Register for My Account

Register using the one of the following:

(How do I find my Customer Number?)

Already have an account?

* Required

By signing up you agree to our Privacy Policy

A Very Unique “Cherished Memory”

Posted on 10/6/2020 12:00:00 AM in Traveler Insights

Now charming and quaint, the city of Riga, Latvia was once ruled by the Soviet Union for nearly 50 years.

We received this story in response to our September Question of the Month: What’s your most cherished travel memory from your last trip? You can read more answers here.

By Bonnie Mack, 6-time traveler from Clearwater, FL

Cherished memories? I've had many over the last five decades traveling around the world. On my Baltic trip last August, I wasn't disappointed at the old towns in Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia), and Vilnius (Lithuania). One never knows what to expect, when someone tells you that you have to visit such and such, because it's so beautiful or charming. Thankfully, each of the cities presented an “old town” that was unique in itself.

The Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But as much as I enjoyed exploring the charm of each city, my most cherished memory was in Vilnius—at the KGB Museum, formerly a prison. Walking down the building's dismal corridors, glancing through the iron bars at the cells, peering at the heavily padded doors, and listening to our remarkable guide portray the horrors that took place within those walls left an indelible mark on me. His stories were especially poignant, because his grandmother had been incarcerated there. We're all familiar with the atrocities that occurred in WWII. But the stories he relayed were post-war, during the long decades of Soviet domination.

The walls surrounding the KGB Museum in Vilnius are covered with photos and names of former prisoners.

At the conclusion of our tour, the guide said, “The Lithuanian government is aware of 750 'former' KGB agents still residing in Lithuania.” My interest was further piqued, when his final words were, “But they fail to investigate, or do anything about it.”

Admittedly, my visit to the KGB museum is a very strange memory to cherish. But perhaps having spent too much time home alone during COVID-19, I'm finding that having our old freedoms back again is something to cherish—and maybe reflecting on this experience makes our old lives more cherished than ever.

Take a stirring visit to the KGB Museum in Vilnius when you join us for our Enhanced! The Baltic Capitals & St. Petersburg adventure.

Get The Inside Scoop on…

Articles in this Edition

A Very Unique “Cherished Memory”

October 06, 2020

Recipe: Irish Guinness Beef Stew

October 06, 2020

Flying Solo: Nellie Bly

October 06, 2020

Top 15: Most Popular 2022 O.A.T. Adventures

October 06, 2020

Where in the World?

October 06, 2020

High Flying

October 06, 2020

We use cookies to improve your experience, by using our site you accept such use. To view our cookie and privacy policy please click here.