Our first stop after the long drive from Riga was Lithuania’s first national park – Aukstaitija. It covers an area of 40570 hectares in north-eastern Lithuania. Over 70 percent of its territory is pine stands, including the ancient woods of Azvinciai, Mincia, and Linkmenos. Some of the pine trees in Azvinciai wood are over 200 years old and the oaks of Trainiskis, Kaltanenai, and Varniskiai are the remains of the ancient oak-tree forests that once covered large territories here. The park represents a picturesque forested and hilly terrain abounding in lakes with ethnographic villages. We took our Honda out of the garage for one day and explored the woods, hills, and lakes. We have parked by the lake in Palūšė village, which still boasts an octagonal wooden church dating back to 1757.

Palūšė – parking location: 55.3315700N 26.1056080E