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  • Alright everybody, we are finishing up the Baltics with our last Baltic country.

  • If you didn't watch the Latvia episode, it basically goes like this:

  • Come play with us, Estonia!

  • Welcome to the creepier Baltic sister, Lithuania.

  • Everybody, I'm your host Barbs.

  • Okay, once again I know some of you guys are kinda like:

  • "Come on, Barbs, stop calling the two countries creepy!"

  • But my response to that would be, "It's kinda true and it's not necessarily a bad thing if used in a charming way!"

  • Some people like creepy!

  • I mean, just capitalize off of it!

  • I mean Latvia made that Prison Hotel, Turkmenistan did that thing with the burning hole,

  • Belize made bank of off whale vomit!

  • Haha! Who knew that stuff would be so expensive off the market, anyway, huh!

  • Cha-ching!

  • Okay, we need to get back to Lithuania!

  • Let's find out where it is, now, shall we?

  • Now, Lithuania may be the largest Baltic country in size,

  • but it kinda got the short end of the stick when it comes to coastline.

  • First of all, the country is located in the area of Europe known as "The Baltic",

  • which, no shocker, borders the Baltic Sea to the north.

  • The nation is divided into 10 counties, with the capital Vilnius, located in the south.

  • They're also surrounded by four countries,

  • (remember this chopped-off exclave Kaliningrad belongs to Russia),

  • in which they this long famous, stretch of land known as the Curonian Spit,

  • the 98 kilometer long sandy barricade with dunes,

  • about 54 kilometers of which belong to Lithuania,

  • and it all effectively cuts off the entire Curonian Lagoon,

  • except for this small opening at the port of Klaipeda.

  • This is literally where almost all seabound shipping comes into Lithuania.

  • I mean, come on,

  • nobody's gonna deliver cargo at that dinky little dock at Palanga.

  • So, essentially,

  • Russia has the bigger portion of the (Curonian) Lagoon,

  • but Lithuania has the only way out.

  • (Russian accent) Eh, we don't need,

  • we have opening at Vistula Lagoon on Straight of Baltysk.

  • It has funny looking star fortress thing to welcome you!

  • (Default accent) Oh, Russia! I can't wait to do your episode.

  • The largest cities after Vilnius are:

  • Kaunas (wrong pronounciation?),

  • and the city we just talked about, Klaipeda.

  • And surprisingly, for such a small country,

  • they actually have FOUR international airports.

  • They busiest in order being:

  • Vilnius,

  • Vilnius, Kaunas,

  • Vilnius, Kaunas, Palanga,

  • and Šiauliai Internationals.

  • Now here's a thing:

  • Lithuania is proud to claim that they

  • ''debatably''

  • have the geographical center of Europe.

  • Like they literally even built a monument and sculpture park next to showcase it.

  • Belarus: Nope.

  • Estonia: Uh-uh.

  • Slovakia: WRONG!

  • Ukraine: NO!

  • Hungary: Hah! No.

  • Really? Hungary? Even you?

  • Hungary: Yup.

  • Estonia, Slovakia, Belarus and Ukraine: No!

  • Lithuania: I mean, the Guiness Book of World Records recognizes my village of --

  • Estonia, Slovakia, Belarus and Ukraine: No!

  • Make of it what you will.

  • The country doesn't have any territorial anomialies or disputes,

  • except for kind of a maritime dispute with Latvia up north,

  • something about oil reserves.

  • And there's that weird salient (panhandle) that juts into Belarus.

  • I think we already talked about that in the Belarus episode, did we?

  • (And let's not even get started on Lithuania was like:

  • "Eh, I'm just gonna take this Dieveniškių istorinis national park from you guys,

  • even if it does give me like a 1 mile wide corridor to reach it.")

  • Hmph. Yeah. We did. Huh.

  • Well, cool, I guess I don't wanna discuss it.

  • Minimal Effort!

  • Funny enough, there is a micronation in Lithuania,

  • the republic ofupis

  • which is actually just one those Bohemic hippie-ish neighborhoods

  • in the capital of Vilnius.

  • They kinda want to be edgy and cool,

  • much like Freetown Christiania that we studied in the Denmark episode.

