Friday, June 24, 2016

Carpe Diem #983 Lithuania

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at this (belated) episode of our Europe Ginko. I am on the nightshift so I couldn't create it earlier. Today we will visit Lithuania, one of the Baltic states. Lithuania became a member of the European Union (EU) in 2004.

For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were the territories of the Grand Duchy. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772–95, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory.
Lithuanian flag

As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the re-establishment of a sovereign State of Lithuania. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania.

Lithuania is a small country, but its nature is overwhelming and breathtaking, similar with the other two Baltic states (Estonia and Latvia) we already have visited. So let us take a look at the Lithuanian nature.
Lithuania is a lowland country. Its highest point is merely 294 m above sea level (in fact Lithuania is the world's largest country without locations above 300 m). The lack of mountains on the horizon is compensated by lush forests and countless lakes.

Nemunas River Delta National Park, Lithuania
seeking their way
through the lowlands
clouds on water

© Chèvrefeuille

My country is flat, but I hadn't thought that there would be a country more flat than The Netherlands. Our highest "mountain", the Vaalserberg, is 322 m above sea level. Lithuanian's highest point is nearly 300 m above sea level.

Lithuania is sometimes called "the land of lakes", because thaere are about 6000 lakes in Lithuania. A lot of villages are situated on the borders of these lakes for example Trakai. As I saw this image I immediately fell in love with this small country, this "land of lakes". Look for yourself.

surrounded by water
living on the borders of the lakes
I found true love

© Chèvrefeuille

Awesome ... what a beautiful country Lithuania is ... have to visit it ...

Lithuania, the land of lakes
land of lakes
Excalibur once thrown away
recovered in Lithuania

© Chèvrefeuille

Not a strong one, but the story of Excalibur came in mind as I saw this beautiful image of Lihuania. the land of lakes.

In Lithuania there are a lot of haiku poets and they are great. Back in 2011 the Japanese Embassy in Vilnius organized a haiku contest and I love to share a few of the haiku submitted for that contest here with you.

bumpt bumpt obuoliai
sodo tyloj į žemę
žiemos beldimas

flump and flump apples
in garden’s silence to earth
knocking of winter

© Dainius Dirgéla

dreba nuo menko vėjo
meilės trikampis
a wood sorrel
shiver with gentle wind
love triangle
© Asta Čižiūnaitė  
Lihuanian nature (did you know that Lithuania is the geographical center of Europe?
Kūdron įmetė
Mėnulio pinigą – kas
vilias čia grįžti?

Someone’s dropped into the pond
the Moon coin – who’s
hoping to come back?

© Vaclovas Mikailionis

tavo atvaizdas
pageltusioj nuotraukoj
ankstyvas ruduo
your image
on the yellowing photo
early autumn
© Andrius Luneckas

kalnų šaltini
kalbam apie tą patį
tik kitais žodžiais

by the mountain spring
we talk about the same things
just in other words

© Goda Virginija Bendoraitienė

Well ... I hope I have inspired you with the beauty of Lithuania.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 29th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Malta, later on. For now ... have fun!

!!! PS. I am behind with commenting, but I hope to catch up a.s.a.p. !!!



  1. Carpe Diem European Ginko # 983 Lithuania:

    salt air
    wild pigs on the dunes
    dwellers of the Curonian Spit

  2. Three of uour best haiku, Master Chev mate...including the 3rd, very much!