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Alla inlägg under juli 2018

Av EvaLena Hallgren - Lördag 7 juli 21:56

So we are in a new country now, and it's very nice, but first I have to tell you about last night.

Mom had already done what she does every evening getting comfy in her jammies when several cars with flags showed up and parked on the grass? 

They invited Mom to come to celebrate and sing with them..............none of them spoke English or German so they used the international hand and smile language.

NOw we found out it is Statehood Day which is an annual public holiday in Lithuania celebrated on July 6 to commemorate the coronation in 1253 of Mindaugas as the only King of Lithuania.

I suppose this was their national anthem...........but we're not sure..........it seemed serious and a little formal I thought

 


 

MOm thought that was it, but nooo no no, sit down and eat with us, so they spread a white tarp on the ground and started to up food and vodka. Mom got her chairs and a table and joined in and had a great time despite not understanding one word.

 


  That brown mug got filled several times and passed around. Straight vodka is not something Mom likes but she wanted to fit in so she sipped very little each time. I thought that was comforting to see.

 


 

The biggest guy I've ever seen was the guy in the gray sweatsuit. I know he liked me, but he scared me when he wanted to stroke me because his hand covered my entire body and I can tell he was very strong.

I was told he was a Russian soldier and they said something about Siberia too?

They slept in their cars and how the big guy fit in his little yellow car is unbelievable. The couple in the Cadillac had the best space.

IN the morning they were getting very busy polish and shine their cars because they were driving to church. 

   

Mom used Google translate to tell them how much she appreciated the invite and how great time she had, and she gave the ladies her ladybug good luck hats. They couldn't write back since they have a Cyrillic alphabet, but she got kisses on both cheeks. 

Before they left they came with a gift for Mom. It was a bottle of vodka and green pinecones. Lady said she was Apoteka and medicine, so finally, Mom understood she should soak the pinecones in vodka for 6 months.............but she is not clear if she's supposed to eat the pinecones or drink the vodka? the lady said no alcohol no alcohol?

They all had this flag (and the Lithuanian) on their cars so Mom thinks it was a car club

 


After goodbyes, we drove off to the next goal which was only a few miles away............On the way, we spotted this stork nest so close to the road, so Mom could finally get a closer look.

 


Next stop was the Hill of crosses...............

When the old political structure of Eastern Europe fell apart in 1918, Lithuania once again declared it's independence throughout this time, the Hill of Crosses was used as a place for Lithuanians to pray for peace, for their country, and for the loved ones they had lost during the wars

         

Now I understand what Mom was doing this morning, she just HAD to leave a mark here. Personally, I don't understand why she didn't leave a ladybug? Mom said it's because it's the hill of crosses not the hill of ladybugs...............

It wasn't the best cross..............but I'm sure it'll disappear in the masses

 


The site took on a special significance during the years 1944–1990 when they were occupied by the Soviet Union. Continuing to travel to the hill and leave their tributes, Lithuanians used it to demonstrate their allegiance to their original identity, religion, and heritage. It was a venue of peaceful resistance, although the Soviets worked hard to remove new crosses, and bulldozed the site at least three times (including attempts in 1963 and 1973).

 

   


On September 7, 1993, Pope John Paul II, visited the Hill of Crosses, declaring it a place for hope, peace, love, and sacrifice. In 2000 a Franciscan hermitage was opened nearby. The hill remains under nobody's jurisdiction; therefore people are free to build crosses as they see fit.

People are making crosses from the pebbles on the walkway.

The exact number of crosses is unknown, but estimates put it at about 55,000 in 1990 and 100,000 in 2006

 

 



I wasn't allowed to visit this place so I watched Lucy (napped) so I missed meeting this nice man playing the accordion 


 

as always there was a gift shop by the parking lot, selling wooden crosses and rosary beads. Amber is big here and this tree was pretty cool...........mom left with nothing..

 


Like I began to say, we are in a different country now, as a matter of fact, we are camping in Latvia's capital which is Riga. We had another great day in town, but I'll tell you about that tomorrow, now it's time to sleep


 

Of I have also forgotten to tell you we have been in a different timezone for a while so now it's 7 hours later than in Florida.


