Maybe it is because I keep moving to small countries, or maybe it is because I keep moving around the periphery of Europe, but sure enough my latest move has already led to the question: “Where is Lithuania?” being posed regularly.
After the dozens of times that I got a similar question when I moved to Malta, I was prepared for the worst. I have been positively surprised. More people seem to know where Lithuania is than where Malta is. Or maybe they have just learnt from my previous dismissive comments about people’s geographic knowledge that it’s better not to ask.
So, here is a map of Europe, indicating the location of Lithuania in the small square.
Lithuania is at the north-eastern periphery of the European Union of which it also is a member state since 2004. Lithuania is also a member of the Schengen Agreement which means you don’t need a visa and there are no border checks if you travel from any of the other Schengen countries.
Lithuania is one of the three Baltic countries, with the other two being Latvia and Estonia to the North of it.
According to one calculation, Lithuania is actually not at the periphery of the continent, but is home to the centre of the geographic gravity of Europe. In my view, Lithuania is however clearly in Eastern Europe.
Lithuania lies between latitudes 53° and 57° North. When I will go to the North of Lithuania, I will be as close to the North Pole as never before in my life (except in a plane), although I will get closer still on my planned visits to some of the neighbouring countries. (Previously, my walk along Hadrian’s Wall in Britain was my northernmost experience.) Because my southernmost trip was to Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia at around 35°50´ South, this is also the closest I have ever been to either of the two poles.
Now that you know exactly where I am, you are welcome to stop by if you are ever in Europe!