After a lovely day in Panevėžys, it was time to see something more. Our lovely hosts took us and their two kids for a ride to the beautiful town of Anykščiai. The town lies in the north-east of Lithuania.
After quite a drive from Panevėžys, we arrived at the church in the middle of the town. It was possible to climb the tower here, to get a good view of the valley in which the town is situated. Everywhere you find the names of two writers who lived in this town and had a major impact on Lithuanian literature. Those are Antanas Baranauskas and Jonas Biliūnas. One has to take in mind that Lithuania has no such things like theme parks, so what you do find is a map of the town and surroundings, full of little things to do. This is really a fun day for the kids, since they get to see and learn a lot.
After the tower we cross the street for the Museum of Angels. A collection of paintings can be found here and a collection of angel statues. It’s not as impressive as it’s counterpart ‘The Devil Museum’, but that’s alright. We checked it out and it did have some pretty things. Props for the cool little library, with some great literature. The museum was also rather small, leaving us enough time to move to the next destination, which is the biggest rock (or second) of Lithuania, which has been turned into a memorial for the two pilots of the Lituanica (which I mentioned earlier). The trick is ofcourse to climb that rock, which I did without much problems.
The beautiful nature around is currently yielding its first treasures in the form of mushrooms, which are much loved by the Lithuanians. Our hosts are on the lookout for these nature treasures as well. We continue to the Horse Museum, which is a miniature open air museum, showing the history of horses and their use, but also the crafts related to it. The blacksmith is always interesting to me, due that I did some of that in the museum I worked for a while. This blacksmith smells a bit like alcohol though, and his work is sloppy and bad, but the kids love seeing the fire anyways. It’s still a win, just like the apples that grow on the trees and the games that can be played.
The internal traveller also needs something now and then, so we head back to town to get a bite. First we dropped by the bob sledges ride (sledges on rails really that go down a hillside). Unfortunately it is so busy that we have to wait for an hour back to town it its and on the dam in the river we have a bite at the restaurant. Potato pancakes with meat are a great filler for the stomach. They’re a bit greasy, but that is not taking away much of the satisfaction. Back it is to the slegde rides and after a long wait its full throttle down the hill. It feels a bit more exciting than what we did in theme parks actually. It was also a great occasion for a selfie.
The final destination was the grave of Jonas Biliūnas on top of a hill. A tower is built over it, named the ‘beacon of happiness’. Apparently it is a popular site for newly weds or hen nights, since there’s 1 group of hens on top of the hill and two new couples climbing up when we are there. After this final visit, it is time to head back to Panevėžys. Tired but satisfied after a long and interesting day.