Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view

Leave a comment

Business District in Vilnius

P1000375This is my favourite view of the new business district taken on one of my earlier visits in 2009.

Walking across the white pedestrian bridge (Baltasis tiltas) over the River Neris to Upes see the VCUP (Vilnius Central Department Store) on the right (the old cooperative store in soviet times) and Hotel Lietuva (now a Radisson hotel) famous for its Sky Bar, casino and Riverside restaurant centre left. (Rumour has it that it was a favourite meeting place for soviet big-wigs, local mafya, and call girls before independence).

P1000377You can see the Europa Centre in the centre background further back on Konstitucijos pr.and various office blocks housing banks and IT centres. Halfway across the bridge is Mambo Pizza close to the Summer sports areas and the skateboard park.

P1000378You can also see to the left a sculpture of the logo for European Capital of Culture.

P1000233New buildings have sprung up since then to add to the skyline and there is now the Ray-Spear sculpture (Spindulys-ietis) piercing the bridge.

This was created by K. Vildžiūnas and M. Lukošius in 2010 and is part of the project ‘Signs of Vilnius’ (Vilniaus Zenklai) dedicated to the capital city.


Street Music in Vilnius

DSCF1131You don’t see that many street musicians, or buskers as we call them in the UK, around in Vilnius. But here are a couple of them (right) outside the Europa Centre on Konstitucijos pr. with an unusual combination of instruments.

DSCF1628The most popular site is on Pilies g. (Castle St) the cobbled street that wends its way from near the cathedral square up to the town hall. (Keep walking up the main street and you come to to the last remaining perimeter gate , the gates of Dawn, from the days when Vilnius was a walled city).

That was where this couple (left) were performing, next to the little outdoor market, singing Russian folk songs.

I asked them why they were singing Russian songs. They said their parents were Russian speaking and that Lithuanian folk songs were too sad. They were kind enough to sing a Ukrainian folk song that friends in Ukraine had taught me.

P1010487 - Version 2This girl singer/guitarist was also playing near the outdoor market but struggling to capture an audience.

Whereas this vocal ensemble, performing Manhattan Transfer songs, lower down Pilies g. opposite the 17c bell tower (the highest point in the old town giving you fantastic panoramic views), captivated tourists with their enthusiasm and well- rehearsed harmony singing..DSCF1073

This young violinist was also playing on Pilies g. lower down  at the cathedral end.DSCN1078

DSCF1337Finally this one (below) is not strictly a street musician as he was performing in the Shakespeare Hotel bar  – but I thought he looked cool!