Lithuania
Telsiai

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17 travelers at this place

  • Day118

    Hazenpot - Plateliai

    August 24, 2019 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Reisekilometer 13.278 km
    Tageskilometer 119 km

    Die Nacht war relativ ruhig, die Jugend hat nur 3 bis 4 mal in der Nacht, jeweils 10 bis 30 Minuten, mit Musik den Parkplatz, auf dem sonst nur wir standen, beschallt.
    Tina hat Ohrenstöpsel und Dirk stört Musik nicht.
    Morgens haben wir gebadet, danach sind wir über reichlich Staubstraßen und den Grenzübergang gefahren und haben litauisch eingekauft.
    Es gibt wieder Pfand und Geschwindigskeitshuckel. Beides gab es in Lettland nicht. Die Menschen scheinen besser gekleidet und auch die Häuser sehen auf den ersten Blick "etwas" besser in Schuss aus.
    Nachmittags bei 27,5°C (endlich richtig warm) besichtigen wir den mystischen Garten des Vilius Orvydas.
    Ein rostiger Sowjet-Panzer steht auf dem Parkplatz. Das Rohr ist drohend auf den Eingang gerichtet - er ist ein Symbol dafür, wie die Sowjets zu diesem Ort standen. Der Garten entstand in den 1960 er Jahren, als der russische Präsident Chruschtschow anordnete, alle Grabsteine von Friedhöfen zu entfernen. Man brachte sie in den Garten des Steinmetzes Kazys Orvydas (1905-1989), der viele davon selbst angefertigt hatte.
    Die sowjetischen Behörden versuchten mehrfach, den Garten zu zerstören. Wie der Berg der Kreuze wuchs er jedoch immer weiter und wurde als Ort des Widerstands über die Grenzen der Region hinaus bekannt.
    Vilius Orvydas (1952-1992), der Sohn des Bildhauers und ebenfalls Steinmetz von Beruf, gab dem Garten sein heutiges Gesicht. Er arrangierte ihn neu und schuf ein märchenhaftes Labyrinth aus alten Grabsteinen, Steinskulpturen, Findlingen und zu Kunstwerken geschichteten morschen Holzstämmen. Die Skulpturen sind nicht alle christlich geprägt. Der Garten ist kein kirchliches Heiligtum, sondern ein verwinkeltes Kunstwerk, halb von Menschen geschaffen und halb von der Natur.
    Uns hat der Garten sehr gefallen.
    Danach sind wir zu einem Picknickplatz mit Badestelle am Plateliai-See gefahren. Großer Treffpunkt auch vieler Einheimischer und es ist Samstag,na, mal schauen wie das wird.
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  • Day13

    Taking Time in Zemaitija

    June 15, 2019 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    After the almost non stop activity of the previous 12 days, it was glorious to finally have so much time on our hands and to have so little to do with it. The constant pressure of cycling every day, along with the tiring routine of moving from hotel to hotel does take its toll, especially when you combine this with the extremely short hours of darkness.

    Today was the first designated "free day" and we were happy to be able to spend the time resting, walking, catching up on laundry, reading, drinking and eating ice cream. The weather also chipped in by serving up an absolutely perfect day - cloudless skies, no wind and not too hot and not too cold. The large lake had barely a ripple and the clear, still waters enticed a few of our team to try a swim.

    I had previously discovered that the hotel had a large recreation room with two full size billiard tables and a table tennis table. Remembering what fun we had all enjoyed in the Channel Islands on these activities, I suggested that we should conduct a men's tournament.

    Bob and I collected the pool balls from the desk and went off for what we thought we be a 10 minute game. We had no idea that the match would drag on for what seemed like an eternity. My previous experience had all been on small tables and we soon found that, on large tables, it is almost impossible to get the balls into the pockets. Time and time again we thought we had an unmissable shot, only to constantly invent creative new ways to miss.

    The other important factor was the searing heat in the room. It was part of the heated swimming pool complex and there were no windows that could be opened. The sweat was soon running down our faces as we vainly tried to get any of the balls to sink.

    The battle dragged on for most of the afternoon. David and Gordon gave up watching. Bob and I struggled on, feeling like two gladiators battling to the death in the Colosseum. We finally got down to the last remaining ball- the black ball. We chased it from one end of the table to the other, and back again. This farce continued until we both were on the edge of exhaustion.

    "If we can't sink the ball in ten minutes, it's a draw", I announced. In spite of our best efforts, the black ball won. We called it a draw and staggered back outside for some fresh cool air.

