VilNews

THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

18 November 2017
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 From Chicago to Paris – then by

car through Europe to Lithuania!

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AMERICAN-LTUHUANIAN DIANA PAULIŪTĖ CLARISSE,
WITH HUSBAND AND SON, ON THEIR WAY THROUGH EUROPE

By Diana Pauliūtė Clarisse
Phd in Chemistry, Chicago USA

 For about an hour now the two GPSs have been cooing two different directions.  Our Tom Tom brought from home was telling us to ”turn left when possible”, while the GPS mounted in the rental car is having us move ever Northeast.  My husband is saying we should listen to our Tom Tom.  That would have been a good idea I think as we come to an abrupt standstill.  The cars in front of us line up in a row looking like it goes on forever.  Some of the drivers are standing next to their cars chatting away with other drivers as though they had been there all day.  There must have been an accident, I say.  The time is late in the afternoon, we have been perhaps 20 hrs on the road.

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Having made it to the northern part of Poland thus far in a very smooth and uneventful trip, driving from Paris since about 7 pm the night before.  A trip that began by car after landing in CDG airport, getting in our rental car and taking off, destination Vilnius.  In Nineteen hours we should be there, Paris to Vilnius, as the map apps told us, as well as the helpful people on the Facebook pages that had previously done trips through Poland. We were eager to arrive, as my lovely friend E. graciously invited us to a dinner at her home with her family for the evening of our arrival.

After being standstill for awhile, a Police car stops by us and ask to see our papers, he must have noticed the French license plates.  He then motions us to follow him. We drive up to an area and I see before me huge gates and I think, since when do you have a border check from Lenkija to Lietuva?? And then I realized we were at the border to Belarus!

We explained to the very nice border guard that the GPS brought us here and that is why we had no visa's for her country.  We are on the way to LT and got rerouted.  But nevertheless as we had been escorted into Belarus, we are in Belarus.  After having our papers examined for sometime, the papers came back to us and we were released with directions to get to LT.

We were now driving north-east on road 16  to LT, when we came across barriers and signs that the road was closed for construction.  No detour info given.  Consulting our google maps, we saw there is another main road to go to LT via E67.  So off we go, only to again see that this road is closed for construction and no detour info given.  So we bravely decided to go around the barriers and see if we could driven on the side of the road.  But after a few 100 meters to our shock all we saw was a crater  where once the road was. 

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So turn around we did, to find a gas station for help.  I was beginning to feel that we would never cross the border.  At the first gas station, the attendant there was very kind and told us where to head to.  Which brought us back to the 16 road.  My friend E.  had begun texting us for our ETA... My son then saw a car coming down a small road with LT plates and said, let's follow that road it must get us to Lietuva.  So we did, winding our way through the small roads we crossed into LT, oh so thankful were we!

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So turn around we did, to find a gas station for help.  I was beginning to feel that we would never cross the border.  At the first gas station, the attendant there was very kind and told us where to head to.  Which brought us back to the 16 road.  My friend E.  had begun texting us for our ETA... My son then saw a car coming down a small road with LT plates and said, let's follow that road it must get us to Lietuva.  So we did, winding our way through the small roads we crossed into LT, oh so thankful were we!

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By 9 pm were checking into Hotel “Alexa” and within the hour greeting our friends over bowels of šaltibarščiai!  Our 19 hour trip turned into about 26 hours.  We learned a lot about how to be prepared with multiple routes get into LT, and thought, maybe perhaps next time we won't drive...

We had a week to spend in LT, we decided to spend it mostly in Vilnius with relatives and friends.  We spent 2 nights at “Alexa”, a wonderful hotel.  We had a lovely room big enough for the three of us, delicious complimentary breakfasts  and a perfect place for parking the car in a private lot in the back of the hotel.  We then moved to a friends' butas that they lent to us for the remainder of the week.

We began and ended our restaurant journey with tradition.  The first restaurant we visited was Marceliukės Klėtis,

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and the last Senoji Trobelė, one of our all time favorites.

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we had tasty croissants from Thierry's Bakery.

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Great Food and Drink at the wine bar, Notre Vie.

Category : Front page / Lithuania in the world



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