaigynas Lake, its islands, the woodlands surrounding it, farmland behind us and the town of Veisiejai to the west. Classic Lithuania!

    After a wander around, we decided to find a café for lunch. Maps.Me showed there was one at the far end of Veisiejai main street so we headed in. The brick built, grey walled 'kavine' was part of a motel. It didn't have a name, but was larger and more modern looking than eateries we'd previously visited in the country. It was quiet when we entered the high ceilinged corridor, past steps to the underground Night Club and stepped into a large room with bar and (empty) restaurant tables. The attendant spoke a little english, recommending a salad for Vicky and steak for Will. We picked out a 0% beer and a gira, before choosing a picnic bench on the patio to sit at. There were lovely views over a small lake where swans swam with their cygnets. We both enjoyed our meals, but it still felt strange paying less than €10 for everything. We are going to get a shock when we return to London!

    We stayed two days, during which Will fished from the canoe and Vicky even made it out with him for a tour of the lake. Seeing the now familiar views of the tree and reed lined crystal clear water, stripy Perch swimmimg underneath, blue sky above, damselflies, dragonflies and Great Crested Grebes we reflected on how fortunate we were to have been able to indulge ourselves in sights such as these over the past 8 weeks in this beautiful country.

    As a parting treat we got to watch two Great Spotted Woodpeckers playing with one another around a nearby tree trunk on the final morning.
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  • Day1115

    Goodbye Lithuania!

    July 16 in Lithuania ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

    🇱🇹 Goodbye Lithuania! 🇱🇹

    What a treat these last 8 weeks have been! When we arrived at the beginning of May, Lithuania was a completely new country for us. Despite it being at the geographical centre of europe, we'd never travelled this far east before and weren't sure of what to expect. Here's what we found:

    LITHUANIAN CULTURE 👩‍🌾👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🏀🏡🚜🚣‍♂️🏬🌅🎶🏊‍♂️

    Lithuanian culture, like many aspects of this country, isn't hidden, it just takes time and a little effort to discover.

    Some people speak English, some don't. For a long time Russian was a mandatory langauge, so older generations are generally fluent in this. English is the first foreign language taught in schools nowadays, with German or Russian coming second. Google Translate definitely comes in handy, but it doesn't have Lithuanian speech output so pronunciation is difficult. We usually enjoy learning how to communicate a little in each language we encounter, but Lithuania is a small country and Duolingo, our usual app, didn't have the facility. As a result we were somewhat limited in our interactions.

    One major, distinguishing feature is that Lithuania is the least commercialised country we've had the pleasure of visiting. Driving from place to place we weren't distracted by advertising hoardings for the next supermarket, KFC or McDonald's (there are only five of these in the whole country, but several Hesburgers; the Lithuanian equivalent). Villages and towns didn't contain the same range or choice of shops and eateries. There were few specialist outlets like bakers, butchers, or hardware stores. We'd often find there would only be one village shop. Some didn't appear to have names and were difficult to tell apart from homes. It really was like stepping into a different world at times. Although it was occasionally difficult to buy what we needed / wanted, the absence of businesses constantly vying for your money was a refreshing break.

    Supermarkets such as Maxima, (especially its XXX outlets) provided a good range of groceries and even had a small vegan and vegetarian section. It was often difficult to buy organic labelled produce, but a lot of the fresh fruit and vegetables sold at roadside stalls may well have been grown naturally.

    We learned early on that Lithuanians like to spend time outdoors in the countryside, especially lakes. Many an evening was accompanied by the boom boom of a car stereo as people in their early 20s congregated around it in the car park or campground. There didn't need to be a centre or a 'draw'. People would make their own entertainment and the atmosphere was strongly social as opposed to antisocial. We feel this was helped by the legal age for alcohol having been raised to 20 years old.

    The vast majority of locals at our stopovers would throw the van a curious glance then carry on as if we weren't there, unless we chose to greet them with a friendly 'Laba Diena', which was always returned. Those working in shops and cafés were happy to do what they could to help.

    Most built up areas we visited were quiet in comparison to their southern european counterparts. Their café(s) contained a few customers, but it wasn't as big a cultural trait as in places such as Spain or France.

