A Travellerspoint blog

Stalin World

The Happiest Place on Earth?

all seasons in one day 34 °C

First of all.... let me just say that there are no pictures in the entry. I can assure you that we have tried (and we have great pictures to share), but this computer is stupid and won't let me do it.

But anyways, I'm sure that you are all curious about "Stalin World", so let me tell you all about it. Theres a theme park here in Lithuania, just south of Vilnius, where a guy has gathered a whole bunch of old communist statues, and has displayed them. The place isn't actually called Stalin World, it's called Grutas Parkas, but the Lonely Planet called it that, and I like it (in a sadistic kind of way). It was actually quite interesting seeing these statues, and kind of creepy the way they had old soviet music blaring through the park. The highlight was 13 Lenins and 2 Stalins (pretty big too).

One thing that I found that was sort of wrong, is that in a section of the park, they had a big playground for kids, and a little farm with a few animals. A place like that shouldn't really be a happy place. It should have more of a museum feel to it.

Anyways, now we're back in Vilnius..... sort of. Our hostel is actually in a part of town that has been "claimed" as an independant republic. Pretty much what happened is that a bunch of artists, hippies and drunks got together and decided to do this. But it is quite cool, and has a whole constitution written on some plaques on a wall.

Užupis Constitution:
Man has the right to live by the River Vilnelė, while the River Vilnelė has the right to flow by man.
Man has the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof.
Man has the right to die, but it is not his obligation.
Man has the right to make mistakes.
Man has the right to individuality.
Man has the right to love.
Man has the right to be not loved, but not necessarily.
Man has the right not to be distinguished and famous.
Man has the right to be idle.
Man has the right to love and take care of a cat.
Man has the right to look after a dog till one or the other dies.
A dog has the right to be a dog.
A cat is not obliged to love its master, but it must help him in hardness.
Sometimes man has the right to be unaware of his duties.
Man has the right to be in doubt, but this is not his duty.
Man has the right to be happy.
Man has the right to be unhappy.
Man has the right to be silent.
Man has the right to have faith.
No one has the right to violence.
Man has the right to realize his negligibility and magnificence.
Man has the right to encroach upon eternity.
Man has the right to understand.
Man has the right to understand nothing.
Man has the right to be of various nationalities.
Man has the right to celebrate or not to celebrate his birthday.
Man shall remember his name.
Man may share what he possesses.
Man cannot share what he does not possess.
Man has the right to have brothers, sisters and parents.
Man is capable of independence.
Man is responsible for his freedom.
Man has the right to cry.
Man has the right to be misunderstood.
Man has no right to make another person guilty.
Man has the right to be personal.
Man has the right to have no rights.
Man has the right not to be afraid.
Do not defeat.
Do not figth back.
Do not surrender.

I think it's great.

That's about it for now. I promise I'll try to get the pictures as soon as possible.

Posted by moutallica 11:14 Archived in Lithuania Comments (1)

Hot Hot Hot

Burning up in Lithuania

sunny 33 °C

Well, we said goodbye to Latvia, and we are now in Lithuania. It started off with a stop in Siauliau (not sure on the spelling). A pretty dull city, but there was a cool place a little bit out of town. We rented some bikes, and headed to the Hill of Crosses. This is two small, normal, hills, however, some crazy locals have decided to place crosses on them. But not just a few crosses, but literally thousands upon thousands of them. Crosses in every bit of space that was there, and then crosses hung from those crosses. It was pretty strange, but cool.

Now we're on the West Coast, in Klaipeda. We've been here a few days, and it's hot. You would never guess that it would get this hot in the Baltics. And the thing is that because it doesn't get dark until super late, it doesn't really cool down at night. That being said, it is nice that as we've moved further south, we've had more and more darkness each night. It was great at first when the sun doesn't set, but when you're sleeping in a tent, it's tough to sleep. Plus, since the sun starts to hit the tent in the wee hours of the morning, it turns into a sauna in there very quickly.

We've had a nice time here, chilling at the beach, and walking around some nice towns, but we seem to have chosen the wrong time to come. It's a Lithuanian holiday this weekend, and it seems like at least half the country has decided to come here. The beach is so packed, I've never seen that many people a beach. There's so many people, and no empty space anywhere, that the nude area of the beach sort of just blends in with the other. Instead of a definite line of clothes and no clothes, it just faded into it. Another thing is that we tried to go camping in a town called Nida (a ferry ride from here on the Curonian Spit), yet there was no room anywhere for our tiny tent. Tents were set up anywhere there was even remotely enough room between the trees. Luckily, we were able to come back to the hostel, where it was full packed.

Anyways, I'm sure this is getting boring.... especially without pictures. I'm heading to Vilnius tomorrow, and I'll try to go to a proper internet cafe (with a fast connection) so that I can upload some pictures.

Posted by moutallica 11:29 Archived in Lithuania Comments (1)

Crazy Latvian Sleepwalkers

We've had some interesting adventures the past few days. We first headed west to the beach at Ventspils. Here we were able to find a cool place to camp, just a few minutes walk from a nice beach. The weather has been amazing (maybe even too hot for my liking) so we were really able to enjoy it. The only problem is that I began to feel sick, and of course Jocelyn was soon to follow. At least a beach where you don't need to do anything, apart from lie in the sun, is a good place to get sick. However, this later caused us to fall asleep on the beach, waking up to a nice red burn on Jocelyn's leg.

