Our LAL (Lithuanian Airlines) flight takes one and a half hours from Kiev to the capital city of Vilnuus. Our flight is basically over the nation of Belarus. Americans cannot easily travel into or even transit through Belorus because of the current president Lukashenko's dislike for the USA. In 2003 we needed to travel a short six mile section of Belarus to get from Chernihev to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. No way. We could not get visas ahead of time. If we wanted visas we had get them in Ukraine and wait several days in Kiev to do so. No way. But, flying over Belarus is different.
In Vilnius Henrikas Klovas was waiting for me as after I passed through customs. I feel I have gone through my last customs hurdle.
It's a little over an hour drive from Vilnius to Kaunas where Henrikas lives. I will be staying in his apartment. The last time I was here was exactly eight years ago when Bev and I came in February 1999. It was cold then. Now it was raining. It's been a wimpy winter everywhere.
Henrikas and his wife Vijole sat with me as ate supper and talked for a few hours. They live in a two room apartment on the fifth floor of a nine story apartment building built in 1977 during Soviet times. The entry into the building is in complete darkness and you really need to know where the elevator is because it is hidden in the dark. As we get to the Baltic countries the days noticeable become shorter yet,
In apartments such as this every room becomes a bedroom by night.
On to the Baltic Republics starting with Lithuania
Tuesday, January 16, 2007