Lithuania's Nuclear National Park
Local Sightseeing, All
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The beautiful Plokstine Forest in Zemaitija National Park hides a terrible secret. It is the site of the Soviet Nuclear Weapons Program that was developed in the 1960s and the four silos you will find here housed the R-12 surface-to-surface missiles that could, at the press of a button, have wiped out civilization as it was known. Berlin, London, Madrid and Paris were the targets, and the fallout simply unthinkable. Three shifts of soldiers, operating 24/7, excavated the silos by hand and it was from this very site in 1962 that missiles were deployed to Cuba to be used in the alarming game of brinksmanship that had the world on the edge of its seat -- the famous and infamous Cuban Missile Crisis. Amazingly, this important historic site is now open to the public, and the grim corridors and tunnels of the four silos and the central control building are yours to explore.
Walk with your guide through this fascinating and chilling site, and see the place where deployment was just a heartbeat from reality. A collection of Cold War relics brings the Situation Room atmosphere into perspective. Climb through the narrow hatch to see into one of the silos. The 90-foot shaft and underground tunnels are really impressive. Take a look at some of the symbols of the Soviet Army along the way. As you leave this apocalyptic site, you will be struck by the stark contrast of the surrounding National Park and the crystal-clear waters of Lake Plateliai.
Taste traditional Lithuanian national dishes (local cheese and honey and Lithuanian potato dumplings with meat, natural yogurt, tea or coffee or a local beer) served at a local café before you drive back to the ship.
Wear comfortable walking shoes and casual clothing. The Soviet Nuclear Weapons Site features many steps in the underground tunnels. Tour requires walking on cobblestones and other uneven surfaces. Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience.