Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view


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Tastes change in Vilnius

A few years ago I enjoyed visiting “A taste of Lithuania”  (Lietuviškas Skonis) just off the cathedral square near the Amberton Hotel on Odminių g.

It was a family run cafe bar which made very nice fresh food, provided free wi-fi and sold some nice souvenirs. (See my earlier post on it). They also had a shop at Vilnius airport for a while.

Last year when I went it was nowhere to be seen. Now there is a spa and massage parlour in its place.

Whether it will still be there next time I visit is anyone’s guess.


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War with Russia – a book worth reading

Here’s a book worth reading if you are at all interested in Russia’s aggressive behaviour towards former soviet union countries on its borders and its threat to world peace. 

Written by someone who knows what they are talking about (General Sir Richard Shirreff was Deputy Supreme Commander Europe for NATO) it’s a Tom Clancy type novel.

The action starts in Ukraine with the kidnapping of US trainers by Russian special forces and attacks on US jets by Russian fighters but soon moves to the Baltics demonstrating the high risks faced by these countries.

NATO is seen as largely ineffectual initially as its members have continually cut back on defence budgets or not contributed their agreed share to it.

However due respect is paid to the resistance movements in the Baltics referred to as the Forest Brothers

Without spoiling the plot for readers this book is bang up-to-date (it even has Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the opposition in the UK) but will make uncomfortable reading.


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No third time lucky for man who fell in love with a Lithuanian girl

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David Harris, a 69-year-old retired TV producer,  fell in love with Ugne Cekaviciute, a Lithuanian girl he says he met in a brothel.

He ran up large debts entertaining her in expensive hotels and lavishing gifts on her and decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her but his partner Hazel Allinson, aged 69 and a TV scriptwriter, had all the money and the £800,000 country house.

So he decided to have her killed and sought out who he thought might do the job as a contract killer.

  1. The first man, a mechanic and a trainee private investigator, panicked when he realised it wasn’t a debt collection job and told the man’s wife
  2. The second man he approached told the police
  3. The third man he approached was an undercover police officer

So not a happy ending for Mr Harris who had promised the contract killers £250,000 to do the job so he could retire to the seaside with his much younger girlfriend, a 28-year old graduate from Vytautus Magnus University (an institution I know from my time in Kaunas studying there). And he should have know better as he was a TV producer on the popular police series The Bill!

His trial continues but it’s not going to be a happy ending for anyone!

Update 22/5/17

David Harris was found guilty last week of soliciting Hazel Allison’s murder after just 5 hours deliberation by the jury. The judge has ordered him to be assessed for a personality disorder.

His partner, Hazel Allison, whom he tried to have killed, refused to give evidence against him even though she knew Harris had spent tens of thousands of pounds of her money on Miss Cekaviciute whom he met in a brothel in Worthing. She also refused to make a victim impact statement and doesn’t believe he should have been charged.

Ugne Cekaviciute denies she is a sex worker and plans to write a book about their 5-year relationship. She was a member of the Lithuanian basketball team as a teenager but moved to Britain in 2010 as a flower picker after dropping out of university. She then moved to London working as a waitress, in an hotel accounts department and as a carer for people with disabilities.

She met Harris in 2011 when she was working in a brothel in Worthing and he helped her to enrol on a business studies course and helped her with her homework. He also bought her presents and paid for her flights home to see her family. She lived with her younger brother and his family and apparently Harris had no idea that she was a prostitute, although he used them regularly.

She said “we are just friends. He was dreaming about more” and her mother described him as a fantasist, childish and infantile. Funny that when the police arrested Harris in an hotel in Balham they found them lying together naked. However since being held in Belmarsh prison he has converted to catholicism and considers himself a changed man.


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Lithuania is not alone in fearing Putin

putinbalticsGraphic from the Sunday Times magazine.

Latvia and Estonia are also taking steps to create a resistance force for when the Russians invade – just like Lithuania’s Rifle Union.

The graphic shows the weak points, such as the Suwalki Gap through which the Russians can move from Kaliningrad, now a highly fortified military base..

Which idiots thought it was a good idea at the end of the second world war to give Russia that strip of land with access to the Baltics. Oh, we did!


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Lithuania and the Jews, still a difficult question for the country……..but there is hope.

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

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It’s not every day that Lithuanian high school students block the entrance to their school to keep out their principal and demand the return to work of a beloved teacher who, in their opinion, was unfairly dismissed. In fact, as far as I could determine, the action taken recently by students at the Laisves (freedom) Gymnasium (high school) in Naujoji Vilnia, a suburb of the capital, Vilnius (Vilna), is unprecedented since Lithuania regained its independence in 1990.

So what prompted this unusual case of student insubordination, which garnered headlines in the largest of the Baltic republics? At this point, we must differentiate between the official version of the story and what appears to be the real reason for the events which took place at the high school several weeks ago. According to the principal, the teacher in question, Marius Janulevicius, who teaches Lithuanian language and literature, had spoken harshly to…

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Art on the streets of Vilnius

I’ve posted before about graffiti which is a form of vandalism in my opinion. Admittedly occasionally there is something which suggests some artistic skill. p1000795

There are also promotional pieces such as these at the Arts House on Šiltadaržio g. p1000809 p1000808

On Literatu g. there is a whole range of art of course.

This open-air gallery has been there for a number of years and each time I visit it has added new pieces.

There’s always something to see on the streets of Vilnius.

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