Long time ago, on a bright day, a tiny, but beautiful country named Lithuania was born. Not many people knew about it, and those who did didn’t know much. Olia was the second type. Yet, one day it was time for Olia to go to university, and her life brought her to…right, to Lithuania! This is a story about a girl who came to a new country and hopelessly fell in love with its views, foods, and festivities.
Lithuania truly is a small country, with a population of only 3 million people. I get to live in the 3rdlargest city – Klaipeda. It is a bit ironic how “the largest” city has only 155 thousand people living in it; however, there are SO many perks to it! Today, I would like to show you my city! Join me for the tour~
Sure, before going anywhere, you should get at least some snacks. Lithuanian “bandelės” (buns) never fail me. These cheap puffs of heaven are sold at any convenient store, and can be bought at any time of the day. What is so great about them is the fact that they are being freshly made throughout the day, and they come with almost EVERY possible filling. Prices vary (0,20-0,70 Euro cents/bun). I got myself two buns, one with raisins, and another one with sweet curd cheese and apples *yummy*.
Once you’ve got the snack – you are ready to go! There are many interesting places in Klaipeda, but there is one which always leaves me speechless. It is mesmerizing in all seasons, weathers, and times of the day. The sea.
Photo credit: Tatiana Frenkel
The sea gives off different vibes than the city, and I believe it has “healing” powers. That is why if you ever get to come to Klaipeda – first of all, take a walk to the sea. Often people skip going to the beach in winter as it is rather cold, and sometimes the weather gets too windy. However, it is also highly popular this season due to the gifts of the sea – amber. It is hard to find but hey, it is an adventure! If you don’t want an adventure, just listen to some music, enjoy your bandelės, and watch seagulls ride the waves.
If you want to feel the city instead, keep in mind that winter is the holidays season! While everyone was celebrating Lunar New Year, I was celebrating the Day of Restoration of the State of Lithuania. This year, it indeed was special; it has been 100 years since Lithuania as a state was restored. Lithuanians love their country and are highly proud of it. To be honest, after spending almost 4 years here, meeting amazing people, and creating memories, I can say that I share their feelings because to me, Lithuania is like a second Motherland.
You know that the celebration has come when all the citizens hang Lithuanian flags at their houses’ entrance. On February 16th, each city turns yellow-green-red (see pic. 1 below). Also, each year, in this period of holidays, “Festival of Lights” is being held in the city of Klaipeda, which makes the city even more colorful. Thousands of people come to see the special lighting installations of all colors and shapes, to participate in a fair where delicious foods and souvenirs are being sold, and just to feel the holidays! This year, an Italian group of artists “Marianolight” visited Klaipeda with their spectacular light and music show named “Gate of Centuries” (see pic. 2 below). This gate is, in fact, a 200 m. tunnel that changes colors to the sounds of music. Besides this, there were around 20 other exhibitions that could be visited on February 15-17.
Photo credit: Tatiana Frenkel
If you ever get a chance to visit Klaipeda in February, make sure you participate in the celebration! Even if you come in any other season, Klaipeda will give you a warm welcome anyway. Thank you for taking a short virtual tour with me, and I hope you enjoyed it~