GRUNTO PARKAS

Sunday, October 11.

Up and headed for the above which is actually the communist Statue Park. Owned by a millionaire who makes his money from snails, mushrooms and agriculture.          He collected what statues he could from around Lithuania, after the breakdown in Soviet rule. 

Boy did we learn some things today. We thought the Germans and Auschwitz were at the top of the pole when it came to giving the Jews a hard time. They were only on the minor league when compared to what Russia did to Lithuania during the communist years. 

The staggering fact is that around 20,000,000 Lithuanians were sent to Siberia in cattle trucks, during those years of Communist rule. None returned. They are quoted as removing all but 1% of the population from every town in Lithuania. 

Those that weren’t sent, were placed in detention camps around Lithuania and basically left to starve to death. If you did not agree with the party line you were either shot on the spot, interned or transported. 

    

Remains of the detention camp
   
Enough of the history. The park is set on private land beside a former detention camp, of which there is still some evidence of. The statues are spread around the park on about a 4km walk, some over 8 metres high. They show all of the high profile leaders from the Communist era and those who opposed it.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
  

This statue shows Lenin and a compatriot. lenin would not be seen with anyone taller, so they added 200mm to his statue.
  
 
One of the Siberian Express trains. It took one month to get there, o food. No prizes for guessing the consequences. 

 
Not everyone’s thing, but coming from the other side of the world, it is truely an eye opener. 

On a lighter side, there was also a mini zoo of sorts, where there were emus! Also Russian brown bears,  

  

 which are huge, and European bison,  

    
 which are huge also but would not stand for photos. Some lovely owls,  

  

 and numerous types of birds.  

    
 
Oh and a playground. 

   
Inside the restaurant. No guessing what their favour rite pastime is. 

    
    
    

This statue is made from captured airplanes. Weighs 5.5 tonnes.

 Lovely views across the lake. 

    
    
   
Myrtle beside an old barrier. 

 
Fence from detention area. 

 

Left park and headed for Vilnuis. Passed a number of disused airfields on the way. Remnants of Sovet rule. 

   
Many of the buildings on this stretch are wooden structures. 

    
 
Arrived at destination, and after backup from google maps, found our accommodation, 500 metres from the centre of the old town. Checked in and then headed downtown for a bite to eat. Found an outstanding one , three courses, beer and wine for €42.00. Everything is cheap here including fuel. 

Satiated, grabbed some groceries and headed back to Myrtle to catch up on today’s diary and blog.

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