Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view


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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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The Kitchen

I was recommended to try The Kitchen restaurant by a Danish colleague in Vilnius. I went on my own the first time but took a colleague there on a subsequent visit to Vilnius to see what he thought.

DSC01194DSC01193The restaurant is on the right hand side of Didžioji street, as you walk up fromPilies street and is the wide street that opens up into the town hall square (Rotušės aikštė) with the entrance through an archway and then upstairs.

P1010303The styling is European/Scandinavian with large tables near the bar with a divider separating them from smaller individual tables with more large tables at the back.

P1010299Smokers are able to use the balcony (at least in the Summer).DSC01192

The service is very good with an attentive waitress and it’s good to see bottles of water already on the table without having to ask for it as you do in the UK (my experience in the USA several years ago was the same, bringing jugs of water to your table without having to be asked).
 
P1010300P1010301I ordered meatballs, which were delicious and my colleague had asparagus. Both dishes were beautifully prepared.
For me the only downside was the noisy atmosphere. We were sitting between two large groups of boisterous people, it’s obviously a favourite for family and works parties.
And they could do with some better lighting as you go down the stairs into the archway.


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If music be the food of love……………play on!

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

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On my trip to Vilnius last week I was wandering back from the Philharmonic Hall with a colleague when we heard the sound of a band playing.

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We followed the sound of the music and found that in the square in front of the ROTUŠĖ (town hall) the Lithuanian Army Band were giving a performance (I think it was part of the celebrations for Lithuania holding the presidency of the EU).

The band marched into the square playing their instruments, beautifully together and looking extremely smart in their uniforms and great coats. But then came the really impressive bit when they began cross marching, splitting into sections, going around in circles and many more demanding and intricate marching routines.

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Although male dominated the band did have two female members. (feminism is alive and well in Lithuania……..I think!).

Their repertoire was very broad and their musicianship exceptional. Very soon quite a…

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Spoilt for choice on Stiklių Street

DSCF1332Tourists might associate this street with the Jewish ghetto which was destroyed in 1941 whilst Lithuania was under Nazi occupation.

However the name refers to the glassblowers who worked and sold their wares there in the 15th and 16th centuries.

You can see them in the painting above the entrance to the Stikliai hotel (I’ve never seen many people inside the hotel but it seems to be popular with visiting dignitaries. You’ll know when you see all the top-end Mercs parked outside with the drivers and minders hanging about).

There is still a glass artist’s studio on the street but there are also lots of eating and drinking places!

To get there you can walk up between Vilnius University and the Presidential Palace or walk up Pilies g. onto Didžioji g. and turn right at the fountain at the bottom of the town hall square (Rotušės aikštė).

On the left hand side you have the Lokys steakhouse with an eating area outside. You can’t miss the wooden bear!DSCF1487

DSC01075Almost opposite you have Mamma Mia, a new and classy delicatessen, coffee shop and wine bar which also sells bottles of wine and gifts.

DSC01079Walking past the hotel straight ahead at the junction of Stiklių g. and Žydų g. is Poniu Laime a wonderful coffee and cake shop (owned by the Stikliai hotel) which is reminiscent of an Austrian coffee shop, a little old-fashioned but very popular with locals (The name means a lady’s pleasure).P1010065

DSC01076On your immediate left there is a wine bar Notre Vie with a good selection of wine and where you can also get food. It’s a popular meeting place later in the evening.SAM_0281

CNV00041 You’re also at the entrance to M. Antokolskio g. on your left. And there is the best steakhouse in town, Markus ir Ko. Service is rudimentary (all male staff) but they have filet mignon to die for and on some nights a jazz pianist.

In the Summer you can sit out in the street. You need to book a table.

Further up the street is Rene, a Belgian restaurant which gets fresh fish twice a week. Not a place I’ve eaten at but the staff seem courteous and friendly.

If instead of turning left to Markus you carry on down Stiklių g. you come to another great restaurant Bistro 18.  My colleague and I have eaten there several times. He’s a big fan and often he’ll go there and I go to Markus and we meet up in Notre Vie.

I’m still waiting for him to write a review he knows it so well!CNV00100

There’s something for everyone in this part of the Old Town.


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Derelict Church in Vilnius

P1010307 - Version 2I’d walked up Pilies g. until it turned into Didžioji g. and I came to the fountain at the bottom of the Town Hall Square (Rotušės aikštė). Then I decided to go to the left for a change onto Savičiaus g.

P1010306I realised that this was where the famous composer and painter Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875-1911) had lived and where his house is now a museum. I didn’t want to do a museum just then and I’d spotted a church tower.

When I got there I realised it was derelict although workmen were repairing the roof on the building next door. There are many churches in Vilnius but I wondered why this one had fallen into disuse. I couldn’t see the name of the church on the building or on my map.

I took a couple of photographs but it was when I was on that street again in the evening heading for the bastion that I took this picture.

The building seems to glow in the evening Summer sunlight.


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The Town Hall Vilnius

DSC01070In an earlier post I showed you the old view from the Town Hall (Vilniaus rotušė) down towards Pilies g.

This is the view you now see from the bottom end of the Town Hall Square.

DSC01073As you can see in the Summer the cafes set out their seats and umbrellas.

It didn’t always look like this.

The fountain is also a popular place to cool down!