|Coastal bike path|
But it wasn't only the forecasted strong headwind that made me flee the coast: it was just too crowded here! Almost directly after the border a fantastic bike only trail starts following the coast line all the way to Klaipeda. But unfortunately I wasn't the only one who knew about this bike path. Virtually everybody and their mother plus the kitchen sink was out here cycling. There were so many people (and inexperienced cyclists) that it was downright dangerous. Several times I had to stop for kids going ever which way and the worst were groups in bike draisines. There were bike rental places everywhere - and dozens of stands for drinks, snacks and general souvenir trash were lining the streets. This was a veritable zoo and I just wanted to get out of it before I was run over by a toddler on a tricycle.
|Baltic Sea Coast|
|My bike on a Lithuanian train|
From Kedainai it was still 53 km to Kaunas and a strong headwind made me fight for every single one of it. But getting into Kaunas was the very worst. Big roads in disrepair with no shoulder or bike path but heavy traffic made me cycle for my dear life. Then whole roads were closed for construction and the sidewalk in such a bad shape that even pushing the bike was hard work. I was so exhausted when I reached my hotel that I just collapsed in my bed and stayed there till next morning.
|Kaunas market square|
Next day didn't start good: I wanted to see a Holocaust museum and memorial and because there were only a few buses going there I had the stupid idea to cycle there. After 45 minutes I had carried my bike up and down several flights of stairs, risked my life in two construction sites and had faced several pot holed bike paths that ended in Nirwana - and wasn't even half way there yet. Frustrated I just gave in and cycled back to my hotel and took the bus to the Hare Krishna restaurant for a little bit of consolation.
|My new haircut|
|Kaunas Orthodox cathedral|
Unfortunately I had now very little time left for the open air museum but I decided to still give it a try. You have to take a microbus or long distance bus to get there - and of course the tourist information didn't havea schedule. I arrived two hours before closing and had to hurry a bit which was a shame: this was the nicest open air museum I have seen in this trip. Not only were there dozens of old farm houses but an exhibition about Lithuanians who had been deported to Sibiria under Stalin.
|Kaunas open air museum|
Bottom line: Kaunas is a really nice place but it definitely wins the price for the most bike UNfriendly place on this whole trip. Also this place does not cater very well for tourists. Outlying attractions are very difficult to reach by public transport (or bike) and tourist authorities are not very well organised.