To the land of the waters
During this two-day trip, we will be accompanied by the great Lithuanian waters, the longest river in Lithuania, the Nemunas, and the largest body of water – the Curonian Lagoon.
We will head towards the coastal edge on the picturesque Panemunė road. On the one hand, we will see the bends of the Nemunas and its fertile meadow, and on the other hand, the areas covered with legends and history. We will visit the Lithuanian Switzerland called Vilkija, which is proud of its church towers. We will see the only cable car in Lithuania that lifts passengers across the RiveNemunas r without using an engine, just the current of the river. We will climb the mound of Seredžius, reminiscent of the times of Duke Palemonas, who came from Rome. From here we will take a look at the foothills of the Nemunas.
In Panemunė Castle we will take a walk in its park, famous for its terrace ponds. In the castle, reminiscent of the 16th century, we will hear its history, take a walk in the rooms see, the walls decorated with frescoes, climb to one of the castle towers and see the cell.
From the territory of Great Lithuania we will go to the fifth region of Lithuania – Lithuania Minor. In the small but cozy town of Smalininkai we will visit the oldest water measuring station in Lithuania and the first near the Nemunas. In 19 c. it was recognized as the most beautiful in Europe. In the Museum of Ancient Technology we will see over 7,000 exhibits reflecting the development of agriculture, household, crafts and technology. These include various ancient internal combustion engines, tractors and transport equipment, electrical, radio, film, photo and other antique equipment. At the same time other antiques are exhibited: from meat mincers to calculating machines.
Admiring the views and architecture of the towns of Lithuania Minor, we will go to the most famous mountain of this region – Rambynas. It is the most mystical place in Lithuania Minor, about which many legends are intertwined. It offers a view of the Nemunas, a neighboring Russian (Kaliningrad region), and in the distance you can see the former city of Tilsit. We will try to go down the stairs and count them, but it is said that Rambynas fairies confuse thoughts and no one counts correctly.
After staying in nature, we will go to the town of Šilutė, where we will visit the manor of Hugo Šojus. The history of Šilutė Hugo Šojus Museum begins in the 19th century. The old manor of Šilokarčema was bought by Klaipėda-based landowner Hugo Šojus. Seeing how fast the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century was traditions and businesses disappearing, in the two rooms of his manor house he started to accumulate ethnographic material of Klaipėda region and collected folklore. In the magnificent manor, which is characterized by the architecture of this region, we will learn about the history of Lithuania Minor, the way of life and culture, and taste the culinary heritage of this region – aunt ‘s cake and coffee which is called kafija.
We will see the Šilutė Lutheran Church, which boasts a 50-meter-high bell tower, decorated with the largest tower clock in Lithuania. The interior of the church is decorated with columns and balconies, stained glass and paintings. A fresco with images of 104 people was painted in the central altar. This fresco depicts Catholic saints, Reformation and Evangelical church figures, scholars, artists, members of the ecclesiastical council, church builders, and masters. Šilutė Church was considered one of the most beautiful Evangelical Lutheran churches in East Prussia.
We will also visit the largest and only inhabited island in Lithuania – Rusnė. At Rusne, the River Nemunas divides into two large branches, and these further into smaller ones – forming the Nemunas Delta. On Rusnė Island, we will visit an ethnographic fisherman’s homestead, learn about the lives of the fishermen who lived here, what tools they used. Why there is a boat in the yard of almost every house, even though there is no water nearby.
The next day we will go to Ventė promontory, where the oldest Ornithological Station in Lithuania is established, to observe the migration of birds. We will see the bird traps, find out why they are ringed and climb the old lighthouse.
We will visit the village of Minija called Venice of Lithuania. In this village, a river flows instead of the main street, and the most beautiful facades of the buildings face the river. From here we will take a boat trip to see the natural beauty of the Nemunas delta and the surroundings of the Curonian Lagoon.
While at the seaside, we will definitely taste the fish caught by fishermen, which is made according to the recipes of their wives and will surprise even the most picky gourmets.