It should have been a trip to Ukraine and became another trip to Lithuania. From 31 March to 9 April, I was once again on the road in the Baltic region – from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius up to the Curonian Spit and back.
Everything had been prepared for the trip to Ukraine for a long time, the flights booked, the hotel in Lviv reserved. It should have started on 18 March. Then the war came. The trip with my friends Marla, Jay, Vasyl, Iryna and Anna, with whom I travelled so often in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, remained an unattainable dream. Nevertheless, I decided to travel – not to Ukraine, but to Lithuania again. It seemed to me the logical continuation of the journey from 26 February to 5 March. Yuliya, with whom I had already travelled during the last trip, had time for me and designed the itinerary. And finally something had happened that gave me new courage in these dark days: my friend Anna had left Ukraine and arrived in Cologne on 26 March. Since then, we have shared my appartment and I was happy that she came with me to Lithuania – although the hearts of everyone in our small group were heavy when we thought of Ukraine.
During the last trip, Yuliya and I had visited the Kloyz in the Jewish Almshouse in Vilnius. We hadn’t had much luck – the gate was locked, the building inaccessible. But we had liked the beautiful neo-classical façade and wanted to learn more about it. This time we found the gate open and after some searching we also found our way into the synagogue. The prayer room is now used as a school gym and we stumbled into a lesson. The teacher directed us to the school administration when we asked if we could take pictures. The administrator was suspicious at first and it was probably thanks to Yuliya’s and Anna’s diplomatic skills that she finally agreed to let me take a few pictures. Slowly, a friendly atmosphere set in, we learned something about the hope to renovate the building and were also allowed to visit the ground floor, which is used as a workshop for art courses. A new journey had begun with hope.
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