Still feeling pretty rotten with my cold but fighting through it as today we land in Lithuania and we have hired a car to go and explore the Curonian spit which is a piece of land half owned by Lithuania and Russia.
We picked up the hire car then caught the short ferry over to the island. Our first plan was to see if we could get into the Russian side of the spit so we travelled down the island for around 30 miles until we arrived at the border. I thought I'd previously read somewhere online that you could travel for 24hrs without a visa if you were part of the EU but having another look we couldn't see evidence of this and looked like visas had to be applied for in advance for 70 Euros. Still as we'd got our Russian stamps in the passport from a few days earlier we thought we'd try. Seems the guy on boarder control was happy to let us through but then needed paperwork to prove the car was allowed to leave the country, probably a good thing we got turned away at that point because then we realised we were talking to a Lithuanian boarder officer and although he was happy to let us through on just our stamps I'm sure the Russian officials would not have and we may have ended up in no man's land between the two boarders.
So we headed a couple of miles back north to visit the main town of Nida with the largest drifting sand dunes in Europe.
Turns out walking down sand dunes is very easy but getting back up is another matter and mum and I ended up in fits of giggles as I tried to push her back up.
Back in the main town we found a little supermarket where Al bought himself some local cuisine although for some reason he didn't want to try the local dried fish. Our next stop was to the town of Juodkrante (Blackshore), the oldest fishermen's village on the Spit. Now it is known for The Hill of Witches, a collection of 80 sculptures of local artists' interpretations of witches, devils and fairytale monsters, all carved from oak, which was opened in 1979.
We headed back onto the mainland and took a short walk around the old town of Klaipedia but there really was nothing there other than some very run down old buildings from the soviet era. Mum and I went back to chill out in the sauna and got tub whilst the boys went on the hunt for beer. Turns out they were the last two on the ship and only just made it including the fact they had to run to get back in time.
Tonight we caught the earlier show which was a comedian / pianist who was very funny then it was time for us to take part in the show, dancing with the officers.
The entertainment manager had asked us to take part earlier in the week as he was looking for some younger fun people and his nickname for me was cocktail girl as he'd said he'd never seen me without a drink in my hand. Mum also signed up so the three of us and six other guests were paired up with various crew around the ship. The idea behind the game was that we'd be given different styles of dance and we had to make something up then be judged by a panel of other crew members. Al got knocked out in round one then mum in round two which left me and two other couples in the final. Whether it was a set up I don't know but I'd been assigned the comedy guy who brought on props and had costume changes in between the rounds. One round had him dressed in orange with a big cape and he pranced about like a bull, for another he had on a red tutu and dived between my legs almost knocking me flying then the final costume change was into a mankini, luckily over the top of clothes and needless to say we got a lot of stick from the judges.
The last round the audience voted for the winner and we were the leaders by far so it was pretty amusing although I now have dancing girl as another nickname on the ship by some of the other guests along with tiara girl and princess as our waitress always calls me because on the first night we saw her it was formal night so I was wearing the tiara.
After that I went for another early night and two days now without visiting the molecular bar, they may start to think I got left behind at one of the ports.