Imagine – you open a door to your cabin. Hanging on the wall in front is a painting of the Virgin Mary, and in the corner, a table covered with a sticky vinyl decorated with floral patterns.
If this decades-old romanticism doesn’t inflict a sense of euphoria, you can find other unique ways to visit the Lithuanian seaside – spending a night on a yacht in Nida, for instance, or inside a lone train carriage parked in Palanga woods.
Infamous cabins – unchanged in price or appearance
Yet, many Lithuanians can recall the legendary wooden cabins in the seaside town of Šventoji, where a night under the Virgin Mary can cost as little as a few euros. Signs of luxury, however, stop with the said poster.
Egidijus has been renting the cabins for more than 20 years and, despite criticism, their popularity is not fading away.
“Of course there is more competition now, people want nicer rooms, but they also cost more,” he said. “Simple people have been coming to us for 20 years.”
“I agree that the cabins should be renovated, but we’re not allowed. [The municipality] says there’s a law that the landplot” is not part of town planning, he says.
“The bigger sharks,” the developers, “want to destroy all the cabins and build multi-storey buildings. Can you imagine, a person comes from one apartment block to another, what sort of rest will they have?”
Nida on the rocks
After spending five years living off-shore himself, Arūnas has begun renting his yacht to visitors in Nida.
There are two cabins onboard, accommodating up to four people. The yacht also features a kitchenette and a toilet. One night for the seafaring luxury will set you back 85 euros, less if you stay a week or more.
“There are some youths who have read books on pirates, Robinson Crusoe, and want similar experiences, and you can’t find them anywhere else,” says Arūnas.
Train in the woods
For those who still feel nostalgia for night trains, a camping site in Palanga features a lone train carriage standing in the woods by the seaside.
The camping’s manager, Rolandas Raipa, says that they bought the unused train carriage from Lithuanian Railways for €15,000, and it cost about as much to bring it over to Palanga.
Each compartment can accommodate up to four people, with a total of 40 people, at a cost of 10 euros per bed.
Due to its unique setting, most nights have sold out, and he expects the investment to pay off within several years.
“The train carriage [...] is for both the elderply people to experience nostalgic memories, but also for youths who want to save some money.”