Night Night 

 

 



  

 

 

 


ANNONS
Av EvaLena Hallgren - Fredag 6 juli 22:10

What a difference a day and sunshine can make...............yesterday was a down day for Mom and this morning she got up so early, and didn't make the usual coffee and just left the campsite she really hated but the only choice since we're in a national park. 

Anyway, no more than a 15 minutes later she found a nice parking space and made the coffee and fed me and then the sun came up.............instant mood change. (I know why Mom was pissy last night, but I'm not allowed to tell..............)

Steeped in Lithuanian mythology, the Curonian Spit is a legend said to have been formed a long, long time ago by a beautiful giant girl named Neringa, who created this sandy peninsula to protect the bay from a stormy sea created by an evil serpent. This story can loosely be understood by observing the beautiful wooden carvings along the "Hill of Witches" in Juodkrante, a village where we stopped and spent several hours this morning................very fitting thinking of Moms tantrum yesterday.

 

 


Work began in 1979 on the sculpture park, and it now features 80 different wooden carvings from local artists. Painstakingly hand-crafted, each sculpture depicts a popular character from folk and pagan traditions in the Juodkrante. The public park got its name long before the sculptures were placed along the wooded trails, and is, in fact, a reference to the pagan celebrations that take place on the hill during the Midsummer’s Eve Festival.

 

     

The location of the Hill of Witches was previously used as the site of a yearly festival called Jonines (St. John’s Eve). Occurring on June 24th, this festival was a mix of pagan and Christian celebrations with dancing and merriment. The celebration culminated in a search for a magic fern blossom at midnight.This celebration was stopped during WWI

     


I had no idea what was going to happen, and in the beginning, when it was uphill I tried to protest so Mom should get my carriage but she didn't give in, so I had no choice to walk along. I did try to get these two stiffs to carry me but they were frozen and didn't move. it was a slow walk and a lot to sniff, so I started to enjoy it too. 

    

 

It was so early so at first, we were alone in this magical forest but soon a nice young couple came and the girl Amber was born close by and knew the legends and told many stories as we walked along. She told us this was the Devil and he's asking you to tell him your wishes and it'll come true. He's holding his hand by his ear as he's listening..............

 

This is too spooky for me............but knowing what happen last night I knew there was no use of me telling her not to...........and sure enough.

 


Amber also said something to him in her native tongue, and then her boyfriend did in his language and he was Romanian. I guess the Devil knows ALL languages..............wonder if he'll understand if I ask for those special treats we're out of.

 

The hill became overgrown with huge pine trees that now stand as high as the eye can see. Listen closely – you can hear them whispering to you in the breeze.

Once you reach the summit and start to make your way down the back side of the hill, you will notice a different feeling. The sunlight seems to be hidden behind the trees, the wind picks up just a little bit, and the carvings are of gruesome things like Lucifer and the Gates of Hell, scary sorcerers, and wicked witches. Beware – you don’t want to get caught on this side of the hill after dark or you might never return................here's Christian and Amber trying out a ride

 

all of a sudden we heard music at the bottom of the hill 

 

we stopped and listened and both kids fell in love with me and asked their father for permission to come and see me after they finished their song.

   


this is a hill where the witches, goblins, fairies, fortune tellers, and devils all come together each night after sunset. They party, drink, dance, gamble, and play cards. Most of all, they scare the wits out of any mortals that dare to enter the hill after dark! They roam the hill all night, frightening, confusing, luring, and tormenting any human who crosses their path. The only reprieve for all mortals is when the rooster finally crows at dawn. It was a warning to all party-goers of the pending sunlight that would soon pass over the hill. As soon as the rooster crows, all the magical and mystical beings disappear as if they had never been there at all.

       

we said goodbye to the nice couple and Mom looked around in a souvenir stand and finally found a wind chime she liked. Every year she brings a ddifferent one to the Florida room.

