Meet locals: What does your life look like when you live in a magical place?

When I met Zolenas, I told him that some of my questions could seem a bit strange, but his everyday life looks almost magical for me. Why? Well, first of all, because he lives in Pervalka – small village in Curonian Spit. And my dearest friends, if there are some magical places in the world, then Curonian Spit is definitely one of them.

24 years – that’s how long Zolenas is a fisherman. ”At the beginning there was no romance at all, it has been just an opportunity to start a business” – says Zolenas. And even though about his experience he talks like this isn’t something big, there is a sparkle in his eyes that gives away a little secret – he loves his work.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Let’s talk about the adventures – is there any memorable stories to share?

I hear this question a lot – smiles Zolenas. But there is just one story – you have to be sure that you’ll be safe. This isn’t a forest where you can find out a way, even if you got lost. A few years ago on spring I didn’t mark the fishing net. We just moved from the shore, when the big fog came. It was so thick that I couldn’t see anything at all. Shore, horizon – all gone. I had no idea, which way I need to go. The funniest part is that I was like 200 meters away from the shore.

What did you do?

I called for my colleague – he was on the shore – and asked him to give me a sign – the sound or the light. Actually, it was a common thing before, especially in autumn. Now it’s easier, especially with all the equipment. I remember at the beginning, it was a bit like spells – you take a compass and a watch. If there is a fog, you must be very careful, always keep an eye on the time. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck on the net or get lost.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Have you ever found another ship in your net?

Yeah, sometimes that happens. Not that long ago I ordered a net – special order, new net. I was so excited to try it! I set the net and when I came back in the morning – the net was all ruined! Brand new net! It didn’t catch not even a small fish. It was sad. But that happens. For that, one morning I’ve found a yacht in my net – what’s the catch!

Photo Ⓒ Edita Norkevičiūtė

I’ve heard that fishermen and sailors are really friendly – if they see that someone needs help, they always help. Is that true?

Yeah, it’s absolutely true. This is like the unwritten rule. It’s because it’s not that easy to get help when you are in the water – it doesn’t matter it is a sea or lagoon. And when you see that someone is in trouble you can’t just ignore that. It could be that you are the only one who can help.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Let’s talk about Lithuania. What is Lithuania for you?

My homeland. The place I live. Where my family, my kids lives.

Would you like to change it?

Well, I never thought about it, but probably no. I like it here. This is my home.

What TOP 3 places you would recommend for a guest to see?

Every place has something worth to see. It depends on what you’re expecting for. Here I would say that the Parnidis dune is one of the most amazing things. I love the bicycle patch from here to Nida – it’s in the woods, so the journey will be calm and peaceful. But my favorite place probably would be the Dead Dunes. It is sad, that not everyone can see the beauty of Dead Dunes. When you are on it – you can see the view and yes, it is amazing, but real beauty is to see the dunes from water – every time I see this I can’t figure it out how nature does this amazing thing. It is breathtaking view. It is worth to come here just for this one.

Photo Ⓒ Antanas Minkevičius

Written by Edita Norkevičiūtė