We have been without internet for a while but we are now having dinner in a restaurant with free wi-fi nearby so here come an update.

Yesterday we spent the morning in Vilnius, going to the Gate of Dawn which turned out to be much less amazing than the name suggests. Actually most other city gates are more worthwhile except this one has a small church on top, kind of cool. We walked around a bit more, then went back to our hotel to pack our stuff. On the way to the bus station we had lunch at a chain store called Cili Pica, a surprisingly nice pizza place.  After a three-hour bus ride through lush forests and endless meadows we arrived in the slightly dull city Siauliai.

Except for a long pedestrian street in the center of town, a church and a sundial with a golden statue of a an archer on top, the city doesn’t seem to have much worth seeing. On the outskirts of town we found a small lake where we sat down and just took it easy since it was too late in the day for more sightseeing. The main reason to come here is a famous monument about 10 km outside the city, it is also a waypoint on the road to Riga so we decided to stay here as a base.

The dawn gate

The golden archer sundial

Having considered all our options, we realized that the best day for seeing the monument was not today, as I had hoped, but tomorrow so expect to read more about it then. For today we opted to go by train to Klaipeda, Lithuania’s main harbor city where we quickly left the urban sprawl for the 98 km long Curonian Spit peninsula. This thin tail of land hangs off Kaliningrad, shooting northward until it reaches Klaipeda. At the tip it only takes about 10 minutes to walk across it, however since several villages are located here, it must be wider at some point.

The whole peninsula is covered in pine forest and sand dunes and is supposed to hold abundant wildlife. Unfortunately it was raining when we were there so we only took a short walk across, saw the endless beach stretching out in the distance and played around a bit on the sand dunes. After that we found a cafe where we could cower from the rain for a while before catching the last train home around five (trains stop early here).

The dunes of the Curonian Spit

It was a lot of time spent on trains for rather little but I believe the Curonian Spit was unable to show its good side in the rain. More time, better weather and a bicycle would surely make it a worthwhile excursion. Tomorrow we start with the famous monument then move on to Riga.