Jūros Šventė!

O in Klaipeda

After our exciting sail from Poland to Lithuania, we were dearly appreciating the feeling of some firm Lithuanian ground under our feet. And the urge to walk some with these feet, as well!

Here are some travel diary entries from our days in Klaipeda!

It’s Filled With Statues

The Old Castle Harbour (where we had our boat) was right in the middle of old city Klaipeda, so in whatever direction we walked, there was a lot to see. Old beautiful buildings, bridges, small cute shops and restaurants, narrow streets with surprises around the corner … and a lot of statues!

Not very unlike Rome, which is famously crowded with sculptures of serious-looking men and animals, the people of Klaipeda had taken an interest in statues as well. With modern twist, however, and in kind of street-artsy and fun style.

Angry guy climbing up on the pier. He knows what you did last summer! And he is coming to … illuminate it … with his lantern! (The Klaipeda Black Ghost)
The ugly cat! Here you have to rub its/her/his tail to make your wish come true.
And the Magical Mouse — who is supposed to make your wishes come true as well. This time the secret wasa to whisper your wishes into the mouse’s ear.
Next to the mouse, a huge chess board that the children liked a lot. (They actually played a game with the correct rules!)
Last but not least, the Sculpture Park. An absolutely mesmerizing place with a fascinating history.

Sea Museum and Aquarium

A short ferry ride over to the Curonian Spit and you can visit Klaipeda’s Sea Museum and Aquarium. It was well worth the trip!

J and the anchor. (“Parkour!” they would have shouted the Office, and jumped down doing funny poses. “Parkour!”)

The absolutely most memorable moment of our trip, however, was the horse carriage ride from the ferry to the museum. Little L and M had the time their lives! (And O seemed to like it as well.)

Jūros Šventė!

The main event in Klaipeda was one that took us a bit by surprise.

We were walking back to the boat when O noticed some people working on something up on the grassy castle wall. “What are those?” he asked, and pointed at what seemed like som neon sign letters they were installing there.

“PASIMATYMAI SU VĖJU,” the letters spelled out. I googled it: Festival of the Winds.

And then, one day later, all craziness broke loose.

Apparently, by coincidence, we were now attending Lithuania’s biggest and boldest sea festival! In spite of the ongoing pandemic, it seemed Lithuanian people in power had decided that the show must, indeed, go on, and so it did!

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has not yet been fully exhaled, Klaipeda has decided not to break long-standing traditions and to invite the whole of Lithuania to the Sea Festival on July 24-26. True, the celebration this year will be different and even without some of its main events and attributes

The streets were lined with small popup shops and food stalls, and (a bit depending on the amount of rain) more or less filled with people.

Right next to our boat they had constructed a small amusement park, that too filled with merry people enjoying the rides, the good street food, and the even better street beer.

The crazy carousel. M and O went for a couple of rides. (It was quite expensive.)
We queued maybe forty minutes to this trampoline. I think J liked it a lot, although he did look a bit nervous at first 🙂

The two-day festival continued for both days long into the evening …

A rainy concert.

And then into the night …

Party going on next to our boat.

And oh yes, President Gitanas Nausėda and his wife, Diana Nausėdienė, were attending as well, and they walked right by our boat! (With a small group of security people and a big following crowd, which made it even more exciting.)

A once-in-a-lifetime experience, certainly.

The Morning After

While I’m sure some people were still sleeping yesterday’s party off, Charlotte and I woke up early, and relatively bright and shining. It was time for us to sail onward.

At a bit before 6 am we were motoring slowly out of the Castle Harbour.

Our lovely harbourmaster was standing at the swinging bridge and waving goodbye to us. “Have a good trip! Welcome back!” he shouted.

“Look how beautiful it is here!” I said to Charlotte. “Can you please take some pictures?”

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