Traveling and musicals have one thing in common. Both of them show us the essence of life, packaged in beautiful views and sounds. The similarity between those two wonders was especially intense when visiting Plungė, a small city in Lithuania. Slow life filled with pretty places, kind people and good food – go to Plungė to experience it all.
You know when in musicals all the important things seem to happen at the same time? This is exactly what happened in Plungė. In just one day I got to meet an amazing bunch of people leading an orphanage, then wandered around an odd but charming garden maze, and in the evening moved in a stunning wooden lake house and watched a sunset from the terrace.
How come I could experience it all at the same time? It was thanks to my participation in Roadtrip Lithuania – a 6-weeks social project, organized by AIESEC Lithuania. In short, Roadtrip Lithuania was a 6-weeks long, meaningful adventure across the country. Being part of the international group of 6 volunteers was a dream come true as the project was a pure definition of what I call ‘awesome’. We were packed in a small hippie bus with a mission to travel around Lithuania, give presentations about our culture in local educational and social institutions, get to know Lithuanian traditions, places and people, and document everything like true travel journalists.
To find full content simply go to roadtriplithuania14.blogspot.com. Photo and video credits belong to Rogelio Robledo, Kamia Fernandez, Li Wu, Caterina Falvo and Zé Vieira Lopes.
Here’s the more in-depth report of one of the places we visited.
Stop number 5: Plungė, where WIND BLOWS with the sound of kids laughing, leaves humming and lake splashing.
The sun was sneaking through the windows and slowly filled the room full of sleeping people. 7 different nationalities, various looks and characters, but the same desire to still stay asleep. But as the sound of alarm clocks filled the air, all people got up from their beds. Time to start another day of the RoadTrip adventure!
Have you ever imagined how is it like to be on the roadtrip? How do we spend our days, where do we eat, where do we sleep and how is it possible that we all fit in this tiny van? Welcome to a brief description of the RoadTrip life. Last few days, shorten in 24 hours? That surely will be intense.
11 am. We entered another Day Care Centre. Another…? Same as the past ones…? This feeling was gone after approximately 10 minutes spent in this unique place. Cyrulikai Day Care Centre was set up by Mrs. Vanda, whose goal was to take care of the kids and teenagers from troubled families. Her mission is to ‘keep them busy all the time and provide as many activities as possible’ – as we heard while having a coffee with her. We all sat around the table with our flags, feeling like VIPs, and we talked about their institution and our project because Mrs. Vanda was very curious about what we are doing. After this pleasant introduction, we started to make our presentations and play with kids. All of them were incredibly kind and sweet, they listened to us calmly, and when it came to the games, they joined with all the joy and randomness typical to their age. Funny that at some point we turned into kids ourselves; entertaining and playing at the same level as our new friends. The only difference was the age – but who cares about the age when there are so many cool games to play?
Cyrulikai is worth mentioning also because of the dedication of the people who work there. All the ‘supervisors’, who actually are like ‘aunts’ for the kids, commit all their hearts into it – every day, every minute. Our project provides us an amazing experience of meeting incredibly selfless people on our road – and once again we discovered that Plungė (the city we stayed that day) is also full of them.
5 pm. After few hours spent in a social institution, we turned into a group of tourists and went to see a magic labyrinth. Seriously, it was something special about this place! Energetinių labirintų ir geometrinių figūrų parkas – because that was the name of it, happened to be huge spacious field full of occasional but not accidental mazes, hidden in trees, bushes, curved in the flower meadows and built into an iron net. We wandered around, spent almost an hour in one of the labyrinths, jumped on a trampoline, played giant chess and simply enjoyed this place together. The magic maze, with its mysterious but friendly aura, let us relax after work and gather new strengths for the upcoming adventures.
9 pm. The new adventure was waiting for us just after the next turn. Our Eleonor climbed up the hill and, through her dusty windows, we saw one of the prettiest views on our trip. Big, calm, navy blue lake, reflecting a clear sky, surrounded by a shady forest, almost covering the endless horizon. And – in all that wild landscape – there it was: our next place to stay, a small cute wooden house, situated just by the lake. Welcome to Saulės slėnis!
We got the whole house just for ourselves and of course, for the first ten minutes we were running and jumping around like crazy people, choosing the best bed, hanging flags on the wooden bars and booking a line for the water bikes we had just for our use. After those few moments of excitement we got hungry and so, like one big family, we sat around the table downstairs and we ate another team dinner. This time it was a fusion of a Chinese and Portuguese cuisine, prepared by Li and Zé. Imagine 9 carefree young people, eating a delicious meal after an intense day, gathered in a wooden house with the view of a sunset by the lake. Sounds like dreamy holidays, doesn’t it?
This is our life during RoadTrip Lithuania. Working as volunteers, representing our countries, getting to know new cultures, discovering this beautiful country, dealing with unexpected situations – and enjoying every minute of it? This is the essence of this amazing project!
The sun was slowly hiding under the tips of the tallest forests and the room sank into darkness. 7 different nationalities, various looks and characters, but the same desire to finally go to bed. Talks and jokes, resounding all around the room, started to finish one after another and soon everybody fell asleep. Time to end another day of the RoadTrip adventure.