  • -He he,

  • self-proclaimed but

  • unrecognized autonomy is like...

  • ...so dope.

  • -Lithuania does kinda have a dark past;

  • I mean, they did played a huge role in holocaust during World War Two,

  • they *have* one of the most significant

  • Jewish populations in Europe,

  • once nicknamed: ''The Jerusalem of the north''.

  • Nearly the entire population of about a quarter million was killed by Nazis

  • with a huge massacre at Ponary.

  • Many were sent to the HKP 562 forced labor camp in Vilnius.

  • Today various memorials and museums and exibitions can be found

  • to commemorate the incident.

  • Also, due to high emmigration rate after joining the EU,

  • many towns started to see houses and buildings and properties

  • left unintended and decaying,

  • like the Ignalina nuclear power plant,

  • the Palace of sports and concerts,

  • the Trade unions building,

  • the Plokštine nuclear launch site,

  • yeah, nuclear launch site.

  • So yeah, that kinda sets the mood, right?

  • Oh, they also have a Devil's museum...

  • ...and a KGB experience in a former Soviet bunker

  • where you can pay to pretend to be a prisoner getting yelled at

  • and interrogated, complete with guard dogs and everything.

  • Charming!

  • Speaking of which,

  • some places of interest might include:

  • and keep in mind,

  • I would not really pronounce these Baltic words,

  • 'cause they're so hard...

  • THESE castles,

  • THIS monastery,

  • the Liberty Boulevard,

  • the Hill of 3 crosses,

  • the Monument of victims of Facism,

  • the funicular railway of THIS place,

  • the Museum of the blind,

  • the Cat museum,

  • the Museum of illusions,

  • the Frank Zappa Memorial,

  • the pan house,

  • the Orvidas garden,

  • and finally, the two most iconic culture landmarks that might really

  • give you a feel of what Lithuania is all about:

  • the Hill of Crosses, which has over 100.000 crosses,

  • and nobody really knows why it got started that way,

  • and even though the Vatican says it's a holy place full of power,

  • the locals think that it's kind of creepy,

  • and the Hill of Witches, a sculpture park

  • with sinister-looking carved wood images depicting characters from

  • ancient Lithuanian folklore from back in the Pagan days.

  • So yeah, Lithuania is kind of like a weird pagan-y, Catholic-y

  • forest-loving technology advancing but kind of reserved an overcast country.

  • So much to cover, let's start with those forests.

  • Well, here we are again for the third time explaining basically, the same thing

  • that we discussed in the Latvia and Estonia episodes.

  • I know you're gonna be tempting to skip through this section

  • so to keep you watching, here's Keith on bass:

  • Is that all you want?

  • Lithuania or "Lietuva" gets its name from "Lietus va",

  • which means "rain here", symbolizing the abundance of rain and fertile land.

  • First of all, the country is made up of four general parts:

  • The Flat Coast,

  • the slightly Higher Uplands,

  • the Middle Lowlands

  • and the Baltic Highlands.

  • Here you can find the tallest point: Aukštojas,

  • at only about 293 meters in elevation,

  • making Lithuania the flattest of the Blatic States.

  • Admist everthing, at over third of the country you will find (just like the other Baltic States)

  • a plethora of boggy marshlands and swamps as well as forests.

  • The longest river being the Neman which starts in Belarus flowing through Kaunas.

  • blocking into the Kaunas reservoir.

  • However the largest lake would be lake Drūkšiai, shared partially with Belarus...

  • Wait, did I mention that in the Belarus episode??

  • (Also you have an island split between Belarus and Lithuania in lake Riču,

  • and 2 islands and 2 peninsulas in lake Drūkšiai or Drisviaty.)

  • Dang! I did a good job on the Belarus episode.

  • I'm making my job so much easier for me.

  • Oh, The national animal is the stork.

  • Lithuania also has the highest nesting density for storks in the world.

  • They believe it's good luck for storks nesting near your house.

  • They even have a holiday dedicated to them on March 25th.

  • So anyway!

  • Resources. One thing that Lithuania is famous for is amber.

  • The Baltic coast has the largest known natural amber deposits in the world