We spent our days in Nida by exploring outdoors. One of our activities was biking, which led to a lot of adventures. Once we went on a 10-mile bike ride through the woods to a little fishing village even smaller than Nida. The dirt on either side of the narrow bike path was eating away at the edges. It was a weathered lane, and the cracks that ran across were like wrinkles on old skin, but the green all around was full of color and light. It was a beautiful ride, but my favorite place to bike was along the water.
We also spent time along the shore without our bikes. Sometimes we sat and watched the water evolving through every shade of blue. Often there were swans, which are so frequently seen in Nida, but are marvels to the tourists. Local students would feed the swans bread out of their hands as tourists goggled.
We also liked to spend time on the beaches on both sides of the Curonian Spit. Max and I would make little boats and float them in the water on the calmer Haff side, but on the other side it’s different. Sometimes on the ocean side, the wind and water were so rough we had to leave. On one of these adventures the wind was blowing so hard that our bags were blowing away, sand was blowing in our faces, and Max and I set about digging a hole to keep warm. I was cold even in my long underwear, pants, and multiple sweaters.
To get to the ocean side we walked through the forest for about 45 minutes. The forest made me feel like I had woken up before anyone else, and I was alone in a secret place. Every time we walked through the forest, we built fairy houses. A tiny hidden path wound its way to the entrance of the fairy village with its mossy houses sheltered by grandfather trees. We experimented with different building materials and challenged each other with brilliant decorations.
Whether I was by the water or in the forest, I was taking pictures. I enjoyed seeing the verdant forest against the rich blue sky. This is one of my favorite pictures: