Friday, July 11, 2014

A Sunny Summery Saturday in Palanga, Lithuania

I am quite behind on my posts about the Latvia and Lithuania trip (uh, yes, that was back in May...). One reason is purely practical - I've been busy. Another reason is that I had handwritten some great posts, but of course now cannot find some of those papers. Thus, I had to start from scratch, and I haven't been too happy with thee results. However, I must soldier on, so I will continue writing about the vacation as best I can. After this one, there are probably only 3-4 posts left, so by the end of this month you and I should be all caught up!

Saturday was our day to explore Palanga. We took full advantage of of the summer opening festivities, first spending a long time admiring the many booths of traditional arts and crafts at the street fair. I had to restrain myself from buying lots of wood, linen and amber items, as I knew that both funds and suitcase space were limited. I did, however, purchase two lovely wood bowls.

Later we strolled through the streets of Palanga on our way to the Amber Museum. The museum is located in a park which is lovely in its own right. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the museum's admission fee was waived for the day due to it being International Museum Day. This is a day that is now widely marked in Europe, with many museums participating and holding special events. In Riga, for example, the day is celebrated with a Museum Night when the city's many museums are open late into to the night. The idea has also spread to smaller towns, such that many places in Latvia celebrated Museum Night this year. Afterwards I read that 200,000 people had visited at least one museum on that night in Latvia; considering the country's population is 2 million people, that is an enormous percentage!
Amber Museum
But back to Palanga... The Amber Museum is quite small, although we could not really tell if fewer things are currently exhibited due to the building being renovated. However, the items exhibited were very interesting. Instead of writing much more about it, here are a number of photos.
Poor thing - how many eons has it been suspended in this amber?
These amber pieces were not large, but were magnified to show the insects.

Check out the tractor made from amber!
After the musuem visit, a quick visit to the beach was called for. The beach in Palanga is really lovely - with clean white sand, and a small forest separating it from the town, and tidy boardwalks leading you toward the seaside.
Boardwalk leading to the beach
Boardwalk through forest leaving the beach
We walked back into the center of town using the great walkway located immediately off the beach. Shaded by tall trees, with the beach on one side and hotels and cafes on the other, the path was heavily traveled by walkers, bicyclists, kids in strollers. Although Palanga is generally clean and well kept, it does have its share of concrete carcasses. This one was right between the walkway and the beach.
What was this meant to be?
When we reached the main plaza, we paused for cold drinks and to enjoy music from the festival stage. Then we strolled out to the pier, the last part of which was blocked off for the evening's fireworks display.

The rest of the day was spent rather lazily - reading and napping for me, a swim in the cold Baltic Sea for Bryan, and dinner in a restaurant back on the main street. I definitely enjoyed the time spent in Palanga - it's a fun and relaxing summer beach town, particularly if you luck out with gorgeous weather the way we did!


  1. The amber museum looks interesting - the bugs look a little scary though:-) Glad your summer is looking good though. Summer in Germany has been a little too grey so far

    1. I was fortunate to visit Latvia and Lithuania during a very warm and sunny spell in May! Here in the DC area, hot and sunny are pretty much the norm this time of year. :) Sorry to hear your summer's been a tad gray...maybe the rest of July and August will be better!


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