Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view


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The beautiful people defy the weather and turn out in Vilnius

Walking up Pilies g. towards the old town hall I noticed preparations going on outside the Du Broliai Boutique.p1000800

I wandered up Stiklių g. to Mamma Mia’s for a coffee and  a cake and to check out the neighbourhood.

Was Mamma Mia even still there, and the silversmith at terra recognita galerija, and Markus ir Ko? Thankfully yes to all three.

Refreshed I walked back in the gathering gloom and found the reception in full swing. A large screen, a repetitive, forgettable music-by-numbers soundtrack, and waiters offering glasses of bubbly around – but not to bystanders. Of whom there were many, including a couple of Japanese tourists with the longest lenses I’ve ever seen not on TV.p1000804p1000805p1000804

Ah well, at least the guests were undaunted by the cold damp weather (must have wreaked havoc with their hair though).


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Coffee shops on every corner

p1030939The first thing I noticed in the centre of Vilnius and the Old Town was the abundance of coffee shops.

They are on every street corner, often opposite each other. Probably more coffee shops than churches.

A few years ago one opened in the Europa shopping centre, Double- Coffee I think it was called but it didn’t last. Times have changed.

p1000774When I lived in Kaunas for a while I got to like Vero Cafe which later arrived in Vilnius. It reminds me of Costa at home in the UK. The one at the end of Gedimino is still there which is where I went for my first cup.

p1030950I was asked if I wanted Brazilian or Indonesian coffee and I realised that they now sold Orang Utang organic coffee – just like the coffee they sell in my favourite coffee shop back home in Burnley Lancashire.

And there is now one at the bottom of Pilies g. near Bernardiniu g. en route to our hotel the Shakespeare.

I vaguely remembered that there used to be a nice wine bar in the vicinity and wondered if this was the same place. However they told me it hadn’t been a wine bar latterly.

Undaunted I went into the back room and checked out the vaulted ceiling – and it was the same place.p1030940

p1000849And there’s a Coffee Inn directly opposite, although I didn’t sample their coffee because of the long queue (was that a good sign or just poor service?).

If you walk towards Gedimino there is another where a bank used to be on the corner, opposite Vero Cafe.

p1000889Walk back and a little further up Pilies g. and there’s a coffee shop in the bookshop on the left with a nice wall display as a backdrop.

Vilnius isn’t short of good coffee shops that’s for sure. And wine bars too, but that’s another story.

PS Coffee is good for you

Graffiti still an eyesore in Vilnius

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Since my last visit 2 years ago the graffiti in Vilnius seems to have got worse. Side streets off Pilies street in the old town are particular target areas.p1000848 p1000806 p1000799 p1000758 p1000757 p1000756 p1000755 p1000754

One or two look like they have some artistic merit but the majority are just tags. And some are dated 2015 which suggests they’ve been there at least a year.

Surely someone sees people doing it. Does no-one care? It certainly hasn’t improved since last time I posted about it.

Old Town Vilnius

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All these places I know so well. I can’t wait to get back there in 2015

Lost Postcards

My first four days in Lithuania were spent visiting my in-laws at their home in a small town called Alytus. Despite the fact that Lithuania has a lot of natural beauty (Alytus being no exception) with many lakes and forests — it is in stark contrast to the lifeless cement buildings that fill the towns.  Unfortunately, these depressing grey buildings are left over from the Soviet era and are common in Lithuania. It wasn’t until we left for Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, did I truly realize just how grey the town was.

It took over an hour to drive from Alytus to Vilnius and I had fallen asleep on the way there. When I woke – all I could see were vivid red, pink and orange buildings everywhere.  Buildings in so many different styles, gothic, baroque, neo-classic lined up the banks of the two rivers (the Vilnia and the Neris) that…

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Nemokamas parkavimas senamiestyje

Senamiestis

Anksčiau trumpam atvažiavus į senamiestį budavo sunku rasti, kur pasiparkuoti automobilį. Tekdavo ratais važiuoti, norint paparkuoti automobilį Vokiečių gatvėje arba aplink Rotušės aikštę. Atsiradus “mėlynai” parkavimo įkainių zonai atsirado tuščių vietų trumpalaikiam automobilio parkavimui.

Kita medalio pusė – parkavimo aikštelė prie Tymo turgaus tapo mokama. Savivaldybė skatino ūkininkus panaudoti esamus medinius pavilionus Tymo kvartale. Ketvirtadieniais vykstantys  Tymo turgeliai tapo populiarūs. Pirkejai atvyksta iš viso miesto apsipirkti ekologiškų daržovių ir kitos ūkininkų produkcijos. Savivaldybės veiksmai vieni kitiems prieštarauja – tai ragina apsilankyti Tymo turgelyje, tai rašo šioje zonoje baudas už parkavimą ypač intensyviai ketvirtadieniais, kai vyksta Tymo turgelis. Nors tikrumoje ketvirtadieni parkavimo aikštelė šalia Tymo turgaus galėtų būti nemokama.

O ar žinote, kad yra dvi nemokamos parkavimo aikštelės Gedimino kalno papėdėje? Viena yra šalia Nacionalinio muziejaus Arsenalo gatvėje. Ji jau nuo ankstyvo ryto sausakimša. Ten bet kas, kas žino ir spėja anksti ryte pasiparkuoja savo automobilį visai dienai nemokamai. O antra…

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