On the footsteps of the country's past
Tour by bike or by car
Tour itinerary: Pasvalys-Vitartai-Tetirvinai-Skrebotiškis-Vaškai-Paliepiai-Grūžiai-Dovydai-Mediniai-Pasvalys
Tour duration - one or two days
Tour length - up to 60 km
We set off from the former Pasvalys railway station and head towards Vaškai. We cross the historic Ustukiai bridge over the river Mūša, we pass Ustukiai village memorial cross and we stop at the deserted manor of Vitartai where we reflect upon the sad fate of the manors in our country. We then continue our trip to Tetirvinai-Kiemėnai junction. This is there, among birches, that we are met by the memorial designed by the sculptor Arūnas Grušas to commemorate residents of the village of Tetervinai. We visit the renovated graveyard of Vainiškiai where our eyes are caught by the restored graveyard fence with the reproductions of Stations of the Cross and the monument to the resistance fighters Kazys Pažemeckis, Antanas Audijonis and Juozas Paplauskis. We don't miss the monument to the legendary aviator Vytautas Lapėnas.
We cycle further. Here's Skrebotiškis: its little church perfectly nestled in an old grain warehouse, its commemorative monuments in the churchyard, its restful graveyard, its crumbling school building with a cross in front of it and a hut and further ahead there's a farmstead marked by a plaque, the remaining birthplace of the painter Antanas Jaroševičius. After stopping there and giving our feet some rest we cross the road Pasvalys-Vaškai, turn onto a gravel road and soon reach the ancient tombs of Noreliai. After some sightseeing we go back to the main road. We continue towards the town of Vaškai passing by the villages of Noriai, Titkoniai, Iciūnai. We start our tour around Vaškai from the birthplace house of the literary sciene professor Vanda Zaborskaitė and we visit the permanent exposition dedicated to the professor in the town library bearing the professor's name. After seeing commemorative monuments in the town we stop by the exquisite town church combining Classical and Neoclassical styles. We visit the graveyard with the memorial site for the Resistance fighters of Vaškai and we stop by the graveyard of Jonas Paškevičius - „knygnešys" or "the forbidden books smuggler", who smuggled in the national newspaper „Aušra". We visit the old Jewish graveyard and we take a look at some monuments from Soviet era. The town square and its street net remind us that Vaškai is an urbanistic monument. We take the street Vilnius and turn towards Grūžiai, we pass by the villages of Šaipiai, Paliepiai and we stop for a short visit to the most archaically looking graveyard. We take more time for our walk around the village of Grūžiai. Here we are met by memorial crosses and the notable graveyard of Grūžiai with graves of Nebuvėliai next to the extinguished village of Nebuvėliai. We also visit the railway station and Grūžiai school museum.
We carry on to the street-village of Dovydai notable for its history, beauty and peacefulness. Our first stop there is at the site of the farmstead of Būtėnai marked by the memorial stone for two brothers - the linguist Petras Būtėnas and the journalist resistance fighter Julijonas Būtėnas. The remaining homestead of the agronomy professor Jonas Paltarokas is nearby. We walk up the only street of the village. Here's the homestead of the writer Julijonas Lindė-Dobilas marked by a modest monument and here's the parental home of the painter Algirdas Pakeliūnas. Our way leads us to the village graveyard situated on the beautiful hill a long time ago. Let's take a look - all the surrounding uphills and downhills are in our sight. We also find the memorial cross hidden in the neck of Dovydai woods and commemorating the resistance fighter Antanas Andrašiūnas. The farmstead of Dovydai is a convenient place for a pause. We take some time to rest, to chat and to enjoy picnic meal and then we head to Grūžiai road and back to Pasvalys. We stop at the Little Manor of Grūžiai or more exactly at its ruins. We visit the hill of Velniakalnis and the old graves of Kriaušiškiai. We drop by the pitifully looking manor of Kalneliškis aka the Big Manor of Grūžiai. We pass Kalneliškės industrial ancient site and the cross of Vainekoniai and we keep cycling to the village of Mediniai. Here we find an entire gallery of memorable places: monuments for resistance fighters, for the family of Vileišiai and for the residents of Mediniai, the memorial cross for the military company of Pavasarininkai, a birch wood and an oak wood...
Our tour is nearing to the end - we pass by the tall Vitartai lime tree, we turn onto the road Vaškai-Pasvalys and we reach Pasvalys full of memories and experiences.