Hiking to the Lithuanian Gay Lake: Enjoy the Path, not the Destination

On October 16th, 2016 the EVS (European Voluntary Service) volunteer Veronika Štefečková organized a hiking trip to the lake Gėjus (Lithuanian word for gay) situated in the district of Trakai, and I decided to join her. The name of the lake derives from the root GEI (Gay in English), and it has been chosen because of the curved shape it possess.

landscapeThe place where the lake is located is called Ramošiškės and it strongly reminded me of my hometown. In fact, I grew up in a very tiny little village situated in the south of Italy, Paterno. The place I come from is not conventional, but very beautiful: our museum is the nature with its green levels of grass, our form of arts are the typical products we have and cultivate, our sculptures are the inventions that grannies use to make to work the land or to prepare homemade dishes, and our frame is the mountains! Ohhhh my mountains, I miss them so much!

By the way, what I am trying to say is that Ramošiškės made me feel home and for this reason, I was initially overwhelmed by emotions.

We arrived in the early afternoon, and the bus stopped exactly in front of a minimarket. As I did not have lunch, I went inside and I bought some juice and two little pieces of a cake called šakotis. Do you want to gain 5 kg in a bite? Try it, then! Inside there is the impossible: white chocolate, cream, coconut, cranberries and almonds. Veronika was supposed to wait for me outside, but she got curious and entered the shop to buy some cake as well.

la-chiesettaWe just begun our walking to the lake, when we jumped into a very small church and stopped to visit it. An old lady started talking with us, she had the sweetest smile ever, but we could not understand a word and after a while she realized it and let us go (we should study Lithuanian with more commitment!). Then we left the church and resumed our journey but another surprise made us stop: a strong smell of apples surrounded us! Plenty of apple trees were right in front of me, so we stopped again to catch some of those which were on the ground.

The weather was perfect and going around was really a pleasure, in fact we were also able to improvise a picnic in the middle of a field. Everything was green, quiet and calm. The houses were very well finished, and apparently each person in the village has its own cat and/or dogs, so we had company (actually Veronika was not very happy about it, she is really afraid of dogs and sometimes it takes a while to cross the streets. To me, it was kind of fun to look at her moving around with eyes wide open!). We also met three does and some other kind of animals during our journey, it was exciting and kind of poetic!

The problem arrived when we were close to the lake, because we found almost fresh wild boar tracks on the ground! We decided to be brave and continued till the end… and we were lucky because nothing bad happened! Once we arrived at the lake, we took a couple of selfies and we went back, for Veronika`s pleasure with some wild mushrooms!impronte

Now, if you have enjoyed our “EVS tail” and the idea of joining us for next adventure looks attractive to you, be sure you will be more than welcome in our team! Just check LGL official webpage or Facebook to be informed about the schedule!

But if what you have read is not enough, just give me two more minutes to convince you to wear some comfortable shoes and come on board!

Reasons you should join us for next hike:

  1. Nothing is more refreshing than fresh air. Whether you live in the suburbs or the city, nothing beats the indescribable feeling when breathing in crisp, fresh mountain air. By taking the time to go on a hike and soak in the fresh air Mother Nature has to offer will be refreshing and also good for your overall health
  2. The Views are Breathtaking. Let`s face it, the outdoors are extremely beautiful in a variety of unique, special ways; trees, lakes, mountains, waterfalls, rivers, peaks, you name it. You can hike to almost any destination.
  3. You Make New Friends Along the Way. 
  4. You Practice English. But also Italian or Slovak if you prefer.
  5. Hiking Improves Health. Hiking and climbing can help you get that body you always wanted (don`t look at me, I`m a beginner … look at Veronika): you increase muscle strength, endurance, reduce blood pressure, increase stamina, relieve stress, get your heart rate up, and increase longevity.
  6. It gives you an “Escape from the Real World”. Spending time outdoors gives you a sense of peace and contentment while allowing you to step away from your day-to-day life. In today’s world, we are often bombarded by busy schedules, technology, social class, traffic and so much more. Hiking, and especially camping, gives you the chance to let it all go, and live in the moment.
  7. You will get your fill of Vitamin D, the “Happy Vitamin”. The sun, you know this stranger!!
  8. Challenges Your Limits. Hiking offers a sense of competition without competing with anyone else, only yourself.
  9. Helps you feel Alive. For all the reasons said already.

I stop at 9 on purpose, so you can write your own 10 after your hike! Come and join us, come on!




LGL is carrying out the 10-month project “Heading Towards Visibility and Equality” under the Erasmus+ program EVS (European Voluntary Service).