100 Reasons to Love Lithuania

Today my country Lithuania is celebrating its 100th anniversary of being a modern independent state. And the only thing (apart from my taxes) I can offer as a present are words. So here you go, here is a list of 100 things that make Lithuania the best country in the world for me.

1. Sunrise above the Curonian Lagoon
2. Hot air balloons flying low over Vilnius on a sunny and warm summer evening
3. Flying over Vilnius and seeing all the green inside of the city
4. Watching the sun going down into the Baltic Sea
5. Eating smoked fish in the dunes of the Curonian Spit
6. Watching the rivers getting more frozen day by day until they stop flowing
7. Visiting Pazaislis Monastery near Kaunas
8. Renting a rowing boat and admiring Trakai castle from the water
9. Chosing your favourite filling of Kibinai (the typical Karaite pastry)
10. Talking to your friends in Vilnius in a mix of Lithuanian, Russian and Polish – and surprise – everyone understands each other
11. Little mushroom- and nut-shaped pastries (grybukai and riesuteliai in Lithuanian)
12. Going for a run barefoot along the sea and not meeting a single person for many kilometers
13. The way autumn forest smells of mushrooms in the region of Varena
14. Sakotis traditional cake
15. That almost any cafe you walk in in Vilnius will turn out to be one of the best cafes you have visited
16. The skyline of Klaipeda from the ferry

Skyline of Klaipeda, Lithuania
17. Small unpaved roads in the middle of the country
18. Hundreds of amazing tastes of beer and those small breweries in Birzai
19. The cheese-makers House
20. Taking a winter hike in a forest near Palanga
21. Walking around the old town of Vilnius on Sunday and suddenly hearing the church bells from all around
22. The Hill of Crosses in Siauliai
23. Apple cheese – has nothing to do with cheese expect for the awesomeness
24. And that reminds me: Dziugas cheese, which I describe to my foreign friends as “like Parmesan, just better.”
25. And while we are at it, an ice-cream with Dziugas cheese
26. Walking among the treetops on the Treetop Path in Anyksciai

Treetop walking path in Anyksciai Laju takas
27. Those times Lithuania wins a basketball game and the majority of the population starts celebrating
28. The district of Pavilnys in Vilnius
29. Three international airports for less than three million people
30. Summer cold beetroot soup or “that pink soup” as foreigners refer to it.
31. The Constitution of the Republic of Uzupis, which allows the owner to love his cat. It does not oblige the cat to love the owner, but does oblige to come to him/her when he needs it
32. Foggy August mornings
33. Celebratory fires during the midsummer night
34. Smell of freshly cut grass in the summer
35. Frosty winter days when the snow sparkles underneath your feet.
36. Sand dunes by the sea

Sand dunes in Curonian Spit, Lithuania
37. The best (and cheapest) internet connection in Europe
38. Trees with knitted outfits on them
39. Short but abundant strawberry season
40. Local markets
41. Long summer days and short nights
42. Jumping in the waves of the Baltic sea
43. Building sandcastles at the seashore
44. Organised events of soap bubble blowing in the main squares
45. The smell of lilac everywhere in spring
46. Green colour everywhere

Greenery
47. Feeling safe even walking alone at night
48. The two rivers coming together in Kaunas
49. The friends who will stay with you through the good and the bad
50. Looking for the pieces of amber after the storm
51. Lithuanian language, and for some reason the word “driezas”
52. Canoeing down Ula river
53. Red and gold everywhere in autumn

Autumn in Lithuania
54. Names, which usually mean good things, like “sun”, “fire” or “bravery”
55. Looking for the fern flower on a midsummer night
56. Cozy rainy days inside with a book
57. The spas of Birstonas and Druskininkai
58. Sledging down the hill on a car tire in winter
59. Celebrating New Year’s Eve at the main square in any town with love, unity and fireworks
60. Poetry of Maironis
61. The smell of lily-of-the-valley flower in your grandmother’s backyard
62. Throwing pieces of bread to the hungry seagulls from the ferry between Klaipeda and Curonian Spit. They catch it in flight

Klaipeda, Lithuania
63. Canned boiled condensed milk called Rududu. 50% milk, 50% sugar, 100% happiness
64. Eating wood sorrel on your walk through the woods
65. The abundance of white and even whiter sculptures in St. Peter and Paul Church, Vilnius
66. Watching the fishermen in Karkle
67. Picking snowdrops
68. The Devil’s Museum in Kaunas
69. Celebrating the Carnival with pancakes without antisemitic and romaphobic components

Carnival in Lithuania
70. Staying in Smiltyne and watching the ships in the harbor all day long
71. The inner yards and spaces of the University of Vilnius
72. Coming hungry to a restaurant and ordering the cheese and garlic bread first
73. Never-ending varieties of herbal teas
74. Christmas tree in Vilnius, which usually makes it to the world top Christmas trees
75. Local ceramics studios
76. Lupin fields

Flowers
77. The smell of pine trees in Vingis Park during the summer
78. Birds coming back in spring (but not eating all of our cherries)
79. The sound of ice moving and stumbling in the river
80. Street art
81. Having a lake 20 kilometers or closer wherever you are in the country
82. Trolleybuses
83. Finding “a nest” in the dunes, where it is warm, even when it is really windy by the sea
84. The swing above the river of Vilnele
85. Little traffic on the motorways

Traffic in Lithuania
86. Feeling the days grow longer from the beginning of winter
87. Going for a 20 kilometer run around the whole Vilnius constantly moving from one park to another
88. Cherry blossom festival in Zagare
89. Each and every detail on the church of Saint Anne in Vilnius
90. Wine without grapes – cherry, black currant and apple
91. Fields of gold

Fields of gold
92. Traditional multipart songs Sutartines
93. Free education (well, mostly!)
94. Bus conductors giving out hot tea to the passengers during the frosty days
95. Knowing exactly where my milk comes from

Cows in Lithuania
96. Swimming naked in the lake
97. Frozen Baltic sea
98. Cute swearings. One of my favourite ones is this: “Let the worms chop you up to pieces!”
99.  Stepping in the morning on wet grass
100. The years of different ethnicities, nationalities and languages making Lithuania what it is now

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10 thoughts on “100 Reasons to Love Lithuania

  1. Sarah says:

    I only had the pleasure of spending 1 night in Lithuania, in Kaunas. But I did drive through the whole country. And I have Lithuanian heritage! All of this to say, I would love to return and spend more time there and your list of awesome things to love about the country only inspires me to do so sooner.

    • merrygoroundslowly says:

      Kaunas is a great place, and now they have a new campaign planning so many cultural events. So I think you should return here! 🙂

  2. SeasonedTravelr says:

    Beautiful photos! I’ve never been to Lithuania, and I don’t think I know anyone personally who has been there either. But now I’m motivated to make it happen! As a wine lover, I’m especially curious about #90 – intriguing! Thanks for the fantastic information ?

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