Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Weekend in Klaipėda

Due to the 4th of July holiday; the Embassy was closed last Thursday. The roommates and I decided to take advantage of the long weekend so that we may make a trip to the much-talked-about Klaipėda. Since we arrived, everyone has been telling us to visit this city and we were finally going to do it! We rented a flat on Tiltu Street, the main strip in Old Town. Wednesday evening we packed all our things and got on the bus to Klaipėda! 

We arrived around 9 o'clock in the evening and did a little exploring before settling in for the night. We found a wonderful cafe just down the street that served a variety of things, depending on where you were sitting. Everything from pizza to zeppelinis! We gorged ourselves on delicious food before calling it a night.  

The next day we explored some more, crossing a lock-bridge where lovers bolt their hopes for a long life together onto the parapet to signify the eternity of their vows. We decided to go across to the Curonian Spit on the ferry to explore a little more over there so that we would know how to get to the beaches later on in our trip. Once on the other side, we walked for a while before we found a good beach and then dipped our toes into the freezing water. We walked along the beach for a while before finally going back and having dinner on the mainland.  

The next day we decided to explore further outside Klaipėda and go to either Palanga or Nida. Our wallets and the modes of transportation available to use determined that we would go to Palanga. We hopped onto another bus and were in Palanga in about 20 minutes. We got off and saw the city square. We followed those with beach gear until we found the beautiful beaches of the city. These beaches were much nicer than the ones on the Spit and there was lots to do here. Many kiosks, small bars, and sporting equipment could be seen. The weather was slightly cold so we found a nice place in the sun to have a drink and just converse. We returned by bus again and had dinner at a local restaurant.  

The sun must have really taken it out of me because the next day I was very tired. I decided to let the roomies enjoy the beach again while I took some time out to live the European lifestyle! I had lunch at the same cafe we ate at the first night while soaking up a little shaded sun and reading my book, listening to the local musicians, and trying many local dishes. I did the same later for dinner and it was certainly the most relaxing day I have had since arriving in Lithuania. It is important to take a day to just do nothing, and sometimes it can be the best part of a vacation in a new city! 

We reluctantly returned the keys to our rented flat before hauling our things to the train station. We decided to take this route back instead of the bus to see the difference. While it took us longer to get home, the ride was certainly more comfortable. We really loved Klaipėda, the Curonian Spit, Palanga, and the food! Lithuania is certainly not called the land of good food for nothing!