Aukštaitija nature and legends
Aukštaitija is the largest ethnographic region of Lithuania, characterized by a variety of dialects and ethnoculture. During the trip we will visit the land of Nalšia, which is surrounded by various stories and legends in Eastern Lithuania. Villages or streams are called by pagan names here. It is a land of lakes and forests, the center of which is Švenčionys. According to its age, the town almost as old as Vilnius. It is located in a special place, at the bottom of an old dry valley. The Grand Duke Vytautas liked it, Napoleon Bonaparte personally visited Švenčionis, which Lev Tolstoy describes in in his famous novel „War and Peace“.
Švenčionys region is rich in a variety of herb species the growth of which is determined by the favorable geographical location. The r fields, forests and meadows are rich in a variety of herbs. Nature itself helped to create a type of business typical of this region – the collection of herbs. Here we will visit Švenčionių vaistažolės, one of the oldest herbal processing factories in the Baltics and Europe, which has been operating and nurturing traditions for more than a hundred years. A small herbal purchasing company started its operation in 1883. – Today “Švenčionių vaistažolių fabrikas“ – a herbal processing company with modern technological and laboratory equipment, awarded with many evaluations and certificates, and its products reach even Japan. At the Švenčionys herbal factory, we will see how various herbs that have come from nature are gradually turning into tea, and after the tour we will even taste he various types and flavors of tea produced here.
We will continue our journey to the oldest Lithuanian national park – Aukštaitija National Park, where from the high hills great views of lakes, fields and forests open. We will visit the capital of Aukštaitija National Park – Palūšė. It is a wonderful corner of nature with one of the oldest wooden shrines – Palūšė Church. This church was built without a saw and nails, and its octagonal belfry is the only one of its kind in the country. “Enter the good, come out better,” wishes the inscription on thedoor of Palūšė St. Joseph’s church.
During the ” baking demonstration ” program, we will not only learn the history of the origin of a tree cake, as it is in different parts of the world, see the whole production process, but also participate in it and, of course, taste it. In addition, it is the only place in Lithuania where you can taste your own baked tree cake in the open fireplace.
We will visit one of the most memorable symbols of Aukštaitija National Park – Ginučiai water millhouse. A wooden millhouse building filled with antiquity, which has preserved ancient authentic equipment, a bridge and a dam. The mill houses a museum that tells the story of bread from grain to table. They say that even the devil of Ginučiai millhouse often visits here …
In the only beekeeping museum in Lithuania, which is protected by sculptures of pagan gods, we will get a closer look at the secrets of beekeeping. We will take a walk in the museum territory, taste honey or relax in hammocks. Visit the beekeeper’s house, workshops and even the hive itself in indoor interactive explosions. You’ll be surprised to learn that three presidential bee colonies also live here.
We will climb the legendary Ladakalnis hill. It is one of the most impressive objects of Aukštaitija National Park. 176 m high mountain, a geomorphological natural monument with a truly unique view. From the top of Ladakalnis hill you can see as many as six lakes nestled between forested areas. And when climbing to the top of the mountain, don’t forget to bring a stone and leave it on the brick altar. It is a gift to the goddess Lada. People secretly hope for her favors. When we are there, we have a special feeling, rising from provided by the opening views, the authentic environment, the almost untouched nature and, apparently, the power of the ancient legends flowing around.