Posted by: Rasma R | September 21, 2013

Aukstaitija National Park, Lithuania

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Aukstaitija National park was established in 1974 and is among the oldest of five national parks in Lithuania. This national park has woods consisting of pine stands some of them 200 years old. In the park visitors can see 64 different kinds of plants, eight species of fungi and 48 species of birds which are all included in the Red Book of Lithuania (Russian Red Data Book  is a state document established for documenting rare and endangered species of animals, plants, and fungi.) 

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Among the woods and hills found in Aukstaitija National Park are one hundred twenty-six lakes. A number of them are interconnected by streams and rivulets and are very popular among tourists who enjoy kayaking. There are lots of places o rent a kayak or a boat and places for tourists to spend the night. Fascinating to see is the Baluosas Lake which has seven islands and one of them has a little lake of its own. Within the park the largest river is Zeimena. If you want to see six lakes all at once you need to climb Ladakalnis Hill from which you get this wonderful view.

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Can you imagine living in a national park? Aukstaitija National Park is home to sixteen villages with about 2300 residents. The most popular of the villages is Paluse where the park administration sits. You can also find the oldest surviving wooden church in Lithuania here and it was featured on the 1 Litas banknote. The oldest village is Stripeikiai and it is home to the unique Lithuanian Museum of Ancient Beekeeping. Tourists find themselves attracted to the 19th century watermill in another popular village Ginuciai. The largest settlement Kaltanenai has 300 residents. A classical Lithuanian movie about outlaw and national folk hero Tadas Blinda was filmed in Suminai village in 1972. 

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