 

 

this is the Lithuanina flag in case you didn't know

 

Mom loves these stock roses and was admiring them in someones yard

 

 

The owner of the yard kept an eye on us so I didn't dare lift my leg and mark anything here, she didn't look like she would share her yard with me .........

 

 

and on we went, back on the ferry to the mainland and I'm doing the copiloting as usual

 

 

We're heading North to yet another country and we started off on a very good road but as usual, Mom has to make changes. This road looks like a quilt which Mom christened to "50 shades of gray"....................oh gee how original

 

 

 

We're still in Lithuania and we thought it was kind of strange there aren't billions of 18wheelers on the road and now we found out it's a holiday Lithuanian independence day.


we're camping in a gorgeous place and our closets neighbors are this cute.


   

 

 

 

 

as we're sitting here in Lucy a few cars with flags shows up and we got invited to their party, but that's another story I'll tell you about tomorrow.

 

Good NIght

 

 

 

 

 



 


 
 


 

     

 

ANNONS
Av EvaLena Hallgren - Torsdag 5 juli 21:56

Lithuania is a country and the southernmost of Europe’s Baltic states, a former Soviet bloc nation bordering Poland, Latvia, and Belarus. The capital is Vilnius and known for its medieval Old Town. Mom says we have seen so many Old Towns now so she looked for a national park instead.


As world war I neared its end, Lithuania's act of independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. In the midst of the secondworld war, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of Soviet Union Lithuania became the first Baltic state to declare itself independent after 50 years of Soviet occupation.


After driving on so many bad roads in Poland, it felt good driving on smooth roads again. The landscape is flat and mostly farmland. it looks like a huge quilt in many nuances of green, yellow and brown with a few splashes of blue where there's a lake or a river.

this is a marker of the highest elevation on the highway.

 

sometimes this red line is a divider and it's like a washboard and makes a lot of noise when you drive on it. Also, it makes my chair vibrate so it disturbs my nap. It makes Mom giggle

 

 

finally, we got to the ferry luckily  a very short one so we could stay in Lucy

   


Now we are at Curonian Spit which is a long thin piece of land that is 98 km (60 miles)long and only 0.4 km (450yards)wide at its narrowest point and 4 km (2,4miles)wide at its widest. The Lithuanian portion of the Curonian Spit (a portion of the spit is within Russia’s Kaliningrad territory) is home to historic fishing communities. An additional unique feature of the Curonian Spit is the shifting dunes, located between Nida and Kaliningrad.


We are in Nida and on the other side of that black line is Russia and Mom is tempted to drive there to take pictures of the border guards.............MOM, do NOT make trouble.... My advice is not to do that so we get out of here together

 

 


the smooth driving roads are now gone, for 55 miles we bounced around like a little dingy on the ocean. Sure it would have been better if Mom slowed down but she felt bad for all the small cars that got stuck behind and some made really scary passings on this narrow road. Why such a hurry? Usually, Mom pulls to the side to let people pass but there was no way to do that here.

 

 

After parking Lucy at a camp in the forest, sandy pinecones and needles covering the ground which is not very nice. It is the only campsite here and you're not allowed to park anywhere else.

We went for a bike ride and Mom was very pleased with the new bike, but I'm not noticing any difference.................maybe because it's the same basket?

 

 

 

We went around town but it didn’t feel all that exciting since it’s not sunny and not much to do, not a lot of tourists either.

     

 

it looked like a typical little fishing village

 

   

Mom has a feeling it's a playground for the newly rich because it's quite a while since we have seen these cars or someone this happy on his yatch 

   

 


I tried out a Mercedes but I think the bike basket is cosier 

 

 

this looked like love

 

 

this dog had a collar of amber..............lots of tourist souvenir shops selling amber here............Mom didn't buy any

 

 


not a great day to be on the beach

 

 

all that was left to do was to eat, and Mom ordered fish and drank 2 beers………………...uhoh, it’s not Polen prices anymore, we are on Euros now..................

