Over the last few days we’ve had little or no wifi, so I’ve got behind on a few posts. I took the morning to bring everything up to date. I did the blogs and Craig did the photo’s but rather than post them all at once and bombard everyone, I scheduled them to post over the next few days. We plan to be in Vilnius (Lithuania) for a couple of says, so timing and alignment wise it should all work out.
By lunchtime, the sun was out and it was glorious. We set off, hit the motorway and arrived on Trakai island within the hour. It was heaving, bumper to bumper with cars and toe to toe with people. Even local people were offering their gardens as a car park for the day but Vin was a bit big for a small garden plot. We headed a few miles out of the centre and parked on the lake behind a small business centre. It wasn’t brilliant but it was quiet and away from the crowds, so Vin didn’t get bumped.
We cycled along Trakai lake with the village centre on one side and the imposing Trakai Castle on the other. The lake was home to summer fun with paddle boats, swimming and water sports a plenty. It is the most wonderful place with its fairytale Island Castle set amid a lake that is dotted with countless islands. Ladies in summer dresses, men in shorts and kids dowsed in sun cream and mandatory sun hat.
A walk with the cycles down Karaimų street to look at all the traditional Karaim houses. It is here a community of Turkish settlers with a particular type of Judaism settled. Scattered through the street are all kinds of diversions from a museum, trinket shops, traditional Karaim meals and much more. Everything was just buzzing with life.
On the way back to Vin the motorhome we nipped in the local supermarket from some bread. In a frenzy Craig grabbed what he thought was a lemon and lime drink (which turned out to be some weird cactus and lime flavour). The shelves were nearly empty, all the booze and liquid refreshments gone apart from the emergency stash. At the end of the aisle a pallet truck stacked with boxes of booze just dumped. No point wasting time stacking the shelves when it will take longer to stack. At the check out, a young chap with 4 bottles of Carlsberg and some salted fish (wonder if its from Lofotens). No sooner had he paid and he was munching away at the fish, swigging beer and burping rather loudly…he was rather happy.
Our Bumble Verdict: Trakai a great resort with plenty to see and do.
With Trakai being so busy we opted to move on to Vilnius, which is just 25km east. We were planning on travelling through the centre of Europe but we have differing views on the exact location. One book says its 25km north of Vilnius on the road to Utena. Another book says its north and official location is 25 degrees 19’ longitude, 54 degrees 54’ latitude, which when you enter in to the gps is south of Vilnius. With no internet to check the exact coordinates we gave it a miss but reckon we are dead centre of both the books, so we are near as damn it, centre of Europe.
The drive to Vilnius was slow with everyone heading home after a weekend of sunshine. We slowly crawled to our parking spot and shut shop.
Our sleepy spot: car park a few minutes walk to the Cathedral, so right in the centre. We are lined up along with 6 Italian campers all ready to explore the capital of Lithuania, tomorrow. At €6 for 24 hours its not bad for city parking. Fenced car park with security camera and lockable gate but doubt the gates have been locked for a long time.
Paid Camping GPS position N054.919873, E025.037538
Route: Kaunas to Vilnius