After a few days there, we decided that it was probably a good idea to move on. Our Lonely Planet suggested a town called Valmiera, where we could stay in a really nice hostel and then canoe on the river. The only problem is that this hostel no longer exists. But that's not a problem, because the friendly guy there gave us a map that showed 2 more hostels, right beside each other only about a 20 minute walk away. So we lug our packs across town, knowing that because there are two hostels, we should be safe. That's where we were wrong. Both hostels did not exist, they just appeared to be apartment buildings. No one spoke any english at all to help us out. However, we were later able to find a little hotel, and while it was more than we wanted to pay, it wasn't too bad.

However, with our luck, the adventure, and surprises, were not about to end. After a fairly quiet evening of relaxing (and watching some latvian TV), we went to sleep. Then, suddenly, i get woken up (it was about 2:30am) to Jocelyn yelling my name in a panicky way. That's followed by a "there's somebody else in the room" and i quickly woke to see a guy by the door. I yelled something (i don't even remember what) and ran towards him. He was quick to leave and we have no idea where he went. What Jocelyn later told me was that she was woken because something was touching her ass. She assumed it was me, but when she saw me still sleeping, she freaked out and saw some guy kneeling (in almost a praying pose on the ground next to the bed...... really weird). We checked and he didn't actually take anything, or really do anything, and he did seem really confused as he ran out (perhaps he was sleep walking and went into the wrong room). Nevertheless, we will now lock our doors from now on.

Today we came back to Riga, and have spent a pleasant evening here. We have also booked a bus for tomorrow, down to Lithuania. Latvia has been nice, but it's time to move on.

Posted by moutallica 10:30 Archived in Latvia Comments (0)

Vhy es loo,d,zoo var-at-t'u pag-loud-it usu pak-ah-lynn-you

Please may I fondle your buttocks?

sunny 20 °C

Now you all can get by in Latvia. You'll be amazed at how far that simple phrase will get you.

Anyways, we have arrived here in Riga, capital of Latvia, and I'm loving it so far. I didn't really know what to expect of this ex-soviet country, but it's really great. Some thing are typically soviet, such as the big block buildings, but others just look so great. The old town is amazing to walk through. Amazing architecture, and the colours are just great. It would look so tacky anywhere else, with all the bright colours, but this city can somehow pull it off, giving it a very cheerful vibe.

Another great thing is just how late it stays light out here. It's 11:30pm right now, and it's not even completely dark yet. We were walking around this evening, and it felt like it should have been about 7ish, but in reality, it was about 9:30. I love it.

It's also so much cheaper here. Although the Lat (Latvian currency) is worth about the same as the pound, everything is so much cheaper. It feels so good to not have to shell out so much money for every little thing.

Tomorrow we head out for the West coast. We'll be camping right by the Baltic sea, and then relaxing at the beach and jumping into the (I'm assuming) freezing water.

Until next time, take it easy,

Eric

Posted by moutallica 13:21 Archived in Latvia Comments (1)

London Calling

Hey everyone!

Well, I'm still alive. I know it's been a while since I've left, with no updates, but I've been too busy to take time out to write. So i hope everyone is doing alright.

Anyways, my first stop in Ottawa was great. Jocelyn is doing great, and is has been great to spend some time with her again. I spent the time between her dad's house and then her mom's, so that included some awkward time with her family (i had only ever met her dad before). But it went well.

Then it was time to head across the pond to London. Our flight went well, it was overnight, and only 6 and a half hours. We didn't get any sleep on the plane, so the next day was reeeeeeaaaaaallllllllllyyyyyyyyyy long, as we had decided to not take a nap or anything. We were able to meet up with Jocelyn's friend (an Aussie) where we were able to stay. We then met up with Jocelyn's cousin, who has spent some time around here already. That meant that we had our own personal tour guide to take us around.

I have to say that I'm not too impressed with London. That's not to say that i haven't had a good time, it's just that it's really nothing special. We did get to see all the touristy things (sadly, I haven't been able to say hi to the queen).

After 2 days in London, we headed to oxford for a night. It was really nice to see all the old buildings, it's pretty amazing that people actually go to school there. Oxford also gave us the chance to try out the tent that we have with us. It was Jocelyn's idea, and now I'm really glad that we have it. Saved us a lot of money and it's nice and light.

Then it was down to the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. Jocelyn has a great aunt there, so we were able to call her up and she let us pitch the tent in her garden. I love mooching!!!!!!

Anyways, it was a great little island. We were able to go exploring all around, taking a bus to one town, then walking across farmland to the next town to catch another bus. Some beautiful landscapes..... and donkeys! We then came to the coast, where we walked along some cliffs to an old english fort. Great fun!

This morning we caught the ferry back to the mainland, and then the bus back to london. We're staying with Sharon (Jocelyn's friend) again, and we should be here until tuesday when we fly to Latvia (I'm so excited for that).

Anyways, that's everything for now. I hope the summer is going well for everyone. Stay tuned for the next update (whenever that may be).

Posted by moutallica 07:05 Archived in England Comments (0)

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