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Saturday, 30 June 2007

Travel Lithuania! - Page 4

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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Looking for a safe place to explore with friendly and beautiful people, ancient castles, magnificent churches, cobblestone streets, quiet forests, thousands of lakes, huge sand dunes, and sparkling beaches lining the sea?

lithuaniaI stayed at the Europa Royale which was a lovely place that had nicely decorated rooms with dark, highly polished wood and plush textiles overlooking a park and the city pump house (where you can partake of the town mineral waters each day from 11:30-12:30). The front desk staff was excellent – bright, helpful, and smiling. There is a nice bar and restaurant with wifi (which can also be found in the comfortable lounge area).


The Europa Royale had every amenity you could imagine, even phones in the bathroom, but unfortunately the ac in my room did not work too well. It’s more expensive than some other places in town, but offers more as well, such as a fabulous buffet breakfast in an elegant dining room. Eggs, sausages, mushrooms, smoked salmon, meats, cheeses, nuts, fruits, breads, and more were part of the smorgasbord. The best part was the pancakes stuffed with apples or curd, oatmeal, or omelets made to order. Breakfast was so filling, I didn’t have to stop for lunch.


If you stay at the Europa you can visit the Gydykla Spa’s swimming pool from 8-8:45am which is connected through a long passageway to the hotel. It is a small pool, but filled with mineral water known for its healing properties.


I didn’t find too many choices for restaurants in Druskininkai, and the ones I went to were a mixed bag – Senjoi Kolonada was the best of the ones I tried and it was right next to my hotel overlooking the same pretty park. It is a very pleasant place to sit and the service was excellent and my waitress spoke good English. I had the beet soup and crepes with chicken and mushrooms, both of which were good. My worst experience was at Saulegraza, also close by, but with terrible food and pretty bad service. I ordered ‘roasted salmon with chanterelles’ which sounds heavenly, but in reality the salmon was fried, not roasted, and it was not the right texture or flavor as if it had been frozen a very long time. The chanterelles were not fresh either, they tasted canned. Even the French fries tasted frozen and were cold when they arrived at the table. In a potato-rich country like Lithuania, it’s almost inconceivable for the potatoes to be that bad.


Sicilia is a popular café that specializes in Pizza, though most Lithuanians were eating Ceppaloni, the national meat and potato dish (that was by request and not even on the menu). They also serve freshly squeezed juice, so I stopped in and tried the carrot and then the lemon. I wasn’t sure if the lemon would be sweetened like lemonade, but it wasn’t – just strait lemon – a little sour, but probably healthy! At Spa-Vilnius there is a café with special herbal teas for whatever ails you. I tried ‘strength;' there is also a special tea for men called Tik Vyrams, aka: ‘Lithuanian Viagra.’ I missed out on the restaurant at the Europa Royale, I’d planned to go my last night there, but never made it. That is one of the more upscale restaurants in town with a menu that sounds delectable.

(Page 4 of 9)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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