This Saturday, we decided to make a little road trip around my country. It’s always nice to visit other countries and travel the world, but sometimes we forget that our countries are beautiful too. They also have something spectacular to see and visit. So, with this thought we drove to the first destination in our little road trip. We started our road trip at 11 a.m. And before we start, just a heads up – it’s a really photo heavy!
The first thing we visited was Merkinė (Merkineh) Mound. In XIV century, there was a castle and it was a defensive center of Lithuania near Nemunas river. It was a really important defence spot at that time. Now, however, there are no castle left after all battles but the view from the mound is still beautiful. You can see Nemunas, Merkys rivers from it.
After climbing off the mound, we drove to Merkinė Observation Tower which was very nearly to the mound. We didn’t expect so many people to be there, it was quite hard to take pictures without some stranger invading the shot. Anyways, the tower is 25 meters high and offers a breath-taking view of the river. The tower itself is a bit moving, so for those who are afraid of heights, it may be a bit challenging. My legs certainly were shaking after I got down from it.
Then we decided to drive to another observation tower which was about 20 kilometres away from this one. It was Observation Tower in Puvočiai (Puvochei). It was a bit tricky to find it as it was surrounded by trees but after a bit of searching, we found it. It was a real challenge to climb into this one. The stairs were very steep and we got out of breath very quickly. After five minutes full of agony, white flag raising and more shouting – we made it. It is 30 metres high and let me tell you that it was veeeery high for me. You could look down under your legs and see the ground very far away. It was a bit scary, but the view was worth it.
After we were done of staring around, we climbed down and after a bit of snacking in our car, we drove to the Žuvintas (Zhuvintas) Biosphere Reserve. It is protected by UNESCO. It was about 50 kilometres away from our last stop. The first thing we did was visit a Visitor Center and museum. It had a little exposition of animals, birds and fish that live there. After it, we went to the little tower where we could watch birds with these large binoculars.
Then we decided to go on Nature Trail which led to the mini observation tower. The trail was around 0,5-kilometre length, so it wasn’t anything complicated. The trail was like a wooden bridge and around it grew large reeds. At the end of the trail, we reached our destination – observation tower. It was about 8 metres high (nothing big) and observed the area of the lake.
After observing lake and walking back to the car, we made a decision of driving to the Birštonas (Birshtonas) City. It was about 50 kilometres away from our spot. This City is like a resort and spa town in Lithuania (much like Druskininkai) beside Nemunas river bank and pine forests. I always like going to Birštonas as whenever you go there – it’s always beautiful. Also, no matter how many people are going to be there, it will always be quiet and calm, perfect for relaxation.
Before going right into the city, we stopped few kilometres away from it to visit The Exposure of Škėvonys (Shkehvonys). It was an exposure in Nemunas River valley with height which seeks 35 meters. To go to the highest point, we had to walk about half a kilometre. The view was very pleasant, but it would have been more beautiful if we were on the other side of the river.
Then we drove to the city. This time we walked around the central park and visited new Mineral Water Evaporation Tower. It was built for people, so they could sit and breath in a ‘Jurassic effect’ air. It is a really nice spot if you have some health problems or things like that. There were tons of people, so taking a pictures were really hard. The tower also glows in the dark, which is pretty cool.
Here is how it looks in the dark. Photo by Ramutis Gustaitis.
It changes colors too. Photo by Ramutis Gustaitis.
As I couldn’t take a better picture. Here is one by Andrius Aleksandravičius.
After breathing in this fresh air, we walked a bit more around this wonderful town and made our way to the car. After this long day road tripping, we were quite tired. We got home around 8 p.m. Quite a trip we had! The best thing about it – it’s completely free! (I mean, you still need to pay for gas and lunch that you bought). My country really does have places worth seeing and visiting, and I am sure yours too.
Have you been on a road trip around your country? Do you like exploring it?