The Long Way to Get to Nida

Imagine a place, right in the middle of Europe, where the sands of time have buried fishing villages under great dunes. Sahara-like landscapes a stone’s throw from the border with a Russian oblast, on the coast of the Baltic sea. Wooden villas once inhabited by literary writers like Jean Paul Satre and Thomas Mann, carved with traditional pagan symbols.

Oh, and no castles or cathedrals. You’ve just pictured Neringa, the Curonian Spit National Park in Lithuania.

Once the idea has you hooked, you might take a comfortable train from Vilnius to Klaipeda, the nearest port city to this world heritage site, or in my case risk DVT on a cramped minibus from Riga. From there, it is actually pretty straightforward to get across the Curonian lagoon, but I took a bit longer than expected. [Read on]