Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view

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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Is it a bird? is it a plane? No – it’s a police drone in Vilnius

P1000518I posted a while ago about watching the mounted police practising in front of the old Town Hall in Vilnius.

Going through some old memory cards I found this video clip of the same event but in this one we were being watched by a police drone.

P1000507 - Version 2First there was a humming/buzzing sound then it suddenly shot out from behind the buildings alongside the square. As it hovered I got a better shot and you can clearly see the police markings. Then we spotted the operator working from a van near the Town Hall steps.

Were they getting a birds-eye view to improve their choreography? were they practising crowd surveillance? Or were they just playing with their new toy? Who knows?


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Uzupis………you never know what to expect!

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

On my numerous visits to Vilnius in Lithuania I always find time to wander round the bohemian quarter called Uzupis which is sometimes compared to Monmartre in Paris or Christiania in Copenhagen.

We only eat apples………. We only eat apples……….

On my most recent visit in September 2014 I came across toilets placed in the middle of the river (living art), photographs placed along the river sides as well as one of the funniest signs I have seen in a long time concerning apple eaters.

A bit chilly to the cheeks……….. A bit chilly to the cheeks………..

Užupis is a “republic” of artists. It has its own anthem, constitution (which is one of the funniest documents you will ever read!), president, bishop, two churches, one of the oldest graveyards in Vilnius (Bernardine Cemetery), seven bridges, and a guardian (the bronze angel of Užupis). The constitution of the Republic of Užupis is displayed on a fence at the beginning of Paupio Street…

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The Church of St Parasceve in Vilnius

DSC00220DSC00268This attractive little Russian Orthodox Church, the Church of St Parasceve (or Piatnickaya in Russian) is situated at Ribiskiu Didzioji 2 behind the outdoor market place at the top of Pilies g.before it becomes Didžioji g. and seems to be in regular use.

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It has been rebuilt several times and has an interesting history some of which is described on the plaque outside the church.

In the early 1960s it was used as a Lithuanian Folk Art Museum.

The Soviet regime wanted it to be a Museum of Atheism (they liked to disparage religion in their soviet republics) although in this case it might have been appropriate as the church is said to have been built on the site of a temple to the pagan god Ragutis, one of three gods associated with beer and brewing in the Baltics.

It was reconsecrated as a Russian Orthodox church on 31 May 1991.

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Graffiti – sheer vandalism & nothing artistic about it

Graffiti seems to be the scourge of modern cities.DSC00038

Bernardiniu street which runs off the bottom end of  Pilies street in the old town seems particularly susceptible to the work of these vandals (who have also broken off the teapots fastened to the wall at the shop on the corner of these two streets).DSC00041 DSC00040 DSC00039

Other street also suffer from this vandalism.

What amazes me is how nobody sees anyone doing it? Most are scribbles (I think they call them tags and that’s what they should be wearing) but some will have have taken quite a long time to do.

The Vilnius authorities deserve credit for painting over these from time to time as you can see but it must be a thankless task.