Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view


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A refreshing “waterhole” in Vilnius…………“Pinavija”

Nice to hear that Pinavija is still a great place to eat

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

Vilnius has an abundance of coffee houses, in fact after my most recent visit I would suggest that it has more coffee shops per head of population than any other country in Europe.

DSC_0029.jpg Pinavija Cafe

There are also many cafes, bistros and restaurants that the visitor can seek refuge in, many offering decent food at still reasonable prices.

After an absence from the city of about eighteen months I decided to seek out the finest kibinai shop this side of the Ural mountains, namely “Pinavija” at Vilniaus g. 21 (just down by the right hand side of the Novatel).

My friend Mike and I discovered this eating-place several years ago and every time we return to Vilnius we make a pilgrimage to sample the food (in fact we usually make several pilgrimages during each visit).

12017582_10153133344171198_3509700446264201087_o.jpg The exalted Kibinai (aka Cornish Pasty)

What attracts us, quite simply the variety of kibinai…

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Trakai Castle: Lithuania’s Medieval Capital

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My own posts on Trakai are here and here

Lost Postcards

IMG_0384Trakai Island Castle was one of the sites I wanted to visit the most on my first excursion to Lithuania. Trakai was at one time the capital of Lithuania and served as a major center for the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lithuania only ever had one king and then was ruled by dukes onward). The castle was first built in the 14th century and is unique as it sits on a small island in the middle of Lake Galve. Trakai Castle’s location gave it strategic importance during wars and military campaigns as it was very difficult to capture.

The castle unfortunately fell into disrepair sometime after the 17th century and it wasn’t until the late 19th century that preparations were made to start restoring it. It took over a hundred years to complete the restoration due to both world wars and funding. The restoration was complete by the early 1990s…

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To all my friends in Lithuania,”I told you the kibinai originated in Cornwall”…….

We joked about this before…

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

Critics at top food festival in Brittany hail a Cornish pasty from Trevithick a ‘revelation’

Critics at a top food festival in France have hailed this year’s big hit as the Cornish pasty. The West Country staple was the surprise star of the renowned event in the city of Lorient in Brittany, which attracts 60,000 people including some of the continent’s top gastronomes and chefs.

The area’s leading newspaper, Le Telegramme, declared the humble pasty as ‘the revelation of the festival’.

'Revelation': The West Country staple was the surprise star of the renowned event in the city of Lorient in Brittany, which attracts 60,000 people including some of the continent's top gastronomes and chefsThe baked pastries were made by Cornwall’s Trevithick Bakery, one of several UK firms serving up traditional British fare including jams, pastries and craft beers.

‘The Lorient Festival is an important platform to attract people to Cornwall,’ Julian German, Cornwall Council cabinet member for economy & culture, told Business Cornwall. ‘It is evident that many people have heard of Cornwall and we need show what Cornwall has to offer. ‘Our…

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Pinavija – my favourite Kibinai cafe in Vilnius

P1010213I know I’ve mentioned eating kibinai more than once and you don’t have to go to Trakai to get some good ones.

Over the last couple of years you can get them in many cafes, even from a mobile van outside VCUP.

My favourite however is the one on Vilniaus g. (which runs off Gedimino pr. near the Novotel Hotel).

A family-run business, it opened a couple of years ago as Kibini Inn but is now called Pinavija.

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Kibinai were traditionally stuffed with mutton or beef, but here you can get them stuffed with pork, beef, chicken, or turkey and even veggie kibinai.

Prices are between 6.5 and 7.5 Litas each i.e. an average of £1.75.

P1010216The cafe doesn’t just sell kibinai. Apart from soup and freshly pressed juice and coffee there is a good range of  wonderful cakes and gateaux.

It gets busy at lunchtime but the bakers keep churning out fresh kibinai. They don’t stay on the  shelf for long!

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There is also a children’s play area at the back.

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And if you are having a celebration, they will cater for you. As they say “delicious baking for your celebration”


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On the water in Trakai

DSCN1077This is about the first sight you see of the castle in Trakai when you get off the bus.

DSCN1025This was 2012 and my third trip there so after nourishing ourselves on soup, kibinai and a beer we hired a boat for a row round the lake.

DSCN1057DSCN1054The shots below show some of the bigger craft by the entrance to the castle, the one that looks like a paddle boat sponsored by our favourite beer – Švyturys.


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Kenesa in Vilnius

CNV00018_5This is a Kenesa or Persian synagogue built in 1922 for the Karaims (or Karaites) who originally came from what was Mesopotamia (now Iraq).

Kenesa comes from the Aramaic word for assembly and is the source of the Hebrew word for synagogue beit knesset and the name of the Israeli parliament the Knesset.

The Lithuanian Karaims are believed to have come from Crimea near the Black Sea  to serve as the Grand Duke’s elite bodyguard in the 14c.

There were several of these kenesas built in Lithuania in the 14c but now there are only two; this one across the river from the parliament buildings on Liubarte street (not far from the Orthodox church) and one in Trakai, where there are also Karaim exhibits in the castle museum. And don’t forget the origins of the kibinas!

The Karaims survived the holocaust during the Nazi occupation as they aren’t technically jewish because  they don’t follow the Talmud but still suffered as a minority (and there are perhaps only 500 still existing in Lithuania).


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Cornish pasties get protected status

Mike the Psych's Blog

Cornish pasties have now got protected status under the EU Protected Geographical Indication rules which lay down the composition and appearance of this working man’s delicacy. So, just like Cornish clotted cream, Cornish pasties can only be made in Cornwall.

There are 40 or so British food products similarly protected but we are way behind the French and Italians in this regard.

It is estimated that 87 million pasties are produced every year. From mid-March, when their protected status comes into force, they must have fillings of beef, potato, onions and swede, a light seasoning and no additives or preservatives. They are cooked in a semi-circular shape with a crimped edge and glazed with milk or eggs to give it that golden brown colour.

The pasty was ideal for the miners as it was a self-contained meal which they could easily carry. There are claims that they have found remains…

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