Nida & Raganu Kalnas, Lithuania.

We arrived at Kaunas airport just after 12pm, picked up the hire car and began our 270Km journey heading towards Nida,  a coastal town in the Neringa Municipality.  Nida is the westernmost point of Lithuania and close to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.  The motorways in Lithuania are in pretty good condition compared to the neighbouring countries we have visited.  Approximately 30 miles along our route on the A1 we stopped for some lunch at the Kavine 130 cafe.  It is a popular and fun stop and we had some giggles with the props outside.   It was a welcome break after our very early start.

Heading onwards we had another stop about 58 miles later at the highest motorway stop in Lithuania.  It’s a nice stop if you want to stretch your legs, use the loo or like us pose for more photos, but don’t go expecting any spectacular views from high up here, the surrounding landscapes are very flat, as is a lot of Lithuania.

To get to Nida, we had to drive to Klaipeda and get a very small ferry across.  The journey took all of a few minutes at a cost of 12 euros and we arrived in Nida a little tired (especially Vitalis who was driving!) around 5.30pm.  Our accommodation for the night was a quaint apartment called Apartmentai Ramybe which was found in a residential area.  It was a nice apartment which suited our needs and was a very short distance from the town.  After some brief unpacking, we headed down into the town.

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In the summer Nida is a bustling town with plenty of tourists.  It is a fishing village and located on the Curonian Spit.  The spit is a UNESCO heritage site and 98km long with  52km being in Lithuania the rest in Russia.  It is surrounded by the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon.  We visited offseason but it was still a lovely place to visit. We had drinks and snacks in one of the restaurants and then later, with the help of Google Maps, found an Italian restaurant and had a lovely meal.   A little bit merry we headed back to our apartment for the night.

The next morning after a small breakfast stop (and managing to get Nigel’s card back after it got chewed by a cash point the night before yay) we headed to the beach as one of our party fancied a bit of a dip in the Baltic Sea!  After a short walk through a forest, we reached the sea which was a little choppy but sure enough, Nigel got his swim, nutter! He wants to swim in every sea and every ocean in the world, but we’d only ever previously visited countries around the Baltic in winter. In September, the water was a balmy 18 deg C, so he thoroughly enjoyed his dip and there wasn’t even the slightest sign of a shiver. There is a nudist beach here, which when we visited was complete with people exercising their hard-fought-for right to nudity, but we made sure to head in the right direction to the clothes-mandatory section.

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Heading on the road again towards Kaunas our next stop was Raganu Kalnas or ‘The Hill of Witches’.  This is an outdoor sculpture gallery near Juodkrantė.  This was a fun place with loads of different wooden sculptures and we certainly had some childish fun here!

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At the end of the walk, we came across a saxophone player next to some musical sculptures who played some romantic English tunes for us to dance to.  It was a nice touch.rag16

After exiting the Hill of Witches we came across a sand sculpture exhibition

It was now time to continue our journey back to Kaunas; however, Nida and the rest of the Curonian Spit was a lovely place to visit even in September.  We can see why it would be very popular in the summer with the lovely beaches and the mix of the forest fresh air and sea.  We would recommend a visit if you can and have the use of a car.

Carol & Nigel xx

September 2019

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