Following the Amber Way – From the Baltic Sea to Ancient Rome

One of only six examples of a lizard trapped in amber, this specimen can be seen at the Amber Gallery and Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania

The fuzzy silhouette within the long rod of amber seemed familiar, yet I wasn’t quite sure what I was seeing. I turned my head sideways and squinted to better focus. With a start, I realized I was looking at the complete body of a lizard that had been trapped in amber. The specimen at the … Read more

Vegetarian Heaven in the Baltics

Beet seitan with sweet potato and celeriac puree vegetables and red wine beetroot sauce at Vegan Restoran V in Tallinn, Estonia

I knew very little about the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania when I decided to visit. I was aware that the Baltic States enjoy long hours of daylight in the summer months and endure dark, despair-inducing winter months with barely fours hours of light per day. I knew that each of the countries … Read more

Holding Hands, the Baltic Way

Closeup of the Baltic Way tile in Riga, Latvia, which is prominently displayed in front of Freedom Monument

Holding hands. It’s a simple act that usually signifies love, friendship, or caring. But on August 23, 1989, the simple act of holding hands freed six million people in the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. On that fateful day in 1989, more than two million people joined hands in a human chain that … Read more

PHOTO: Photos of Pre-WWII Residents in Old Jewish Ghetto of Vilnius, Lithuania

Street in old Jewish ghetto of Vilnius, Lithuania, displays pre-WWII photos of Jewish families who once lived there

Prior to World War Two, this street in Vilnius, Lithuania was part of a thriving Jewish community. While there are no exact numbers available, estimates of the pre-WWII Jewish population range between 60,000 and 80,000. After the German Army seized the city in June of 1941, they killed more than 21,000 Jews in a mass … Read more