Friday, June 10, 2016

Gdansk to Vilnius through Augustow

From Gdansk we needed to make our way to the Baltic States to catch our flight home. We found a direct overnight bus from Gdansk to Vilnius, Lithuania; however, for various reasons we avoid overnight travel as much as we can, especially buses. After much research, we came up with a rather satisfactory alternative, given we were not in too big a hurry.

In the morning we caught a train from Gdansk west to Elk, 5 hours, a rather comfortable ride. From Elk, after a 40-minute wait, we took a 50-minute bus to Augustow, where we over-nighted. We chose Augustow because it is a lake town where people vacation in the summer, i.e. plenty of accommodation. We both imagined Augustow to be so tiny hamlet in the middle of nowhere, and were rather surprised to find the town teeming with activity by local people and visitors, rather prosperous looking, and pretty. No wonder people want to vacation here in the summer. Judging by the mountains of firewood, winters must be forbidding.

The next morning we caught a through bus, which started in Stuttgart and ended in Tallinn, right off the main square. There was minimal border check. In Kaunas, Lithuania, those of us going to Vilnius were put on a different bus. By 14:30, we were in Vilnius, losing an hour to time zone change.

The train from Gdansk to Elk passes Malbork Castle. We get another view which I capture with my phone.
Malbork Castle - On the Road to Augustow, Poland

View from the train of western Poland. Starting to see some hills after many days of flat.
On the Road to Augustow, Poland

The view out the back of the last car.

On the Road to Augustow, Poland

We were surprised to find a large, leafy main square in Augustow. Not to mention the very helpful Tourist Information Office.
Augustow, Poland

If you can judge a small town by its church, then Augustow is doing well.
Augustow, Poland

Augustow, Poland

Augustow is a resort and spa town, with many opportunities for water sports and bicycling and more.
Augustow, Poland

Augustow, Poland

Augustow, Poland

Augustow, Poland

And tourists come to take a lake cruise.
Augustow, Poland

Sun-Ling cooked us a tasty dinner in our apartment. And there was beer.
Augustow, Poland

An example of the many large firewood piles we saw around town. Cold winters I'm sure.
Augustow, Poland

And the sun sets behind the Lidl supermarket next to our apartment.
Augustow, Poland

And the morning we are off to Vilnius, Lithuania. Here's the view from our seats on the bus as we cross the Poland-Lithuania border.
Vilnius, Lithuania

First views of Lithuania.
Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania

And here is our Eurolines bus at a rest stop near Mariampol, Lithuania. Note that it's equipped with 220V charging, streaming media, and Wi-Fi. Nice!
Vilnius, Lithuania

In Kaunas, Lithuania we changed buses for the trip south to Vilnius while our first bus continued NE to Riga, Latvia.
Vilnius, Lithuania







3 comments:

Kathy said...

For a minute there I thought you were going to take the overnight bus!

Welcome home.

Crash Eddy said...

Argus beer looks enticing, for sure. Googling, reports 97 breweries in Poland, plenty to choose from.

john said...

Kathy, Although long distance buses keep getting more and more luxurious; in my mind, overnight buses are a best left to folks much younger than myself. Yes? ;-)

Ed, The beer in Poland was pretty good although it's hard to make a choice when you're not familiar with any of the brands. The supermarket we shopped at in Gdansk had free wi-fi so that made beer selection a little easier using google search and translate.