We are sailing...we are sailing
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sailed to Klaipeda
We were first to check-in and in the queue to board Stena Feronia (registered in Glasgow- no 2 dots over the 'a'), When boarding of cars finally began I sensed we were heading for the lowest deck. I paused and jumped behind the wheel and sat. The gangway ahead was raised for cars to go down and when down would be carrying other cars after us above. This, when discharging, meant we would be last off and last to the Lithuanian customs and immigration. If they were anything like the Poles in Gdansk (Danzig) in 1991 then we might be still at the port for some 4 hours after arriving. You can’t argue with these people and they don’t give a damn about first-on-last-off as I spoke to one of the loading officers. That’s when they pretend they can’t understand English or just walk away
The weather remained overcast and miserable for the voyage but it was comfortable.
As expected we arrived at 0900 18 June, on schedule, but our car deck was not discharged until 1010 and since there was no immigration or customs we were on the road by 1030 and stopped at Kaunas, the second biggest city in Lithuania at 1230. Susan drove superbly if not sometimes demonically such that she managed to have an average speed for her session from the ship to Kaunas of 115 kph (while at time driving 100mph). It was 235k in all.
We had mixed surprises in this small town. Between Klaipeda and Vilnius there is only small villages and mile after mile of flat rural land. On entering we couldn't find anything of interest but eventually found the almost deserted walking street
Finding our way to the hotel (the Shakespeare) was difficult as it is in the old town and many streets are one way and intended to be pedestrian only. On top of that today is the shortest night of the year and there are all sorts of things going on until the dawn including an outdoor concert by the National Philharmonic. The receptionist was both helpful and charming on top being fluent in English as are nearly all the young people in Europe, North and South, East and West.
Tonight we'll promenade after dinner at 2200 ( it's still light now at 2140) and then tomorrow sort out our packing for Russia and decide whether we stay another day or two on our return (if we can get tickets to Sting) before heading off to Warsaw. Have as good a weekend as we plan!