    The beautiful countryside was dotted with small settlements and farmsteads. On sunny days the colourful flapboard houses with their own gardens were a pretty sight. However, many had what looked like asbestos rooves and we do wonder how people cope in the winter. Often the gardens contained covered wells; a cute feature when seen through our tourist goggles, but we got to wondering how many homes didn't have a piped water supply. Near the end of our stay we saw a teenager collecting water from a community well, an activity that didn't look like a novel experience for them.

    Lithuania is one of the last counties to have converted from Paganism to Christianity. This is visible in the reverence paid to nature; sacred oaks, boulders, lakes and the festivals such as midsummer (now called St John's Day). After making a big effort to research this celebration, we managed to find an amazing local event at Plateliai Lake. Traditional costumes, fire, flowers, garlands, music and dancing will ensure we remember this wonderful community for a long time to come!

    NATURE AND GEOGRAPHY 🏞🏕🗺🛶🌡🐺🐄🦅🦆🐸🦎🦋🌲🌳

    Lithuania's landscape is very flat land and there are an incredible number of lakes; something we were very happy about! There are sandy beaches, changing cabins, picnic tables, bins and compost loos that make it easy to spend a day (or several nights) by the water. We adored having such frequent access to swim, canoe and fish and were especially grateful during the heatwave!

    Over 3 million hectares is given over to arable here, so it became normal to make our way from place to place between fields of wheat, barley, oats and potatoes. It also seemed that a huge amount of land was given over to national and regional parks, where lush forests and creatures thrived. This is one of the most wildlife rich countries we've encountered, with a wealth of dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies water birds and the ubiquitous stork! Lithuania has the highest density of storks in europe and has adopted it as its national bird. Thousands of specially designed stork nesting platforms erected by individuals in their back gardens or communities in public spaces help these charismatic creatures to feel right at home. We also spotted many birds of prey, cranes, a bittern, lizards a pole cat and a beever. Lynx, elk and wolves are reputed to roam these lands, but we weren't lucky enough to catch a glimpse of any of these.

    Lithuania's coastline isn't long, but the white sand beaches are stunning. The jewel in the country's Baltic crown is the Curonian Spit. 98km long in total the thin strip of sand begins in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad Oblast. The northern 52km belong to Lithuania and can be reached by a short ferry hop from Klaipėda. It too is a national park and contains a mesmerising Cormorant Colony and the incredible Parnidis Dune. At 52m high, it is part of a set of drifting dunes which have swallowed 14 villages over the years. As well as these star attractions there are plenty of quiet beaches with easy access and brilliant views.

    One downside to Lithuania's superb natural spaces was the limited opportunities for getting out and enjoying them. Compared to other countries, such as Denmark where we visited last summer, we found relatively few walking and cycling trails. There were even fewer round routes, so when we arrived at a rural campspot there weren't that many opportunities to get out and about offroad.
    However, we could tell there was a massive infrastructure drive taking place, so have no doubt this will change in the future.


    FOOD 🍏🍓🍞🍒🥗🍰🍽🍺

    We love food but are pickier than most when it comes to buying it. Our diet is plant based the majority of the time and Vicky doesn't eat meat. We also prefer to buy organic with as little packaging as possible. As you can imagine, our grocery shops take a while!

    There were a small number of vegan alternatives such as 'Sheese' in a handful of supermarkets. In general, Lithuanian shops had few 'bio' products compared to other countries we've visited. Roadside stalls sold delicious fruit and veg that may well have been organic, but we frequently found parking Martha Motorhome difficult.

    Gira (pronounced with a hard 'G') is an extremely popular fizzy drink in Lithuania and one we had found nowhere else. Made from bread, it looks like dark ale and tastes a little like Guinness. It is sold in supermarkets in plastic pop bottles and glass beer bottles and is on tap at some bars. Will loved the stuff, Vicky couldn't stand it.

    Something Vicky did love were the cake counters in large supermarkets. The colourful array of glistening, layered, mousse and sponge creations, often decorated with flowers, fruit, nuts or crunchy caramel nuggets was hard to resist!

    Listed in menus and on sale in every grocery store we found kefir, often sold in bags such as the ones used to pack frozen veg. Soft cheese curd was ubiquitous on shelves and used in a great many recipes, sweet and savoury. Our favourite was the curd stuffed pancakes we had with fruit compote and chia seed creme fraiche at a canteen in Biržų.

