Kaunas and the castle in the lake

Kaunas is the former centre of the Lithuanian Grand Duchy. Considering how beautifully the castle sits today on the island, it’s hard to imagine that there was almost none of it left in the early 20th century. Indeed, the exhibition in the castle does not only a good job presenting its own history but also gives a sound overview of Lithuanian history right until the end of the 19th century.

Besides the very busy castle – a popular tourist destination, there isn’t much else to do in Kaunas. Unless you decide to rent a bike for an outrageous sum and cycle around the lake. Luckily we had a map with us as road signs were nonexistent out there; and some general sense of going round didn’t hurt either.

I can’t recommend stopping in the forests surrounding the lake during summer time, not even for a minute as we were haunted by the most aggressive mosquitoes ever. Once outside the forests though, the bike ride was absolutely worth it: a very peaceful landscape with tiny villages, old houses and wide fields.

Plus, you get to see the castle from all possible sides and really enjoy being outside any city for a day.

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