Sunday, July 9, 2023

Klaipėda, Lithuania

Hello from Lithuania!

Klaipėda, Lithuania view from cruise ship
View of Klaipėda from the ship
While our last two ports in Estonia (Tallin) and Latvia (Riga) were the capital cities of their countries, Klaipėda is not the capital of the country. That honor would go to Vilnius almost 200 miles away. Here's an interesting fact about Lithuania: They are hosting an extremely important NATO summit in Vilnius in just a couple days

With no Hop On Hop Off bus to take (yay, I think?) and no ship excursions planned for me (yay for sure!) it was a day of traveling on my own. 
Passengers on ship excursions had a longer walk to get to their busses today
I stopped by the little kiosk on the dock to grab a map but do you think I used it? Nope, I followed the crowd along the Dane River.
Dane river in Klaipėda, Lithuania
What a beautiful day for a scooter stroll
Unbeknownst to me their path was ending in stairs. I turned around and retraced some of the walkway and found an incline I could take instead. Once I got near the spot where I could cross the bridge I found everyone had stopped. 
Black ghost sculpture in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Is he trying to warn everyone?
Loads of bicyclists, cruise ship passengers, and lots and lots of young scouts with yellow scarves. We all had to stop for the Swing Bridge/Chain Bridge. It was originally built across the castle moat in 1855 and still opens and closes today. 
swing bridge schedule in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Boats are allowed through 15 minutes each hour.
Pedestrians are allowed 45 minutes.
The bridge is operated by two men who manually rotate the bridge with a metal bar.
workers turning the chain bridge in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Starting the process
workers turning the chain bridge in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Still spinning
workers turning the chain bridge in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Bridge is almost ready for foot traffic
From the bridge I again followed the crowd, hoping to end up at the Theater Square where a market was happening. I saw some pictures online earlier and knew it was going to be a rough cobblestone adventure. Uh, yeah. These weren't little cobblestones, but more like large river rock type of stones.

I called the first batch of cobblestones I crossed the What the Hell?! cobblestones.
The next set of cobblestones I had to cross in the square I called the What the Bloody Hell?! cobblestones.
I also ran into the What the Holy Hell?! cobblestones.
The market square was most definitely not my friend. I had to drag Scooter all along the way and it was not a pretty sight. When I first glimpsed somewhat decent pavement I headed away from the area. Where I ran into the What the &%!#@* Hell! cobblestones.
rock cobblestones sideways and streets in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Guess who did NOT go this way?
A month ago I would have complained about
these cobblestones. Not now.
By going my own way in my own time - on only the cobblestones I could handle - I stumbled upon several interesting sights.
large map of Klaipėda, Lithuania on side of building
A giant map on the wall. At least I knew
where I was by the red dot near the middle.
Towers of flowers up close
Lunch menu of a restaurant opening at 12 with tuna tartare (?) on the menu.
Otherwise I don't know. 
Meridians restaurant in Klaipėda, Lithuania
A sailing ship in the water 
Meridians restaurant in Klaipėda, Lithuania
It's a restaurant, too
orange car paddle boat in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Fun little paddle boat
I watched someone having no luck trying to catch a fish
Fishermen statue in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Fisherman statue 
Looks like a construction site to me
Bridge with Lithuanian and Ukrainian ribbons tied onto it
Try and follow those turn lanes painted on the road. Oh, my.
tree of love love locks in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Tree of Love is covered in love locks
Interesting combination of architecture
mosaic on wall in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Beautiful mosaic on the wall
gold stretch limo in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Now that's one way to see the city!
I really enjoyed my time along the waterways the most as they were the prettiest of the spaces. Plus the pavement was not too shabby either.
Dane River in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Dane River in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Old Mill Hotel in Klaipėda, Lithuania
weather vane in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Rain was on its way
I made my way back to the ship still without using the map but I was determined to figure out where I spent the day. I used the pictures (including the dozens I deleted) to help trace my route. 
Just a gal and her scooter in Lithuania

Tomorrow we'll be in our last country of this cruise. Poland, here we come! 

Keeping track of my progress on tastes and smells: 1. Maple fudge tasted sweet. 2. Rosemary tasted like something other than toilet water. 3. Lavender sachet smelled like lavender. 4. I caught a brief whiff of the smell of sunscreen when I was putting it on my face.