Man patinka Lietuva

I like Lithuania – a visitor's point of view

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Napoleon and Lithuania………….the undoing of an emperor

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

Bodies found in the mass grave outside of Vilnius Bodies found in the mass grave outside of Vilnius

A longstanding mystery surrounding the deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon’s army found in a mass grave in Lithuania has been solved.

The jumbled bones of the men who died on the French leader’s ill fated attempt to march on Moscow in 1812 show signs of starvation, according to archaeologists from the University of Central Florida.

According to Forbes, buttons found on the site, which was first discovered in Lithuanian capital Vilnius in 2002, show over 40 different regiments were represented from Napoleon’s army as they made their desperate dash back across Europe.

Around 500,000 in the Emperor’s army began their long march to Moscow in June 1812, but by the time they were stumbling back to Vilnius in retreat six months later only 40,000 had survived.

Around 20,000 men were believed to have died of hypothermia, starvation and typhus in…

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Keeping your feet warm

I’ve been to Lithuania several times in the Winter and the weather is fine for me, even with deep snow. It doesn’t have that damp coldness we have in North West England.

(For history buffs the damp is why it was perfect for the cotton industry when Lancashire dominated the world with its cotton mills, But that’s another story).

I’d read in one of the Sunday newspaper magazines about felt boots but never seen any. Then there I was shopping in Stiklių street when I saw a felt shop. They had everything made of felt, clothes, handbags, and boots!

So I tried on a pair and bought them. They weren’t cheap – 260 liras – but probably what you’d have to pay for some decent weatherproof shoes or a pair of good trainers.

P1010630 P1010633I wore them in the house that Winter (they have a rubberised sole so you could wear them outdoors) and was toasty warm and I’ve worn them each Winter since. And it’s time to get them out again.

I went back on my next visit to buy some more but the shop had moved, to be replaced by the Mamma Mia delicatessen.

FYI Felt is cloth made from sheep’s wool which has  excellent thermal properties and has been used for centuries (apparently the earliest example of a felt article is from Asia in 600 BC).

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Šv. Stanislovo ir Šv. Vladislovo arkikatedra bazilika – Vilnius (winter night)

Good results from the Nikon but it’s not all about the camera

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

I took this photograph of the white cathedral in Vilnius on my visit in February 2013. It was a freezing cold night but it was so beautifully lit up that I had to test out my new Nikon D5100 camera.  During the day the cathedral is a “thing of beauty” but at night it takes on a different persona…………incandescent and magisterial.






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Now wouldn’t you like to see this in the UK………..

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

When I visited Vilnius in 2011 I was there in January when they had heavy snowfalls and temperatures “rise” to -15c in the day and “drop” to -30c at night.

I was on my way to the shopping centre at Panorama one Sunday morning when I saw a fleet of snowplows coming down the street, 3 abreast.

My God I thought, they have more snowplows in Vilnius than they do in the whole of the UK!



Now if a small country like Lithuania can get its act together in winter and maintain flow of road traffic, keep the airport open and have the paths cleared every morning why can’t we here in the UK?

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Flying to Vilnius

I’ve flown from England into Vilnius at different times of the year. Sometimes via Copenhagen, sometimes via Stockholm, but my preferred trip is with Finnair via Helsinki.

IMG_0017As you can see the Winter weather in Finland can be quite bleak even in March when some of the photos with ice were taken. But we always get to Vilnius on time.