Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Travel update from Lithuania

Hello everyone,
So here I am and I am here. Just Breathing in calmness and breathing out happiness. I left USA on 20 May and arrived mid day 21 May in London. I took a nice comfortable train from Gatwick airport to Harrow Wealdstone which is an outlying neighborhood of London and stayed 2 nights at Buddhamaya Suburbananda's Harrow Ashram. Nice place to meditate. Myself and Louis and a woman named Blan were the only ones there. Also there is a resident "Zen Master" who has taken the life form of a beautiful multicolored cat named Seamless. I sat by the koi pond and listened to the sound of the water circulating in the pond and the wind in the garden, ate vegetarian food and spoke to Louis about the meaning of enlightenment. All in all a very satisfying couple of days. A great way to get my head out of "life in America" and back to life on the path of the heart...
On 23 May I arrived in Kaunas Lithuania. This is the country where my grandparents on my fathers side and my great grandparents on my mothers side came from before they emigrated to the USA. My ancestral homeland as it were. Lithuania is the 65th country I have been to.
Kaunas is a lovely city. Clean safe and lots of cool stuff to do and see. It is the second largest city in Lithuania.I stayed at a hostel called "R hostel" which was immaculately clean. The staff all spoke English (it seems almost everyone in Lithuania under 30 years old speaks English) so it was really easy to get along there. They were among the friendliest and most professional Hostel staffs i have experienced in almost 8 years of travel. I would gladly stay in that Hostel again! I only wish the kitchen were a little bigger, but restaurant food there is quite cheap and there are of course many fruit and veg stands around the city as well as a lot of supermarkets so one can self cater easily enough. the small kitchen is not a problem if I am only staying a few nights. I stayed there for 4 nights total and i ate at a restaurant one time. The other meals were cheese and beautiful brown bread from the bake shops, and ready made salads from the supermarkets and Trader Joe's organic crunchy peanut butter sandwiches. i always stock up on TJ's peanut butter while in USA.
The MK Ciurlionis museum was a big highlight. This man is not so well known in the west. He was a composer of classical music and a painter in the early twentieth century. The majority of the pictures were beautiful soft pastels on paper and something called tempur on cardboard. Most impressive indeed. He was in the habit of composing music to go along with his art work so it was a multi-media experience.
After 4 days I took a nice modern fast train to Vilnius, the capitol and largest city of Lithuania. In Vilnius I had arranged to couch surf with Vaiva D, a 45 year old office manager who lives in a very nice and spacious apartment a few kilometers outside the center of the city.
She was an excelent host. She introduced me to a lot of her friends. Our first night together we went to a night club and saw a very good band. Actually more like a rhythm and blues "orchestra" There were over 20 musicians and 9 female singers! They started the night with an old Temptations song, "Papa was a Rolling Stone" and I was immediatly taken in by them!
They played all great old R&B songs and a Stevie Wonder medley starting with "For the city" and ending with "Superstition". Of course I got right up and tried to dance and use the cool steps my Estelita has taught me, but it was so crowded I hardly had any room to shake my booty!
There is lots of efficient cheap transportation to get around but, we did not need it as she had a car, so going around was very easy indeed... Next day we hit all the turist hot spots, saw the castels, government buildings and cathedrals, and walked around old town.
Ultimately we went to KGB museum of Genocide which was, as one would expect, a rather grim museum. The exhibits there cover the 52 years of Nazi and Soviet occupation period and the resulting resistance. I do not feel like going into details in this letter. I reckon most of you know pretty much of the history of this sad time.
What a peculiar species we human beings are. The price we pay to be and remain unconsious, and asleep is enormous, yet "we" refuse to take the necessary steps to change. We refuse to give up the false belief that through violence we can eventually end violence.
So through the "ego made Self" we, as a race, to this day, continue to produce pointless suffering unknown among any other species on our lovely green planet. We create reality. Our "attachment" to violence and the means to ensure our mutual destruction, prevents us seeing through the illusion of "heros" and "victory".
We Humans are so proud of our military might. Our "advanced technologies" our bombs, guns and ships, tanks and fighting jets. Our SeAL team commandos and our suicide martyrs. So it is and so it goes. Half a league, Half a league, Half a league, onward into the valley of death we march on and on until the dragon of war eventually devours its own head...
Sunday was a rain soaked day, but during a break in the off and on showers, we zipped off to visit Traika castel, about 25 km outside the city of Vilnius, in a lovely village of the same name. This is the lake district. The 16th century castel is built on a small island in a beautifully picturesque lake. It cost $USD 6.00 to enter and there was a very informative self guided tour in 7 or 8 languages. I recommend this place to any of you considering a visit to Lithuania.
Tomorrow, the journey continues!! I will take a train to Klaipeda, a beach town on the Baltic sea. I will write again soon. Below are some iteresting quotes to consider until then.
Peace and love to all who read this,
"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls." Anais Nin "He who wants little always has enough." Zimmerman
"All I want is to stand in a field and to smell green, to taste air, to feel the earth want me, Without all this concrete hating me." Phillip Pulfrey


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Robert! I'm Yeni, the Korean girl you met in R Hostel :) Sorry I couldn't say bye to you the next morning but I saw your blog address you wrote on the wall so here I am! Sounds like you had a very wonderful time also in Vilnius, that's great. I suppose Tony will upload our picture on Facebook, and I can send it to you if I see it:) Here's my e-mail: pyn1989@hanmail.net Have a nice day!

8:55 AM  

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