Lithuania   Leave a comment

2016 Lithuania, Vilnius Store

Mr and Mrs Vilnius

Leaving Arlanda airport and the 30,000 islands that make up the Stockholm Archipelago, we set off across the Baltic Sea. The clouds are like huge marshmallows suspended in mid-air and I never wanted to jump out of a plane as much as I do now.

Our touchdown was the smoothest landing I’ve ever experienced, I didn’t feel a thing when the wheels hit the tarmac. Anyone who knows me knows that I love bumpy flights but I have to say, this landing impressed me. Nice job, Mr Pilot!

Lithuania, the first republic to separate from the Soviet Union, is bordered by Belarus, Poland, Latvia and the Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave. Basketball is their second religion and you say ‘labos’ for hello and ‘aciu’ pronounced achoo (bless you!) for thank you (I believe as visitors this is the absolute minimum we should learn about a language).

Vilnius – the capital known as the City of Low Flying Angels.

Former KGB Headquarters – the elaborate carvings of this building are a stark contrast to the horrors that took place here. The names of the people tortured and executed are carved into the foundation blocks, a sobering reminder to everyone who walks past. I didn’t take a photo since it’s one of those images that stay ingrained in your memory forever.

Old Town – the Radisson Blu Astorija is a pale yellow and white hotel right in the middle of the old town and I wonder if Prince Charles had my room when he stayed here. Wandering down Pilies Street I marvel at the abundance of amber products. If I was serious about buying, it would take me week to decide!

All around me are edifices of stunning architecture in a myriad of pastel colours like pistachio, pink and peach and also the terracotta colour I saw and loved in Dubrovnik. So much colour! I say this every time…I love Toronto, but man is it ever a drab city (for the most part).

Wandering around, it’s evident that Vilnius is not overrun with tourists. It’s quite easy to take a photo with hardly anyone in your way. At each city, I try to find a high vantage point with a great view and in Vilnius, it’s the University Observation Tower. For €2.50, you can climb (or take the lift) to the top for a bird’s eye view of the rooftops and surrounding area.

I run into Francesca and Lucia, two beautifully-spirited Roman ladies from Hoboken, New Jersey. I say “Cake Boss?” and they, in their wonderful accent, say “Ah yes, yes, beautiful cakes, not good to eat.”…so funny!

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Posted July 6, 2016 by Jaclyn in Travel

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