By Jens Erik Larsen
Corona virus didn’t let us proceed normally with our Erasmus+ project on sustainable mobility. 3 visits were missing, namely the second trip to Spain and Ireland as well as the first visit to Lithuania. It is precisely here in late November that managed to wind up the last trip, but without students from Spain, Ireland and Denmark. From Denmark participated in addition to the undersigned Niels D. Nielsen from Randersgade School. However, it was some exciting days where we heard what was going on in different cities in Lithuania in terms of sustainable traffic and we also got to hold a project meeting.
In the parliament of Vilnius, Reda – our contact in Lithuania – had organized one
conference, which was partly on-line. From Denmark, Pernille gave a presentation on Cycling
Without Age and signed live on 2 projects in the countryside, namely demonstration
for safer traffic on Ny Mårumvej, and about how the local cycle route 703 turned out
established. The road manager in Vilnius told about establishing better conditions for cyclists
and the mayor of Tauragé showed how to introduce electric buses and
had plans to make public transportation free.
Late in the afternoon, when darkness had descended over the capital, we cycled with the guide Lina around the city «over sticks and stones». Bicycle lanes have been marked, but most often with a somewhat uneven pavement, some cycle paths are ok. But otherwise cycling on sidewalks and in pedestrian areas, which is allowed throughout the city, according to the guide. Vilnius has many beautiful buildings and not least well lit in the evening, including many cunning sculptures.
We had dinner in a church that, like Absalon Church in Copenhagen, has been converted into a restaurant, in this case a socio-economic one where disabled people worked as waiters and waitresses.
Next, the trip went to the Suvalkija region in the south of the country, where we
was the next 3 nights. It was far out in the country! In the following days,
they presented several projects. The most exciting was a nature school in a
forest where several families had settled and lived organically.
There were a total of 7 hectare splus the school. Four fresh and resourceful students showed us around and told us about their teaching, which were scattered over the area in organic construction (thatched houses with clay, domes of wood and so on.
Two of the students spoke English so well that one would not think they were Lithuanians,
but they had listened to many video games, they said.
We also got to see a bike route, which is paid for by the project. It is signposted
The Erasmus route and the Free Birds logo are on the information boards! We were also out in a village, Bagotosios, where Mayor Audrius showed us around. He had been with us in Corella and received us warmly. I have gifts from him for Pernille. We saw residents’ houses, church, sports field etc. and got an excellent soup for lunch in the football club’s small wooden building. There was a simple shop back in the village but the school was discontinued. Very few cycled.
The good mood that we met in several places will be a memory in our minds when Erasmus the project ends on 31/12 2021.
It applies also the last night where we danced folk dance, played music and learned to spin on one