    On offer at pretty much every eatery was cold beetroot soup. A creamy concoction served with a fresh herb such as dill and boiled or fried potatoes. It was delicious!

    Like many European countries, Lithuania's diet is very meat based, which was sometimes difficult for Vicky. Café staff looked worried to start with but were happy to knock up some chips or a salad (often containing grated, pickled carrot or cabbage). We did manage to buy and enjoy a few frozen bags of Lithuanian Koldunai; small, stuffed pastry dumplings that can be boiled, fried or baked.

    SIGHTS 📸🗿🏛🗼

    Lithuania has a unique attraction we've seen nowhere else; bokštas or viewing towers. These were typically around 30m tall and set in a nature reserve, often overlooking forest, farmland and a river or lake(s). We discovered them relatively late into our tour, but made a habit of visiting whenever we could find one. Most were free, although we did buy a voluntary annual ticket covering all national and regional parks which granted us access to any that were not.

    We spent the majority of our time in rural areas where there was a focus on small scale local and natural attractions for example, a particularly special tree, viewpoint or wooden sculpture trail. Often these weren't well advertised and we are sure we missed a great many.

    The villages too had hidden gems, such as the cultural centre we visited in Kirkilai after exploring the nearby karst sinkholes. The manager cooked a feast of soup with fish from the lakes, followed by traditional pancakes made over a wood oven, lit just for us.

    A special mention must be made of Palanga; an exception to the rule. The coastal town is perhaps best compared to Blackpool. We visited during the season opening weekend when it was besieged with crowds who flocked to the pier to see the kite festival 2019 pigeons released. Party music blasted from multiple sources, fairground rides touted for business, snake handlers offered passing tourists 'a go' and electric scooters whizzed up and down the main concourse. It was full on and a big contrast to the rest of the country.

    The capital Vilnius and second city Kaunas were both compact and enjoyable places to explore. Here too we sometimes struggled to locate access to attractions such as the observation deck over Kaunas's main square and the funicular railway leading to the castle in Vilnius. Despite it being June, neither settlement felt crowded and we enjoyed taking our time, feasting our eyes on the grand old buildings and the Nemunas and Neris rivers that flow through each.

    In terms of activities we were glad to be self sufficient with Little Green (our canoe), Will's fishing gear and the ability to drive to and stay at lakes for a good swim.

    VANLIFE IN LITHUANIA 🚙🚿🚽🏕

    Our nerves built as we researched vanlife in Lithuania. We normally stay at motorhome aires which are low cost or free and have facilities on hand. Lithuania doesn't have any motorhome aires, nor any dedicated motorhome facilities. Its average campsite charges €20pn. Something our budget didn't quite stretch to over an 8 week stint. It reminded us of the UK!

    We decided that using sites one night in 3 would be a workable solution Wild camping was allowed and the tourist board had sent us a link to a collection of free campgrounds designed mainly for tents, but at which vans could stay.

    It was in one of these campgrounds we stayed on our first and many subsequent nights. They were often set in stunning rural surroundings and although they didn't have fresh water, most had a compost loo and bins. Instead of adding chemicals, we use a SOG ventilation device in our cassette toilet, which meant we could discretely empty it in the compost loos and extend our stay at these fantastic spots for as long as our fresh water tank would allow. We ended up staying in only 3 sites for a total of 5 nights. We also used car parks, of which there were many.

    Locals accepted our presence, ignoring us as they carried on with their normal activities, often accompanied by a loud car stereo.

    As for fresh water, many fuel stations, especially Cirkle Ks had a tap and were happy for us to use it if we bought fuel.

    DRIVING 🛣🚙🚗🚛🚦

    At our first stopover we met a German couple whose van was jacked up while their wheels were taken to have new tyres fitted after blowouts. Luckily our tyres remained intact throughout our 8 week stay.

    There are a lot of smaller supermarkets with car parks where we found it impossible to park. It took a while, but we got used to looping round the block to find street parking.

    Lithuanian roads were a real mixed bag. Plenty of the dual carriageway motorways were of high quality, but others had deep ruts worn into the tarmac by lorry wheels. These made driving difficult as they threw Martha from side to side.

