Run for the Border

On Saturday, a Lithuanian acquaintance offered to take me out to see the southwest region of Lithuania.  This was a chance to see more of the Lithuanian countryside and, I thought, visit a village or two.  It turns out my friend loves driving the open road.  I saw a lot of beautiful countryside, but all from the car. We drove down from Kaunas through Šakiai to Kurdirkos Naujamiestis, then back to Jurbarkas and along the north edge of the Nemunas river.

We only stopped twice — once when we hit the Lithuanian border with the Kaliningrad region of Russia and once before we got back to Kaunas to have dinner at a cafe on the Nemunas river.  While it was an enjoyable day, I unfortunately do not have photos to show you.

  • August is harvest time and we passed a number of farmers harvesting their fields, quite a few of whom were driving John Deere tractors.
  • A lot of storks feeding in the fields.
  • Cows, baby cows, horses, goats, even a few chickens.
  • Small villages — each house with a lovely flower garden in front.  The villages on the north side of the Nemunas river were particularly charming.

Most interesting about this region is that it was originally the borderlands between Lithuania and Germany.  The Kaliningrad region of Russia was the West Prussian Konigsberg region of Germany until occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.  The East Prussian region of the Germany empire in the 19th century extended into what is now Lithuania from Klaipėda down towards the Nemunas river.

Looking at Russia across the Šešupė River -- we were hoping to wave to Russia border guards across the bridge but it was unguarded (just blocked)


About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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