Sunday, August 12, 2012

Encore Day 022 Suwalki - Gražiškiai

We got up early and my couchsurfing host Pawel showed me the good way towards Lithuania. Without him I might have taken the highway, which is full of crazy truck drivers. Instead we went along some beautiful minor roads through a very nice landscape: hills, lakes (the deepest lake in Europe!), small villages. Even with a bit of rain it was very enjoyable.
When we reached Lithuania Pawel had to turn back and I went on along the former Soviet Union border patrol path. It is kind of crazy: when I was a child this was the heavily guarded border of what was probably the biggest empire in history and now you can just roll into Lithuania and use the border structures for fun - instead the soldiers are patrolling now a few kilometres away, at the border of the small Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The way along the former border path was very beautiful, but it had a lot of ups and downs and the surface was mostly sand - not really goid with a packed travel bike, but it might be fun with a mountain bike (Pawel, you should try this once!).
Once I left the border road I just had to go through one village - on the surrounding fields was a huge flock of storks. I know them only in pairs, so I was very surprised to see maybe 100 at once. After the village I soon arrived at the place of Tadas, todays couchsurfing host. He is currently taking care of his parents big milk cow farm where they live in a big house within a beautiful setting. He showed me around the farm and we had some stories to share - he is also a long distance cyclist. In the evening friends came over and we all had a vegetarian meal and spent the evening talking and playing card games.

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