Cycling, hitchhiking and.. sailing?

The sweet waitress placed the plate in front of me with a smile that could knock away any grime cloud. Her voice was filled with kindness as she wished us a great meal. “A small place with outstanding service and traditional meals”, he had promised, “and that for an affordable price!”. I would never have found this tiny restaurant, hidden away from the main street. Luckily, the German had made the right friend, recommending to come here. Here where you are cramped up in a tiny, yet cozy surrounding. Meals that delighted the stomach and a lady not only sweet and kind, but also wise with answers to guide you through Klaipeda. In front, on my plate, was a bowl filled to the top. A soup with a vivid pink colour and pieces of egg floating around. The East had surprised me before with their soup, containing more vegetables and meat than I could think of. But this Lithuanian goodie left me in awe. Filled with Kefir – sour milk – it had been sprinkled with dill and I could taste a scent of cucumber. It had not been my first time tasting this delight, however on hot sunny days, this meal makes for a cool satisfaction. Politely, I had declined the hard boiled potato that came with it. Instead, I had ordered potato dumplings. Grated potatoes stuffed with meat, some with mushrooms. Along with it came sour cream. Reinhardt had also gone for these dumplings. Where I went for a glass of Kefir, he took one filled with orange juice. Time to catch up!  By the time our plates were finished to the bottom, I had told my tales and Reinhardt his. He would go onwards to Riga once his ship was ready again. I must admit, it had not been easy to switch to German again. Luckily, Reinhardt spoke with an accent clear and articulate. Only a few topics in and the words flew out my mouth without much thought or translation. Reinhardt had offered the spare bed on his ship. “May the weather be with us and tomorrow we shall sleep a stonethrow away from Russian Kaliningrad!” 

On the morrow, spirits were blithe, as we prepared for our sailing trip. The journey would not be short and since we had to make water on land, I scarcely touched the bottle of water. The gates opened, making clear way for all ships. Dark clouds had gathered in the distance, yet we decided to embark and set off, certain they would not reach us. The ol’ sailor was eager and passionate, as he shouted commands: “Loosen the ropes! Bring in the fenders!” He steered the ship towards the exit, as I stood on the bow. Tempting to make a famous reference, I instead give signs regarding the traffic. With little traffic we continue. Right, left, left and we entered the Curonian Lagoon. Blocked from the Baltic Sea by the Spit, this massive Lagoon has despite the huge length an average depth of a mere 3.8 metres. Therefore, whilst aiming for the red and green buoys, we had to keep an eye on the depth. The water was still, the wind was absent and the sun was burning. I sat across Golden Earring, who was on his shift of steering. A book was on my lap. The first book  in the series where George R. R. Martin leaves me in awe with his words. My eyes rolled over them one by one as the brain processed the greatness. It was not the best timing for a book however. Due to the lack of wind, thousands of tiny, green insects decorated the boat and everything on it. Green spots remain on some of the pages. Sitting there, feeling them move and twitch, my mind began to wonder: This must be how the 4th plague of Egypt felt like. Behind us, the dreadful clouds moved left and right, hovering above the lagoon. It seemed they made Reinhardt taut as a bowstring. Stern he gave me directions, pointing me to the wrong side of the buoy. Once realised, stubborn as he was, he would not admit his mistake. Luckily, this did not ruin our moods. How could one be sullen with a view like ours. Calm and relaxed moving forwards, gazing over the long, stretching water. Passing different cities and landscapes of the Spit. Time flew by and soon the clock’s pointer had gone round the eight times it took to get there. Covered in green we arrived in Nida’s bay. With speed we headed for the docks where a man stood to catch a rope. He would check us in for the two nights spent there. Only a little later, the boat was tied up, papers were taken care of and the beauty I was told about was ready to be explored by this sailing Dutchman!

 


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