Wizzed to Kaunas from Bergen on WizAir for about $100 each. Plane was packed like sardines, and seats didn’t recline, and there was no first class, but it was only about an hour and a half flight.
Kaunas is the old capital of Lithuania and is an art deco lover’s dream. The airport arrivals area was basically a new quonset hut set up to receive people while the Vilnius airport was closed for two weeks. Daniel had rented an SUV that was a tight fit for the five of us, but we fit! Daniel kept trying to drive to downtown Kaunas, but I kept telling him there wasn’t one. There’s Old Town and ‘Centrum’. Anyway, I was familiar with the road he was on and as we passed a Cili [pronounced silly] Pizza, I told him we should go there. Besides a huge menu of Lithuania and European dishes, they also serve good pizza which the guys enjoyed. In Lithuania, they have strange ideas about pizza, and they serve them with a bottle of ketchup and a bottle of garlic mayo on the side! The tab for the five of us was 45 euros. Daniel said he’d paid that much for lunch for himself in Norway yesterday.
Kaunas is a little like Cincinnati; if you keep trying to drive downtown, you’ll wind up in the Ohio river. So after lunch we headed back to the highway and off to village. Stopped for groceries and supplies and arrived just in time for the communal dinner which was macaroni and cheese from a huge cauldron.
I was pleased that my house had been swept and cleaned, and Max and I retrieved bedding for everyone from Inija’s house. Sadly, the family found my rustic abode too rustic and dusty and left to find a hotel around midnight. [They had to go all the way to Vilnius - about 70 miles.] I was half asleep when they left before I could tell them that I could go back to Inija’s and borrow ‘freshly harvested mattresses.’ Max stayed with me and we had a great time at summer camp, while Dan, Kim and Dylan returned the next afternoon and decided to go to Riga until the 15th.
8/12 Saw lightning at Vakarene [singing down of the Sun]. Started a new sewing project -still working on a cut-out applique herb bag project. Visited and sang in the temple. For lunch, there is a sign-up sheet and you sign up the night before and pick numbers on a menu. I ordered Lithuania pancakes with meat, Max ordered chicken, and I picked up everything + extra chips and munchies for Max.
Although I have the best out house in the village, perhaps that’s another reason Max’s family might have sought out better amenities. I’m used to ‘roughing it’ for the few days I’m there every year.
8/13 - We both slept in late till around 10 am. My German friend who has moved to Lithuania to be a farmer, Kevin, lectured in English on the Viking Age in the Baltic Sea. We both had ordered potato pancakes for lunch and Max took mine with meat by mistake. The day before he’d said he wanted plain, but today he wouldn’t trade me back, but it was okay. I was thrilled he was adjusting and enjoying Lithuanian food. I grilled onions and just picked mushrooms to put on top of my plain pancakes. After lunch, I introduced him to Stashiss [phonetic spelling], the metal smith who usually stays in the front room on the straw bed that Dan and Kim didn’t like, and he started hammering away on a piece of bronze. He came back later and asked if I could help him with a runic inscription?
Sure, I replied, “What do you want to know?”
“I want to know how to carve F. . . OFF in runes.”
Max is so endearing. I showed him the runes and added that three fehu runes and an odalaz rune made an excellent runic inscription on a ring.
Max made the ring and was very enchanted with it, although I’m not sure his parents were.
There were actually two smiths at camp this year. The younger blacksmith brought a portable forge:
The communal meal that night was buckwheat. We politely had some and then went back to my home for some more of our own food.