    Tomorrow we will be visiting a cold war missile silo, before cycling right around the lake. After that we will finally cross the border into Latvia and the next leg of our adventure.
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  • Day21

    Cold War Museum

    August 8, 2019 in Lithuania ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

    Das Wetter passte heute zum Besuch des Cold War Museums. Der Himmel war grau und es regnete. Die Straßen waren auch nicht der Hit 😳.
    Auf dem Areal des Museums befanden sich bis 1979 atomare Sprengköpfe, die auf wechselnde Städte in Europa gerichtet waren.
    Heute befasst es sich mit der Zeit des Kalten Krieges von 1946-89.
    Deren Historiker gehen inzwischen davon aus, dass die Atombombenabwürfe auf Japan 🇯🇵 nicht nur Rache für Pearl Habour sondern auch zur Eindämmung des Kommunismuses in Asien sein könnten.
    Mit Operation Anadyr 1963 werden 162 Sprengköpfe auf Kuba stationiert. Der kubanische Staatschef Fidel Castro war über das Ausmaß informiert und sich bewusst, dass der Abschuss eines Sprengkörpers die Zerstörung Kubas bedeutet hätte.
    Ein einziges Mal waren die Raketen in Litauen auf Ziele in Europa zum Abschluss bereit gemacht worden. Dieses war zur Zeit des Prager Frühlings 1968. Letztendlich wurden die Sprengköpfe 1979 aus von dieser Abschussrampe (heutiges Museum) entfernt, da die Abschussvorrichtungen inzwischen veraltet waren und ein Umbau sich nicht rechnete.
    1987 hatten USA und UdSSR so viele Atomwaffen, um die gesamte Erde mehrfach zu zerstören. Ronald Reagan und Michail Gorbatschow schlossen daraufhin einen Abrüstungsvertrag. Somit wurde auch die restlichen Raketen aus Litauen entfernt.
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  • Day12

    Zemaitija National Park

    June 14, 2019 in Lithuania ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    Sometimes it really is astounding what a difference 24 hours can make. Ever since we had arrived in Warsaw about 12 days ago, we had experienced hot and sultry weather. The past couple of days on the bikes has been particularly tiring and we have been making sure to never ride past an ice cream seller without taking advantage of his product.

    Late yesterday afternoon the long awaited thunderstorm finally arrived, complete with rolling thunder and heavy rain. Of greatest significance was the considerable drop in temperature. When our group gathered outside the hotel this morning, I was interested to see that everyone (except me) had donned cold weather jackets, thermals, leggings, polar fleeces and the like. David had layered himself with some of Carol's riding gear, including her pink jacket (and maybe some of her winter underwear as well)..

    I was just happy to be cool and wore only my short sleeve cycling jersey and shorts. We set off retracing our route back through the town and were soon out on the open roads again. We knew that this was going to be the longest ride of the entire trip. I also had the secret knowledge that it was also likely to be the hilliest as well.

    Fortunately the first section was quite flat, there was no wind and the road surface was excellent. We found a comfortable rhythm and made good progress. Along the way we passed a succession of run down houses, almost all of which were fitted with crumbling asbestos roofs. In some cases the entire roofs had collapsed into the structure. This was obviously not an affluent area.

    One thing that we were not expecting to see was a large wooden windmill, although it was no longer in operation and I suspected that, unless it was restored, it would also soon collapse into a woodpile.

    On the 27th of June 1941 the Germans shot 111 Jewish men, women and children they accused of supporting the Russians. The spot is now marked by a large stone and metal plaque. It was such a quiet and beautiful spot,that it was hard to imagine the atrocity that had been committed there 78 years ago.

    We also passed numerous large stork nests, some of which had mothers feeding their babies. The nests were enormous, probably up to a metre in diameter.

    An interesting insight into the local culture was provided when we happened to arrive in a village right in the middle of a funeral procession. The hearse was preceded by a small group of mourners, all dressed in black and some carrying photos of the deceased. The bell on the church steeple sounded a prolonged, melancholy slow peeling as the procession made its way into the church yard.

    The half way point of our day's ride was Selentai, a modest sized village with a couple of small supermarkets and also an open air market as well. It was the perfect spot for lunch. When I asked a local where to get the best coffee, I was directed to a small kebab shop (the shop was small,the kebabs certainly weren't).

    I must admit that I have tried kebabs all over the world, and I have seldom been disappointed. I can now truthfully say that the the kebab I enjoyed at Selantai was one of the best I had ever tasted. The meat was tender, the salad was fresh and the 3 Euro price was perhaps the best part of all. It would probably have been sufficient to feed a family of four.

    Another most welcome feature of this region is the beautiful cherries which are sold from every market and fruit shop. For a couple of Euros you can buy a huge bag full of sweet, juicy cherries which would be enough to fill you for the rest of the day.

    After lunch we soon left the flat lands behind and entered the hill climb section. We were riding up to a huge lake in the Zemaitija National Park. The only problem is that to get there we first had to ride up a never ending succession of small, sharp hills. Although each one was not very long, the cumulative effect was quite tiring.