   

 

time to say good night all

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Av EvaLena Hallgren - Onsdag 4 juli 22:16

we are now somewhere in Lithuania, we were supposed to be in Vilnius which is the capital of Lithuania but found out they have a city festival and that means it'll be crowded, so Mom stopped at a parking place to look where else to go, and we're still at that place. First, she got hungry and cooked, and then she needed a nap? and oh well.............we're in no hurry.

Before it got dark we had this view.

 


There are storks nests everywhere here and apparently, it's baby season 

     


last night we slept by a lake in a very quiet spot, can't really say that about this spot, it's too close to the road, and when we pulled in here we saw this sign. It looks like we're under camera surveillance and that sounds like it'll be very safe? right. According to google translate, it says: You will be fined for the sale of household items.................ok we are not selling anything

 


When we woke up this morning we finally see blue skies and a sun on it's way up, so we went for a nice long walk by the lake. This bird looks familiar 

 


but I have never seen this kind before?


 


Leaving this place around noon and heading north we start to see signs that let you know it'snot that far to Russia, and Mom worries about Linnea leading us wrong so we mistakingly cross the border to Putin land. According to Moms friend, we will know for sure where that border is............haha

 

He also asked for more pictures of the country and the people, enough churches already ...............so we stopped in a small village, one street a couple of bars and a supermarket a bunch of old guys sitting on a bench drinking beer and shooting the shit. Mom bought an ice cream and we sat and took in the scene. 

   

There were quite a few curious stares and this man chatted away with Mom and she responded to him in English and Swedish telling him she's sorry she can't speak Polish. It didn't seem to bother him at all. He still told her his story

 


the ice cream was delicious, I didn't want any even though Mom offered to me



     


A Munk on a mountain bike is not something you see every day.

 

The Polish people are really serious about their cemeteries, we have seen many like this and this one in the middle of nowhere it seemed?

   

Another thing here is the constant detours because of road work, and that usually ends up getting very bumpy, but this one broke a record. Mom was so sure Linnea screwed up because how can you possibly meet another vehicle here? 

and when she met a guy in a Volvo that happily waved she was sure this is not going to end well...........(she thought he was laughing at her choice)

 


then this sign popped up ?? and ok this is for eighteen wheelers too? I sure hope we will not meet on now

 

all went well. Another sign we often see is this, but we never see many cows or is it a bull warning? Either way, we don't  see them often and never on the road

 

This is me telling Mom I have to go out NOW......................

 


see you tomorrow......................all is well











Av EvaLena Hallgren - Onsdag 4 juli 02:23

It is still crappy weather (and it's a heat wave in Sweden? can't win)  

I'm still in my bunk sleeping while Mom who couldn't sleep is updating my blog. It's very quiet here so I don't understand why she's not sleepy.............oh well

Yesterday when we got to Warsaw we found a parking space a few blocks from the old town right on the river and that's where we spent the night, and for some reason, Mom couldn't get the modem to work so there so no wifi no update of the blog. It also turned out to be a bad choice to spend the night here since the noise from traffic was on all night. Didn't bother me so much but it kept Mom up.

Warsaw is the capital and the largest city of Poland The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is officially estimated at 1.765million Moreover, its historical old town was designated a UNESCO world heritage site. Sounds like a repeat from other cities we have visited and honestly, that's the way it feels now.

Warsaw was once described as Paris of the east andwas believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World war II when the German invasion started in 1939.

   

 


These kids had a ball playing with the water pump...........kids are never cold it seems

 

 

the famous mermaid statue, no idea what she has done to become famous, but that's what it said in the tour flyer, which we didn't bother with. This weather didn't inspire to do anything at all although Mom would have liked the Chopin concert offered in one of the chapels.............but for whatever reason, I wouldn't be allowed to attend

 

  



The history of Warsaw is like other cities we visited in Poland horrific, there was the massacre of the Jewish population and deportations to concentration camps which led to the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto in 1943 and to the major and devastating Warsaw uprising between August and October 1944.

Warsaw gained the new title of Phoenix City because of its extensive history and complete reconstruction after the severe damage it suffered in World War II, which left over 85% of its buildings in ruins. The city was awarded Poland's highest military decoration for heroism, following the Siege of Warsaw.

