Saturday, May 12, 2007

Klaipeda and The Spit.

We first arrived to Klaipedia and set out to see the sites. Our journey began with Klaipeda's old moat protected castle. We assumed that finding the castle would be simple, but it was so much more complex. We looked for a high tower with the country's flag flying in the air. We should have looked closer to the description of the castle in our book. It said, "REMAINS of the castle." So, we were somewhat disappointed, but not because of the view. But, because of our stupidity. The castle was built in 1242 with a seaport surrounding it. From the 12th century to the 19th century, the castle was burned down numerous times and the towns people attempted to re-build it. There is only one tower remaining and the remains of a gunpowder room. We laid on the grassy area where a tower use to be centrally located taking in the breeze and the sweet smell of the sea. We continued our journey with heading to Old Town. On the way, we stopped by the market where there were pyramids of eggs, rows of fruits, and vegetables. We thought the display of the eggs were amazing. Heading on with our route, we found our way to the theatre square. Here we saw a fountain that was dedicated to Simon Dach, a famous German poet born in Klaipedia. On a pedestal in the middle of the fountain lies Aennchen Von Tharu, which was sculpted by a Berlin artist after a famous wedding song. The fountain was very simple and not spectacular at all. It was not what we expected compared to other fountains we have seen. We walked along the Dane River and found our way to the Martynas Mazvydas Sculpture Park. This park had over 100 sculptures from the 1980's to 2002. The sculptures were all made of granite. Everything in in this area is made of granite. The sidewalks, the streets, its all gorgeous slabs of granite. We now know why granite is so expensive. Lithuania used it all up!
The next day we took a ferry over to the Curonian Spit. The first town that we arrived in was Smiltyne. Here we saw an amazing dolphin and sea lion show at the Lithuanian Sea Museum. We have to say the sea lions were much more fascinating than the dolphins. The sea lions danced! As we were trying to figure out when the next bus left, a taxi cab driver began to hassle Jay. He attempted to convince Jay to take the taxi instead of the bus. They went back and forth for about 30 minutes. We ended up taking the taxi to our next destination... Nida (southern part). Here we climbed huge dunes about the size of a couple of football fields in length and diameter. At this time, it was rainy, windy, and cold. So, imagine climbing these dunes and feeling like at any moment you were going to be knocked off. Despite the weather, it was a blast. From the dunes, you were also able to see Kalinigrad's border. The view absolutely stunning.

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