Today we took the bus north and a little bit west to Riga the Capital of Latvia.
Our bus was at noon so before we left Vilnius we went to the museum right next door to our hotel. It is the building where the document creating the independent Lithuanian state was signed on 16 February 1918. One of the interesting rooms in the museum had pictures from the Lithuanian Societies in the United States. There were Lithuanian societies in many states including three in Iowa. The Iowa societies were in Sioux City, Des Moines, and Mason City.
The bus ride took about five hours. Tomorrow we will explore Riga.
We had a great dinner at Svētku Mielasrs restorānā. We started with soup and potato pancakes with herring.
For our main course we had halibut and veal.
After dinner we went to a jazz club and listened to an excellent group.
Breakfast in Suwalki was the first breakfast in Europe that didn’t include croissants. It did include pickles and deviled eggs.
Our bus to Vilnius left Suwalki at 12:45 today. This morning we went to the local mall to spend the last of our Polish money. We bought snacks, Easter cards, stamps and a new wallet for Duke. We hung out until the last moment but still spent 45 minutes out in the snow, cold and wind waiting for our bus. It was invigorating.
What we have seen of Vilnius is beautiful. We had dinner at Lokys Restaurant. We ate in the basement of the fifteenth century restaurant. We started with herring and a lentils salad.
For the main course I had boar with pears and Duke had beef stew.
Our walk back to the hotel was cold and snowy but beautiful.
Tonight, our last night in Poland, we are in the extreme north east very near the Lithuania border. The scenery on the train ride today reminded me of northern Michigan and Wisconsin., lots of trees and frozen marshy land.
Suwalki is a town of 70,000 people. It seems like a prosperous town. We walked from the train station to our hotel and then went out exploring. We are at 54 degrees north. That’s well north of anything in the continental United States. The third picture below is our hotel.
For dinner we ate at Karczma Polska Restaurant. It was a warm and cozy setting.
We started with potato sausage.
Then Duke had pork tenderloin and I had chicken with an almond crust.
The apple cake we had for desert was wonderful.
Today was our last train ride of the trip. Tomorrow we take the bus to Vilnius, Lithuania.
We returned from Krakow to Warsaw today by high speed train. We will have to come back to Poland again because there are many sights we would like to have visited and things we would like to have done that we didn’t have time for.
This afternoon we did go to the observation platform at the top of the Palace of Culture and Science. According to Rick Steves it is the tallest building between Frankfurt and Moscow.
We had dinner in our hotel. The Palonis Palace.
This morning we took the high speed train from Warsaw to Krakow. We arrived around noon. Then we went for a walk through Krakow old town. Today is Palm Sunday so there were a million people out walking. Many were carrying arrangements of grain and flowers.
For dinner we went to Nota Resto. We started with salad then curry squash soup.
For the main course I had pierogis with a duck meat and chestnut filling. Duke had beef. They were both fabulous.
Today we took the train from Berlin to Warsaw.
We had traditional Polish food for dinner at Dawne Smaki Restaurant. Herring, sour rye soup, ribs and pork loin. It was wonderful.
There was live music too.
Duke and I each have ancestors that came from Germany and Holland. For me it’s the Bantas from Holland and the Menolds from Germany. For Duke it is the Norenbergs from Germany and the Vermazens from Holland. I like to think that some of our ancestors might have seen the same things we are seeing.
Today in Berlin we went to the German History Museum. Part of the building was designed by the architect Loeh Minh Pei. The exhibits provided a really well done overview of German history.
We spent about four hours at the museum then walked down to the Brandenburg Gate.
And from there to the Reichstag. We would have gone in but it turns out you need to book in advance. Maybe next time. There was a protest going on about Turkey murdering Kurds when we walked past.
Tomorrow we take the train to Warsaw. This last part of our trip is a whirlwind sample of several countries.
We started out this morning with pancakes in Amsterdam.
Then we took the train to Berlin where we are tonight.