Posted by: bkropf | April 27, 2008

Trakai, Lithuania

The next day in Vilnius we took a day trip out to Trakai.  It was absolutely amazing.  We step off the bus and it seemed as if all the world’s beautiful people had moved to Trakai (Unless you are reading this, then you are the most beautiful person).  Trakai is a small town on a lake with heaps of little islands with a big castle on one.  We spent most of the day walking about taking pictures and soaking in the sun.  We took a long winding wooded path back to the bus station and discussed more business ideas.
One thing I am consistently surprised at is how openly people seem to be prejudice against the Russians.  It is the same throughout Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.  I guess it makes sense to some degree given all the happenings with WW2 and communism but it seems as though it would be less overt.
After our trip to Trakai we decided to go watch a movie: Vantage Point. I really enjoy watching movies so it was a nice time to relax and feel like I was back home for a bit.  The movie was pretty intense and fun except for the fact I feel like they concluded the movie in about 2 minutes.
Peter, our couchsurfing host, met us at his favorite bar and insisted we stay for a while.  His Lithuanian friend showed up and I really liked him alot.  Thomas was so cool and filled us in on Lithuanian history and the liberation from Russia in the early 90’s. It is so amazing to hear first hand accounts from people who were there at the time of independence.  He said he remembers when the country declared Independence and everyone expected Russian retaliation.  Russian tanks rolled into town the next day and people were terrified.  To scare the populace the tanks started firing blanks at the people in the window.  In the end the tanks left with little fighting.
Peter had a cat that always slept on my legs.  It was kindof nice in a way but every time I moved I felt like I was bothering the cat.
The next morning we went to an old KGB museum in town. It was really nice to read the Lithuanian history from WW1 all the way to the 90’s with the liberation.  A lot of information relating to the KGB was provided.  It was really interesting to see real footage of interrogations and surveillance as late as the 80’s.  Below, underground there was a KGB prison that was very interesting.  There were cells so small people could only stand. There were other cells that were flooded with ice water and the prisoner had to stand on a little platform in the middle.  When they fell or lost balance they would go into the water.  We also saw the execution cell which saw up to 1,000 people executed.  It was so sad to read letters between Moscow and Vilnius KGB officials on how to hide the bodies.
After an amazing time in Vilnius we headed back to the bus station to ride overnight to Tallinn, Estonia.
I have found while talking with Tyler we have vastly different opinions on men/women personal interactions and relationships.  It is quite nice because now we have more points to discuss.  The other day the topic of guys and girls being friends came up. (Side note, My mom and I have had this discussion many time over the past years and I am sad/happy to say I have now crossed over and agree with her…Mom, you were right all along).  I don’t think I’m going to go into alot of details of the conversation because I don’t know how much Tyler wants me to share and I don’t want to misrepresent his ideas so I’ll ask the question:
Can guys and girls be best friends, or at some point in the relationship does one of them start to like the other on some level and it just make things weird? 
I know someone out there might have a unique situation but I’m talking in generalities.  I find as men/women relationships get closer and closer at some point one of the parties begins to have some level of interest in the other and then they either have to date or things get a little awkward (or the person liking the other has to hide it).  And even you do make the friendship work one of the parties ends up getting married and usually servers the ties and you lose a good friend.  That is why I like to cultivate good male friends, then you can be best friends for life.
On a different topic, with computers these days I have found I am incapable of spelling correctly without spell check.  When I know I have to type and don’t have spell check I get all freaked out.  I end up asking Tyler questions like, “How do you spell prison again?”  Thank goodness for spell check, Spell Check you are my best friend.


  1. That castle town looks amazing! I think in generalities, guys and girls are not usually best friends…unless they are spouses or dating of course! Hee hee.

  2. Hey you didn’t say best, friends, just “friends”!

    Trakai was really nice, it made me want to sail. The lake had a surprising amount of sailboats, and were doing little sail tours around the castle. It was kind of spendy though…

  3. Jesus and the disciples were friends with Mary Magdalene. 🙂

  4. And isn’t the concept of “best” friends strange? What does that make all the other friends?

    While I definately think that it is possible to have a just friends relationship with the opposite sex, many (NOT all) of them do turn awkward at some point. But I definately wouldn’t give up trying to cultivate relationships with these relationships…we can all handle a little dose of awkward every now and then….

    I wish I had spell check….

  5. Yeah, Jesus and his boys were friends with her but I don’t think He went over to her house late at night sharing all these deep emotional feelings with her and then cuddled on the couch watching a movie and eating popcorn. At some point I’m sure she would have wanted to date him (who wouldn’t). I’m sure Jesus would have set some nice clear boundries.

    With that said, my point is not that people shouldn’t have friends of the opposite gender, it is that when people have these deeply emotional relationships with someone of the opposite gender at some point things get really confusing and awkward. And I do agree, we can all deal with some wierd situations, the worst part though is you usually lose a dear friend in the end when the other person gets married. Why not just have more casual relationships with the opposite sex and focus on having nice deep same sex friendships? When you meet a nice girl/guy to date, then invest in dating them and getting to know them instead of just sitting in this ‘friend’ label when it is really just dating without making it official because the parties involved are scared to commit.

    How do you like that for really really redicously long response. I like your style Kristin, I wish you were here!

  6. I LOVE reading this, esp. “you were right all along”
    ….I WISH I could hear your conversation–I wonder what Tyler is thinking??? Maybe he should consult his mom! 🙂 Love, Mom

  7. Yes, trakai and the castle are truly a beautiful place. Like something out of a fairytale, but we are able to see and enjoy it for ourselves!

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