Thursday, October 12, 2017

Loving Lithuania

Big smiles on our faces!!!  Crossing the border from Latvia to Lithuania was an accomplishment.  The road from Riga, Latvia, had been pot-holed, mud and dirt secondary roads.  Now five days into Lithuania, we are happy that though the rain has continued, the roads have just been water soaked and not full of grit for our chains.
This is the cutest teeter-totter I've ever seen.  We thought to camp near this park but didn't find someone to ask. We rode on and found a little campground with a great heated kitchen/school room for our boys while it rained and misted outside.
Fall colours continue, as well as the avenues of neatly planted trees.
The town cafe was closed, we were soaked.  In our search for a sheltered place to eat our picnic lunch Rick talked to a young man who pointed us to a building that appeared to be part of some kind of school housing.  Low and behold, inside one of these buildings was a cafeteria room where they were just wrapping up the daily student cafeteria.  We cleaned up their remnants for 1 Euro a plate.  Pickles, beet salad, chicken fried steak, a hotdog and a plate of dumplings - all hot in a room that was dry.  A god-send.
This is a typical small building alongside the road.  A dog outside, several tumble down out-buildings, a flower-filled garden and muddy fields around .
Lithuania brings good, paved secondary roads and delicious yummies.  Little ginger flavored soft circle cookies with a fruit gel hiding inside (quince?). Pastries in the markets for .30 Euro that make a cold, wet person happy.  Interesting lodging and eating opportunities induced by the cold, wet weather.  We've camped just one night out of our five now in Lithuania.  Lodging nightly, though not planned in our budget, is not exorbitant and renting random flats allows us a little more insight into life in Lithuania.  Water taps usually are hot on the right side.  Throw your toilet paper in the waste basket.  Of course hang dry your clothes, "dryers" like those in the western world are a rare item last seen at our friends' in Norway.  Lithuanian countryside has less of the dense forest that we saw in Latvia, and a sudden switch to small farms, chickens, goats or sheep and tethered cows.  The chained large dogs at most residences are common to Latvia and Lithuania.  In Lithuania we've received consistent smiles and friendly honks - something that has been absent up until now (people just seemed to ignore us.)  Lots of care in wood-carved sculptures and beautiful, flower-filled gardens.  Dahlias and roses.

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