It’s only about twenty minutes per bus from Klaipeda to Palanga, which turns out to be the more glamorous resort town. It did remind me though of Jurmala in Latvia, which is also a swanky resort town full of tourists. Klaipeda was a lot less touristic and I am happy that I stayed there for two nights instead of Palanga. But Palanga came also recommended by a local girl who I met on the free walking tour through Vilnius.
I arrived during a downpour in Palanga, left my luggage at the bus station and walked into the center. Right at the beginning of Jonas Basanavičiaus Street is the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary. Glady I went inside to escape the rain for a bit.
Once the rain stopped I followed the long pedestrian street all the way to the beach. Honestly, I was quite impressed that Lithuania has such long pedestrian streets in almost every town. Loved walking for 2km or more without watching out for cars. I have no picture from the pedestrian street itself because it was just not picture worthy. Full of restaurants, either fast food or ‘upscale’, and tourist shops, it didn’t really inspire me to take a picture. I loved the wooden boardwalk though, when I finally arrived at the beach. Just look how far the boardwalk goes into the sea.
Passing underneath the structure invoked a strange feeling. There is so much weight above and in front of you.
The sea was wild that day and the beach, as is usual up north, endless.
Leaving the beach via another boardwalk, this one much smaller, I slowly made my way to the botanical garden of Palanga. It takes at least five minutes to walk from the beach to the next street on these wooden planks. I just love it that the beach has not been ruined by building hotels right on it.
The botanical garden serves as backdrop for Lithuanian art, culture, and amber museum, which is housed in a beautiful palace. It took me some time to stroll through the garden, stopping all the while to examine the book boxes which were placed all over.
The weather hadn’t improved much, but at least it didn’t rain anymore and the palace looked inviting.
I was not so much interested in any art or culture but rather in amber and its history. Lithuania is big on amber and has a long tradition of extracting it, especially Klaipeda. Years ago I saw the amber room in St. Petersburg, so I was more than willing to learn about the golden resin. I enjoyed the most checking out the insects under a microscope.
My favorite amber piece however was not shiny and clear at all. It has a different, darker color. But it has the imprints of an animal, maybe a dog? In any case, it looks so fresh as if it just happened yesterday and not a million years ago. Yours, Pollybert