Dec 14, 2011

day 53 - Siauliai to Jelgava

Day 53
August 24th

We had a nice breakfast meeting with the International Relations coordinators from the University of Siauliai. It's always nice to begin the day with some thoughtful conversations about Student Mobility, the current situation in Siauliai and the prospect of providing bikes for exchange students!

We left Siauliai (and most of our stuff) behind and enjoyed the company of a nice group of people, including our friends from last night, up to the Hill of Crosses. This was a mandatory stop while visiting Siauliai.

The Hill of Crosses is a place just outside Siauliai where thousands of crosses, crucifixes and statues were brought to, from all over the world. During Soviet times, it was a form of resistance from Catholic Lithuanians and an affirmation of their religious identity. Today it is the destination of many pilgrims and tourists.

After the visit, our cyclists from Siauliai went back and we proceeded to the Latvian border. We stopped for lunch, with a round of drinks offered in absentia by a German tourist to whom Sasha and Reinhard had explained the project back at the Hill. After a while Tiago showed up, we made contact with our crew in Jelgava, said goodbye to Reinhard and his girlfriend and crossed over to Latvia.We met our local guide Aigars, who picked us up at the border and took us through small roads to our destination. Avoiding the main road was an imperative, as all information available indicated a Polish style of paving.

We finally came to Jelgava, checked in at the dormitories and waited for Boris. Not only did we get our stuff back, we got Georgie back! After the mandatory shower, we went across the street to meet some more locals, have dinner and enjoy a nice evening.

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