How to Make the Most of a Lithuania Spring Day
After our recent motorcycle trip to Latvia and Estonia, I needed a bit of time to recalibrate and focus on important things - like the rush of finishing my second semester of Lithuanian language courses. Now that those are officially done (!), I didn't completely fail (!) and my spring cold has left the premises (!), I'm back and ready to share more adventures. So thanks for being here!
Let's get the most important thing out of the way: especially in comparison with last year, the weather has been insanely good this year. You can't tell over the internet, but my sun-loving soul is crying Eva-shaped happy tears. So it felt like a good time to share some of my favorite things to do in this beautiful country at this time of year.
Let's get into it!
Camping - Lithuanian springs and summers are so short compared to what I'm used to, so you really have to maximize your efforts. Luckily, I have a very adventurous spirit, a twice-as-adventurous husband, and a dog who'd follow him to another planet. So, while you recently received an introduction to camping life, we just got back from yet another short trip next to a lake with giant tree friends. And this time, we made a date of it and went with friends. Because they were present, it was easy to reflect off of each others' awe and gratitude: the air really did feel fresher, cleaner, more alive. Certainly more alive than a state park in Texas, for what it's worth - which has its own perks. The land and air here have a vibrating hum - untouched, unfiltered, unimpressed by society. So, make the most of your warm days and spend as much time as you can outside! And don't forget your bug spray 'cause... you're gonna need it.
Spend Time On a Lithuanian Beach - It takes a bit more effort to schlep over to the Baltic Sea coast, so much like in Texas, I've gotten used to a different kind of beach: lakes, rivers, and ponds. Last weekend, we spent some time up at Balsys ežeras, a beautiful and bustling lake with sand to lay out on, grassy hills for your greyhound, a large dock, and an overall good vibe. More than anything, this spot really reminded me of Barton Springs in Austin - and that's never a bad thing. Plus, it's easy to get up there on a bus. If Žaliasis ežeras (the Green Lakes) aren't your thing, I recommend checking out Valakampiai, which also offers a nude beach area for the more adventurous. (Bonus: no children!) And if you're really up for it, the Baltic Sea coast is magical any time of year.
Sit Outside and Try A New (Or Old) Cuisine - Well, 'tis is definitely the season for šaltibarščiai, so I'd highly recommend parking yourself at an outdoor table with this refreshing Lithuanian soup. And to be honest, Lithuania has been waking up on multiple levels, including its food cuisine. This past weekend, The Scientist and I went back to Rosehip Vegan Kebabs, where I sat outside and fell in love with their savory za'atar tofu gyro wrap. Rosehip has some of the best and most consistent flavors in town, so try something new and head over there.
Spend Time with Friends - You know those friends and neighbors I've been screaming about being grateful for in the winter months, when everyone wants to stay cozy indoors? We all have a different motive at this time of year - we're feeling electric, not cozy. And Europeans love to travel in the spring and summer, so it's important to catch them while you can - when you're not traveling yourself. Whether you're watching Eurovision, having a picnic, BBQing together, catching up over ice cream, or settling into a sunset, these people are the real reason I love Lithuania - no matter the season.
I'm sure I'll have even more specific tips for summertime as we get closer to the Solstice (Joninės, or Rasos), but for now, I just want to soak in as much of this warmth as possible. I know it can vary from year to year, and I'm certainly not taking it for granted.
If you're also in Lithuania, do you resonate with any of these tips?
And if you're outside of Lithuania, what are you doing to make this season of your life a good one, no matter where you are in the world? Let me know!
As per usual, feel free to subscribe at the bottom of this page to receive a bi-weekly email from me on whatever's on my heart that day! And as always, I'll see you next time here at Into the Forests I Go - iki pasimatymo - see you soon!