I am standing on large dunes overlooking a lagoon and a small traditional fishing village. This area is a National Park and the town has recently become a tourist beach haven. Hundreds of stairs lead to the top of these huge shifting sand dunes and stunning views.
Wide tracts of dense sand melt beneath my feet as I step off the wooden walkways. After exploring the dune landscape with its small flowers and vegetation, I begin to meander west through stubby pine trees that gradually become taller and taller and then smaller again as the land drops off toward the sea. The paths through the forests are lit by the sun which shines through the well-spaced trees to a forest floor rich with wild, exotic mushrooms. Old women with baskets and kerchiefs slowly wind through the trees— searching for these fruits of the forest, a staple perfuming this land’s otherwise plain cuisine. It is a short walk: only 3.8 kms across from the lagoon to the sea.
The fine sand is chalk white. It sifts through my toes like silk. I’m on the shore of a northern sea on a long, thin spit of land which has been divided between two countries. The larger of which never gave back the beachfront property and important port it occupied when independence of the smaller country was won. As I wander the beach, I can walk about 50 kms north to the tip of the spit, but wandering south I have to be careful because I’m only 2 kms from the border and the watch tower is the only thing looming above in this otherwise unspoiled land.
Do you know where I am?
The answer was: Nida, Lithuania