Central Poland, including Warsaw, came under the rule of, a German Nazi colonial administration. All higher education institutions were immediately closed and Warsaw's entire Jewish population – several hundred thousand, some 30% of the city– were herded into the Warsaw ghetto.

The city would become the center of urban resistance to Nazi rule in occupied Europe. When the order came to annihilate the ghetto as part of Hitler's "Final solution" on 19 April 1943, Jewish fighters launched the Ghetto uprising Despite being heavily outgunned and outnumbered, the Ghetto held out for almost a month. When the fighting ended, almost all survivors were massacred, with only a few managing to escape or hide

   

 

An old man who went for ice cream with his dog who's begging for a taste .................and he is kind to share 

 

   

Hitler, ignoring the agreed terms of the capitulation, ordered the entire city to be razed to the ground and the library and museum collections taken to Germany or burned.

Monuments and government buildings were blown up by special German troops known as"Burning and Destruction Detachments".About 85% of the city had been destroyed, including the historic Old Town and the Royal Castle which was burned and looted by the Nazis in 1939 and almost completely destroyed in 1944 after the failed uprising. Reconstruction of the castle carried out in 1971-1984 was led by the Civic Committee, responsible for the reconstruction of Warsaw. It was afforded by mainly US donations 

 

   

 

 

 

 



By July 1944, the Red Army came deep into Polish territory and pursuing the Germans toward Warsaw.


Knowing that Stalin was hostile to the idea of an independent Poland, the Polish government in exile in London gave orders to the underground home army to try to seize control of Warsaw from the Germans before the Red Army arrived. It was in August 1944, as the Red Army was nearing the city, and the uprising began.


The armed struggle, planned to last 48 hours,and was partially successful, however it went on for 63 days. Eventually, the Home Army fighters and civilians assisting them were forced to capitulate. They were transported to pow camps in Germany, while the entire civilian population was expelled. Polish civilian deaths are estimated at between 150,000 and 200,000.

   


On 17 January 1945, the Soviet troops and Polish troops entered the ruins of Warsaw and liberated Warsaw's suburbs from German occupation. The city was swiftly taken by the Soviet Army, which rapidly advanced towards Lodz as German forces regrouped at a more westward position.


This is called the Barbicanand was largely destroyed, as were most of the Old Town's buildings. It was rebuilt after the war, during 1952–1954, on the basis of 17th-century etchings, as the new government decided it would be cheaper to rebuild the Barbican and the nearby city walls as a tourist attraction than to rebuild the tenements. In its reconstruction, bricks were used from historic buildings demolished in the cities of Nysa and Wroclaw most of it was rebuilt, save for two exterior gates and the oldest tower on the side of the Old Town. 

   


I say I'm still one of the biggest tourist attraction in every city we visit. Maybe I should have a little cup on the carriage for donations as street performers do?

   

the stadium on the other side of the river

 

 

 

this looked like a great interesting shop,but we had a feeling the shop owner would not be happy if we pulled the muddy wheels of my wagon over those pretty rugs.

 

 

this is about getting along even if we are different

 

 

 

Mom actually tried these taps to see if any beer came out of them? 

 

 

 

A little old lady watching what's happening in the streets below. I do think she notices Mom taking pictures of her because she quickly closed the window and pulled the lacy curtain shut.

 

 


The old town which like in all cities is covered in cobblestones and  usually the outside restaurants are full of tourists but today's weather is keeping them from sitting outside Mom getting hungry was looking for a place for us to eat, and since she prefers the little "hole in the wall"places we asked to come inside here, but not possible because of me. I don't get it? I'm sitting quietly in my carriage?

 

 

Oh well, eventually we were invited into a very nice place and this dish was suggested. It was a potato pancake and a meat stew with mushrooms and topped with another pancake. I loved the meat and there was so much Mom could finish and she didn't let me do it. Here in Poland there is no custom of taking leftovers home, which I think is a shame, it would have been a great breakfast for me.

