Yesterday I biked the legendary Curonian Spit: a strip of land just across the water from Lithuania that runs ~50 miles down into the Russian territory of Kaliningrad.  The land mass itself is no more than 1 kilometer wide, meaning it straddles the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon. And the entire thing is a nature reserve. If you can’t picture what that looks like, here you go:

Courtesy of wiki

From start (Smiltyne) to finish (Nida) is 50 kilometers, and buses run that can take you back to Smiltyne (where the ferry is) once you reach Nida.

HOWEVER, I like sleeping. I like sleeping so much so that I woke up at roughly 11 AM, sleeping through several alarms. You can’t control the Marver when he wants to sleep.

So, by the time I took this ferry across the Smiltyne, I had roughly five hours until the bike rental was due back.  10 km/hour isn’t too brisk of a pace, but it wouldn’t afford me the opportunity to explore some of the nature and the beaches, so I knew that was out of the picture. Rather than bike all the way to Nida, I decided to bike to Juodkrante, a village of about 250 people, and back; in all it would be close to the same distance (roughly 40 km) and would give me more time to do cool stuff.

Waiting for the ferry

Waiting for the ferry

After getting to Smiltyne, I immediately set out west for the Baltic Sea. Roughly two minutes later, I saw this:

My first glimpse of the Baltic Sea

My first glimpse of the Baltic Sea

Had a tourist take this one for me.

Had a tourist take this one for me.

I didn’t go in the water just yet, though. There were too many people and I thought it’d make sense to take a break halfway through my journey to swim and cool off. So I set out on the bike path. And boy did it not disappoint. Here’s like a billion pictures:

Like I said: decent scenery.

Like I said: decent scenery.

Looking back the path at some sand dunes just off the path through the forest.

Looking back the path at some sand dunes just off the path through the forest.

No onesies allowed!

No onesies allowed!

Totes a selfie

Totes a selfie.

Eventually, I got tired and came up on a beach that looked pretty remote. I was right.

Walking up to the sea

Walking up to the sea

Panorama of the beach where I first touched the Baltic Sea

Panorama of the beach where I first touched the Baltic Sea

Eventually, I’d reach Juodkrante. Just in time since I had actually nearly run out of water.

Exhausted, I reach Juodkrante

Exhausted, I reach Juodkrante

View from the edge of the pier. You can see the mainland in the distance.

View from the edge of the water walkway. You can see the mainland in the distance.

And, of course:

Baltic stacked! Oh yeah!

Baltic stacked! Oh yeah!

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