    Most country roads were tarmacced, although a great many were narrow with compacted gravel at the sides to use when meeting oncoming vehicles. A lot of smaller roads were unsurfaced for tens of kilometres. We needed to go slow on these but would often see cars streaking accross the horizon, a cloud of dust flaring up behind them like smoke.

    Staying nearly 2 months in this small country meant we didn't need to travel very far. We got the impression that many cars were family owned and this, combined with the low population density meant roads were rarely busy. We took our time on journeys. Other drivers were courteous and the frequently straight, flat roads meant it was easy for them to overtake.

    It took a bit if getting used to but we became very comfortable driving in Lithuania.

    COSTS ⛽🏧🛒💶🍽🍻

    Our bank account was very happy with the time we spent in this country. Groceries, meals out, attractions and fuel were all very affordable. The only expense we baulked at were the campsites. We easily found ATMs but payed for most things with Google Pay on Will's phone.

    WOULD WE LIKE TO RETURN?

    YES! Definitely. We loved our time in Lithuania and it ranks very highly on our list of favourite countries. We especially loved easy access to beautiful, clean lakes and being able to stay in rural spots for days on end.

    Want to see some highlights?
    Click below to go to the VnW Travels Lithuania Playlist on YouTube!
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXdI0bKPsbHGQs97xvRa5QSYuE4-JyywO
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  • Day52

    Pays Baltes

    August 22 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Ces trois pays nous intriguaient depuis un moment, et nous sommes très contents de les avoir découverts.
    Ils ont une histoire quasiment commune, mais malgré cela de nombreuses différences.
    Tous conquis par les chevaliers teutoniques, une brève période d'indépendance entre les 2 guerres, ils ont particulièrement souffert à compter de la seconde guerre mondiale. Envahis par les russes à compter du pacte germano-soviétique, puis par les allemands à la rupture de ce traité, massacres des juifs par ces derniers, intégration forcée dans l'URSS à la "libération", assassinats ou déportations en Sibérie de milliers d'opposants, la liste est très longue.
    Enfin indépendants au début des années 90, ils sont intégrés dans l'union européenne en 2003.
    Résolument européens, ils sont aujourd'hui les premiers de la classe.
    La mer baltique les borde, et de longues plages de sable ourlent leurs côtes. Nous avons été surpris de la température de l'eau : 20°.
    Avec un peu de chance, il est possible de trouver un morceau d'ambre sur les plages.
    L'Estonie par son peuplement d'origine, ressemble plus aux finlandais par la langue et la physionomie.
    Le moins peuplé des trois états a peu de villes et de villages, ce qui fait un pays très nature. N'espérez pas trouver un restaurant au bord de la route, ils sont inexistants.
    En commun avec la Lettonie, le tiers de la population est russophone, mais le russe n'est pas une langue officielle, et ses locuteurs semblent un peu à la traîne économiquement.
    Peut-être parce que c'est le premier que nous avons visité, c'est notre préféré.
    Le passage en Lettonie a doublé notre pouvoir d'achat, tout nous semble bon marché.
    Riga, la capitale, concentre près de la moitié de la population, le reste du pays est très rural, bien qu'en cette période estivale les stations balnéaires sont prises d'assaut. Malgré tout, en dehors de celles-ci, nous trouvons de belles plages quasi-désertes.
    En Lituanie, les gens nous semblent plus ouverts, plus accueillants. Il y a peut-être moins de chose à voir qui "valent le voyage", mais le pays est attachant et nous regrettons que le temps passe si vite.
    27 jours à parcourir du nord au sud ces 3 pays, à déguster à chaque repas dans le camping-car des baies mélangées à du fromage frais, à arpenter les rues de leur capitale, à sillonner leurs parcs nationaux, à surprendre dans les champs cerfs, renards ou grues, mais cela ne fait que 9 jours par pays et nous aurions dû y passer plus de temps.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Lazdijai, Lazdijai District Municipality, لازديجاي, Горад Лаздзіяй, لازدییای, לזדיי, ლაზდიიაი, Lazdiji, Łoździeje, Лаздияй, Lazdėjē, لازدییئی, 拉茲迪亞伊

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