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Lithuania tour provided by: Werner Ullmann, Translation by Fam. Reynolds


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Tour

Western Lithuania in northern direction:
Day 1, 2:Austria - Slovakia - Poland.
Day 3: Going north along the eastern side of Poland the 30 km from Sulwaki to the Lithuanian border gives hope. At least it is a little bit hilly. Scarcely traffic.
There is a short line before the first barrier at the frontier to Lithuania. You can shorten the border formalities by obtaining the required liability insurance beforehand. The price is appropriate. 10 € for 15 days (minimum period) with a valid green insurance card, otherwise it would be 23 €. It takes me altogether 20 minutes to enter Lithuania.
The next larger settlement is Kalvarija. After I bought the most important things like money and a roadmap I go via Marijampole and Sakai up to Jurbarkas. Slowly I am revising my preconceptions of the Baltic States. Clean, no garbage dumps. No Moskwich, no Lada, no Dacia. On the numerous green areas no blade of grass is longer than exactly 4 cm. The asphalt is excellent, but unfortunately again visible up to the horizon. On three lane streets it seems that Lithuania wants to save money by omitting traffic-line markings. Where lines exist the strokes are further apart and are therefore somehow shorter than the EU norms.
Moreover Lituanian communities seem to have found a further savings potential in the municipal streets illumination. In Jurbarkas, and most probably other small towns, there are no streetlights and so it gets really DARK at night. I prescribe the consumption of 1.5 Liters of beer to control my oppression.
Day 4:Next day I head westward along the Russian border (Kalinigrad) and at Pagegiai I dare to turn of the thick bituminous road. Equipped with a delicately profiled Bridgestone TW 152, I experience my first slides on Lithuanian gravel. I reach Gargzdai via Natkiskiai, Zemaiciu Naumiestis, Sveksna, Vezaiciai. There I meet Antanas, the first Lithuanian motorcyclist, TransAlp. After some initial lingual difficulties everything is cleared up. A quick 70 km trip to Zemaitijos National Park near Plunge to go swimming is followed by a tour of Klaipeda, supper in Palanga and, of course, an overnight stay in his house. The next day we visit the Kursiu Nerija National Park.
During my 24 hours with Antanas, I am forced to modify my rudimentary understanding of Baltic history several times. Only my hope for roads free of asphalt is still reality.
Day 5: And traveling on such roads I arrive in the late afternoon via Kretinga, Salantai, Notenai, Barstyciai, Seda, Zemale, Tirksliai, Mazeikia at the border to Latvia at Ezere.

Fortsetzung: Western Latvia in nothern direction

Eastern Lithuania in southern direction:
Immediately after the border is the town of Zarasai. Away from the 'tire killing' asphalt, I continue to roll with a tire preserving speed of 90 km/h via Salakas, passing numerous little lakes, in southern direction to the Aukstaitijos National Parc. In the little village, Ginuciai, I discover four motorcycles parked in front of a restaurant garden. I naturally stop immediately and inform them of my problems. It turns out that of the one men in this group is the boss of a motorcycle workshop in Kaunas. After a quick phone call, I am given an address in Vilnius, where it might be possible to buy tires. Great! Vilnius is only about 50 km away. But now it is only Friday evening! Where and how shall I keep myself busy until Monday morning? In search of a roost, I decide on a resting place with lake, about 10 km before Utena. Hardly down from my motorbike a woman asks me what I am doing. So I start to tell her what happened to me in the last 12 days. Her name is Daiva and she is from Vilnius. She is visiting with sister and nephew a distant relative, Alfons. Half minute later, any resistance pointless, I'm lead to Alfons' house and invited to spend the weekend with them.
Day 13: Morning familiy excursion. In the afternoon I drive into the nearby Utena. Except the excellent Utenos beer, which is brewed here, I would not consider this town worth making a detour to visit. In the evening in Alfons community the annual village festival to the end of summer is sceduled. I am eagerly looking forward to the traditional folk-dances in hand crafted, colorful national costumes, the cheerful and melancholy folk-songs presented by the local music and culture groups, which are not short of young talent, and to a lively exchange of Austrian and Lithuanian philosophies of life. Well OK, finally it becomes yet another completely normal booze-up, nevertheless a couple of Lithuanians and I know, what means 'cheers' in the respective foreign language.
Day 14: The departure from Alfons at Sunday lunchtime is very emotional. I reach Vilnius around 16:00 via Tauragnai, Saldutiskis, Labanoras, Joniskis, Suzionys and Nemenicine. The route is brilliant. Still slightly hilly, passing innumerable small lakes through long, well tempered forest passages. In the evening I meet again Daiva, Biruta and Andrius and we go on an excellent city tour. I am delighted.
Day 15: 'Suzuki' Moto Pulsas, Zirmunu gatve 139, Vilnius. This is the address for motorcyclists with tire-troubles. The street seems never ending. I pass by 139a and still there is no motorcycle shop. The doorman in building 139 doesn’t know of a 'Moto Pulsas'. The street ends, only the turn around for the municipal bus line 21 leads 100 m round the corner. Finally I see the company sign, 15x30 cm. 'Suzuki' Moto Pulsas consists of exactly one nice lady in an office on the third floor, 35 m², one desk, various little things and 8 tires. One of them is a Metzeler Enduro 3 Sahara 140/80-17.
I love this country.
At the next service station I mount the good part and leave Vilnius at about 14:00.
Not far away from Vilnius, about 25 km to the west, is Trakai. There is a beautiful castle on a little island in the lake with an endless long footbridge in steaming heat. The rest is simple. In spite of my brand new rear hoof, I take highway 220 into the sunset, via Ruediskes, Onuskis,Altys, Simnas up to Kalvarija, turn to the left, on the E67 direction south, and leave Lithuania behind me.
Day 16, 17, 18:Poland - Slovakia - Austria.



Camping


Sights in the area


WWW Links
Pictures

Pictures of Lithuania

Picture-Count: 13
build: 10. November 2002


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Vilnius - Kathedrale
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Trakai
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Kursiu Nerija
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Vilnius
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Trakai
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Kursiu Nerija
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Trakai
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Trakai
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Vilnius - Kathedrale
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Route
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