Saturday, August 23, 2014

Last Day in Kaunas

Check out wasn’t till 2 pm, so I arose early and went to my favorite bakery cafĂ© and enjoyed a cappuccino, potato pancakes and mushroom soup, and bought a slice of blueberry cake for the ride to Inija’s; $6.50 for all. I crossed the Lane and went to the “Tadas” museum. Tadas was a naturalist, explorer, Victorian collector, professor, and contemporary of Ciurlionis and friend of Antanas (founder of the Devil’s museum). His museum is jaw dropping, and sadly my camera wasn’t working. I’d taken notes, but there was a camera shop next door, and I handed her my camera, and we changed the batteries, and nothing happened, and then she asked if I had more, and I did, and the third set worked. The second pair of batteries were no good.
        I went back in to the Museum and took the elevator to the top floor and worked my way down.
The ‘hunters’ trophy collection was just off to the left from the elevator and there are massive displays of various horned animals with a gold, silver, or bronze medal under them for how many points on the horns, or the width, or in the case of the boars, it was how large their tusks were. An herbivore’s nightmare! There were also bear, wolf, zebra, Nile crocodile, lynx, and European bison. There is a floor of birds, one of insects and butterflies, one of amphibians and reptiles, and an entire floor of wildlife panoramas. My favorite bird (besides the five kinds of ravens) was the Satyr Tragopan.
        Darius’ girlfriend gave me a ride to the train station. The fare was 18 lt. and the temp was 28 C. (= 86 F.) and when I arrived in Vilnius I tried unsuccessfully to call a cab, so I approached one and he wanted 30 litas. I knew I was being cheated, but had too much loot to carry on the bus. I actually bargained him down to 20 for the less than a mile ride to Inija’s (it should have been 10 litas which is about $5).
        Inija had made a most welcoming dinner for me of varskeses (which is a cheese gnocchi), potato pancakes, salad, and caramel ice cream. I ate it all.

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