We visited Lithuania for the first time in June 2005. The country had become a member of the EU just over a year before, together with the other two Baltic States: Latvia and Estonia.
It is difficult to know exactly what called us to there, if not the curiosity we felt for a country that had been swallowed by the huge galaxy of the Soviet Union and that we Southern Europeans knew very little about.
What we found was a place that was building itself up, a young country still amidst a thousand difficulties but with its eyes fixed on the future. Internet connection depended on InternetCafés in those days and there was no Wi-Fi, just as in Italy. There was very little Wi-Fi connection.
After that first experience, we travelled to Lithuania one or two times a year. The country was changing fast, both from an economic and a touristic standpoint. Technology was becoming essential and Wi-Fi connection could be found anywhere. Today, Lithuania is considered one of the most connected European countries. Historical downtown areas were being restored, museums were being opened or renovated… Seemingly everything changed at every new trip.
Lithuania is a small country that encapsulates very interesting architectural gems. Sixteenth-century Italian style reverberates in many churches and palaces in Vilnius and Kaunas, the two main cities. Woods and lakes make up most of the country. The Curonian Spit, which constitutes the Western border of the country on the Baltic Sea, is a narrow strip of land of heart wrenching beauty that separates the sea from the lagoon.
Thomas Mann spent his holidays in Nida, capital of the region. His house has become a museum that commemorates this period in his life. It is not difficult to picture him sitting at his desk in the studio, writing a novel while being inspired by the beauty of the landscape he had in front of him.
Lithuania is a country that still has so much left to explore. Those who love history, nature, architecture, and not only those, will find their dreams here. We will try to tell its stories with the same curious enthusiasm that brought us here in 2005. And that makes us come back here time and time again.