   

 


It is cold and wet, not a great day for a stroll, so after supper, we walked back to Lucy and tried to sleep. Unfortunately Moms choice of parking spot wasn't that great since the traffic noise never seemed to end.

 


We got up really early and continued on North, not exactly sure what's next. Moms mood are as gray as the weather and she's pissed about the modem not working and was looking for a free wifi hotspot to figure out what's wrong.


Often the bigger gas stations have wifi so she pulled in and tried to fix this issue. She got online but still couldn't connect to the modem. Ready to give up she met two young men who were hitchhiking, and she invited them to come along and it didn't take one of them long to fix it. Here they are at a short stop for a bite to eat

 

 


They were heading up to Poland's biggest lakes to go sailing and it wasn't far from our plans to begin with and it'll take us off the high ways on much nicer roads.


Both guys spoke good English and although I had to give up my seat and the weather still sucked we had a great time and learned more about everyday living in Poland.


We dropped them off at a marina and Mom had the brilliant idea about looking for the chemical we needed for Lucy and yesss score. According to Linnea, there were so many camps to choose around these lakes so Mom picked one that looked good, but when we got there it was so bad we didn't stay and that's a first.


Finally found a nice place by a lake and if it wasn't for the rain it would be great.................maybe tomorrow will be better

 

 

 

It is now 4 am and Mom is coming back to bed and back under the covers so I can keep her warm, it is cold

 

it'll get better later 

..................................

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Av EvaLena Hallgren - Söndag 1 juli 20:22

So Mom decided it was time to say bye to our great friends next door and head to Warsaw which is about a 3,5-hour drive from here. 

You think we got there? nope we didn't

Driving along all of a sudden the sky opened up and we were in a middle of a hailstorm? Does the weather know this is July first? Mom was lucky to find a spot to pull over and luckily it didn't last long, sun shining again we went on. 

I needed a pee break and Mom a cup of tea so we pulled into a truck stop for a snack and looking up on the sky it looked like we were heading into crap weather again?

Now we had the sun behind us and the black clouds in front................so we took a nap 

   

when we awoke it had stopped and looked like it was going to be sunny again. This is like Florida, but much cooler.

 

Continuing on we drove through a little bigger town and Mom spotted a store name she's seen before and thought it looked like it could be a camping shop...........(oh shoot here we go again) The name of the shop is Decathlon and this place had an easy entrance and large parking lot (which believe me, is very unusual here) We could use more chemicals for the toilet so Mom pulled in, and it turned out to be a sporting goods store. oh well ..........

They did sell bikes so Mom checked the prizes and decided this was a great deal on a bright red bike (so no one will back into it again) This young man, named Mark who spoke good English, helped and gave an amazing service moved my baskets from the old bike and walked out and helped to put it on Lucy making sure everything was secure.

   


the old bike that was broken and that Mom never really liked anyway was now given to someone who can fix it and needs it.

It's still almost 3 hours left to drive to Warsaw (we obviously didn't drive the closets road) Mom is not so found of the highways because there's nothing to see she says...ok so now we are in Suchedniow on Ogodova road not so far from hotel Swietokrzyski that's located on Slowackiego street.................poor Linnea who speaks Swedish trying to pronounce all these addresses. Sure we could trade Linnea into a Polish girl, but then Mom wouldn't understand when the Polish lady tells her to turn......................we'll keep Linnea, just found out that's Mom's middle name too

Service is excellent here and it's very nice and quiet. 

Here is little cafe that is run by a lady that used to live in Sarasota FLorida, this IS a small world. They have delicious Paninis.

On my walk, I met this funny looking animal and at first, I wasn't sure what it was and when I tried to get closer to investigate it took off like the tail was on fire..........poor kitty, hope he has a good home

 


there were ducks in the lake and I told them to come along Mom has bread to give, and they followed, but Mom didn't get the bread?  it's too cold outside she said...

 



I bet we'll be in bed sleeping early................... it's nice to do nothing 

tomorrow we'll have better weather for sure...............

 



  


good night


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