Klaipeda - the city of a cat and a mouse
A trip to Little Lithuania
On the Baltic coast, in the part of a country known as Little Lithuania, there’s a town which is a major port of Lithuania. It’s Klaipeda which, as befits a coastal city, offers tourist beautiful sandy beaches. Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the picturesque scenery and the unique environment of the surrounding Seaside Regional Park. The city has a well-developed tourist infrastructure - many hotels and restaurants, but also a lot of night clubs can be found in the city. At the disposal of visitors are two yacht clubs, one of which is located in the very center of Klaipeda. Right next to it is a cruise ships terminal offering cruises on the Baltic Sea.
Some guides consider the nineteenth-century theater as the most interesting monument of Klaipeda, which is regarded as Richard Wagner's favorite one. Although, on the other hand, it could also be known for something else - in March 1939, Adolf Hitler delivered a speech from its balcony.
The art and culture of Klaipeda
Town houses with facades of half-timbered style attract tourists visiting the city. They are located in the historic part of Klaipeda. There are also several significant museums, where you can learn about the culture and history of the region. The Museum of Little Lithuania is worth of special attention, with its extensive collections illustrating the lives of the residents of Klaipeda in the nineteenth and twentieth century. In the Clock and Watch Museum and in the Museum of Blacksmithing we find interesting exhibits, and lovers of painting should necessarily visit the Pranas Domšaitis Gallery. Another city attraction is the Contemporary Sculpture Park with very interesting exposures.
Speaking of art and culture, it’s impossible not to mention the music. It’s very significant for residents of Klaipeda. In the summer there are many music festivals, including the famous international jazz festival held in the castle. It takes place in early June, and every year a lot of world-renowned celebrities are invited here. Also, every weekend right at noon, the tower of the Old Post Office resounds with the symphony of bells.
A cat, a mouse and a dolphin
Apart from the monuments in the old part of Klaipeda, you can also see some interesting and peculiar things. One of them is a nice sculpture of the cat. The smile shows up on the faces of passers-by when they see the tiny sculpture of "Magic Mouse" with its sweet snout pointing up. The legend has it that the mouse grants wishes, so let's not be surprised with the view of tourists whispering something into her ear.
But those are not all of the animals that brought a fame to the city. One of the biggest attractions of Klaipeda is the Lithuanian Sea Museum, located in the nineteenth-century Prussian fortress, Kopgalis. Here we can observe a variety of fish species, penguins, seals and sea lions, and see a rich collection of corals and shells. While watching an impressive exhibition, visitors can also learn about the history of sailing in the Baltic Sea.
Right next to the museum is the Dolphinarium, where tourists can see the dolphin shows. They dance, jump and sing, play basketball and paint - in other words, they play the whole show. The agility and intelligence of California sea lions is not worse than that of dolphins, which also have their roles in the show lasting about an hour. Apart from the training shows, the aquarium, which is at the same time the Maritime Museum, also deals with the dolphin-assisted therapies for disabled children.
The city has always been associated with the sea. Its great attraction is Klaipeda Sea Festival, held annually at the end of July. During the festival you can admire the artistic performances and craft shows.
Campsites in the area
And what if someone decide to go to Klaipeda by a camper? There are at least few campsites on which you can stop. One of the highly recommended places is Karklés Kopos (Karklés km, Placio p. 37), the campsite which lies very close to the sea (less than 0.5 km). It is open from 01.04 to 01.10, and the accommodation there costs from 15 to 17 € per day, depending on the season. The price is per two persons, and on-site you will benefit from a small playground for children, table tennis, and the laundry.
Pajurio kempingas (Slaito G.3, Giruliai Klaipeda) is another nice place to stay. It is all year round campsite. The day of your stay here costs from 17.40 to 20.30 € (per two people). The camp is fully adapted for the needs of disabled people, it has a playground, a common room with a TV, a sauna, you can play tennis, and from May to September you can go to a guided tour. There is also a laundry and drying room.
Caravanning adherents (but of course, not only them) can also visit other spots of the Curonian Spit - attractive seaside resorts. Pervalka and Preila are quiet fishing villages, where you can forget about busy reality. Juodkrante is the oldest village, whose inhabitants had always been engaged in collecting amber. Here you can see an interesting tourist attraction - Witch Mountain, a place of pagan worship of the ancient people of the Baltic states. When planning a trip, you should also consider the city of Palanga. It once belonged to the Tyszkiewicz family, but today it is a resort famous for its nineteenth-century Botanical Garden and Amber Museum. While exploring the place we surely won’t complain on the lack of sensations.
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