    With 8 km to go,we stopped for a final drinks and rest break. It was here that we happened to meet the driver who had taken our luggage to the next hotel as he was conducting his own rest break.

    The final section around the perimeter of the lake was quite beautiful, offering glimpses of the huge expanse of water. We finally rode into the large Linelis Hotel, situated right on the shore of the lake. Since tomorrow will be our first (and very well deserved) rest day, we will have lots of time to explore this lovely location.

    The evening meal was easily the best hotel meal we have had in this trip so far. After the dinner was finished the sun was still shining brightly, children were playing on the grass and several were swimming in the lake. It was only a little after 10 pm after all.
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  • Day14

    A Glimpse of Madness

    June 16, 2019 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    For most of the 1960s, the world's major powers played a dangerous game of nuclear brinkmanship. The main principle in this game was that any nuclear attack would be responded to with such overwhelming ferocity that all life on earth would be exterminated. This was officially referred to as "Mutually Assured Destruction" or MAD for short.

    It really was a frightening time to be alive, and I well remember the nuclear drills that were practised at schools. This morning we had the opportunity to see one of the old 1960s nuclear missile silos at close range. The missile complex is situated only a few km from our hotel in the Zemaitija National Park. It had been constructed by hundreds of Estonian forced labour workers,who had to excavate the enormous underground spaces by pick, shovel and wheelbarrow,

    Apparently the reason why they used Estonian labour was because they could not speak Lithuanian and therefore would be easy to recapture if they escaped. To make matters more complicated the plans were in Russian, which the locals could not read. Little wonder therefore that the standard of construction was even worse than appalling. They could never undertake any test launches because any such event would have likely caused the structure to collapse. It was strictly intended to be used once - to launch 4 ICBMs, each carrying a 2 Megaton warhead. In the process it is almost certain that the people working at the site would also be killed.

    It really was interesting to tour the vast facility and see just how primitive most of the technology was. The soldiers had low morale and were often drunk on the job. I wonder just how easy it would have been for a disgruntled one or two Russians to start a nuclear war.

    The base was built in the early 60s and was decommissioned about a decade later as part of the agreement signed by Gorbachev and Reagan. Much of the equipment (but hopefully not the warheads) was then promptly stolen by the local population.
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  • Day47

    Musée de la guerre froide

    August 17, 2019 in Lithuania ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Situé au sein d'un parc naturel, une base secrète de lancement de missiles nucléaires a été reconvertie en musée de la guerre froide. Capables d'atteindre n'importe quel point de l'Europe, ces missiles nous permettent de prendre pleinement concience du danger que nous fait courir l'arme nucléaire.
    La soupe froide à la betterave dégustée par Béatrice auparavant aurait été bien moins appréciée après la visite...
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  • Day65

    Cold War Museum, Plokstine, Litauen

    August 5, 2017 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Es gibt noch viele unheimliche Zeitzeugen der vergangenen sowjetischen Besatzung im Baltikum. Eines davon sind die ehemaligen Abschussanlagen der russischen Atomraketen. Jenes bei Plateliy ist heute ein Museum.
    Die Ausstellung umfasst einen Rundgang durch die ehemaligen Kommandoräume, den Funkraum, vorbei am roten Knopf und dem Safe mit den Ziel-Koordinaten bis hin zum unterirdischen Silo, aus dem die Raketen abgefeuert werden sollten.
    Während der Bürgerrevolution in Tschechien sind die vier Atomraketen angeblich kurz vor,dem Abschuss gestanden. Ansonsten müssten sich die Soldaten mit Übungen und politischer Idologie-Schulung beschäftigen.

    Der Besuch hinterlässt ein leichtes Gruseln bei uns.
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  • Day29

    Militärmuseum Plokstine

    July 6, 2018 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Zwischen 1963 und 1978 stationierten die Russen an einem wunderschönen See mitten im Wald mehrere tödliche Atomraketen mit Ziel Bundesrepublik. Heute ist dieser Ort ein Museum das den ganzen Irrsinn und die Geschichte des kalten Krieges sehr gut aufgearbeitet hat.Read more

  • Day13

    ŽEMAITIJA Nationalpark

    July 31, 2012 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Wir haben den WDR zu Besuch! Anlass ist die GEO-Auszeichnung unserer Aktiv- und Genuss-Reise mit der GOLDENEN 🌴 PALME!
    Der Küstenradweg nach PALANGA ist hierfür ein ausgezeichnetes Beispiel. So gibt es einen Fotostopp an der Seebrücke und ein leckeres Buffet...
    Dann geht es ins Landesinnere, in den ŽEMAITIJA NP. Der Plateliai-See dort ist 47 m tief und ein beeindruckendes Ausmaß von 1.200 ha!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Telšių apskritis, Telsiu apskritis, Bezirk Telschen, Telsiai