Blogs from Kaunas, Lithuania, Europe - page 5


Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas February 7th 2008

My trip from Efland, North Carolina, en route to Lithuania began last Monday. With the help of my brother, I packed all of the things that I would need from now until October when I return to New York. The packing process was not much different from my last two big pr-trip packs, but the difference this time was that I did not necessarily know what I was packing for. The past two times I packed for a baseball season. But for what am I packing this time? First I will be in Lithuania going to baseball practices, then two months in France as a dancer, then traveling to South Africa for three months to volunteer in an afterschool program, then a few weeks back in Lithuania to play baseball before returning to the US for ... read more
New York City

Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas February 5th 2008

Dear Blog readers: I have not written in quite a while, the reason being that I have been home visiting friends and family. More blog entries are forthcoming as I am back in Lithuania and have lots of exciting travels planned for this summer. Here is, in brief, my plans: -I will be here in Lithuania for a month and a half staying with Viktorija and her family, going to baseball practices, working on a project that will bring two Lithuanian youngsters to Durham to spend June and July living with host families and playing baseball. -During March and April I will be in France working on a dance collaboration project with choreographer Trajal Harrell, from New York City, and several other dancers from around Europe and New York. I am really excited about this--though I ... read more

Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas November 21st 2007

It would be very easy to forget the fact that you are in Kaunas, Lithuania, while roaming through the great halls of Akropolis, the newly-opened 3-story mega-mall in downtown Kaunas. If not for the Lithuanian being spoken, this could be any other mall in Minneapolis or New York or New Jersey or Greenwich, Connecticut, or Durham, North Carolina. In fact the mall is even more flashy and fancy than most malls I have visited; there is a bowling alley, a multiplex movie theater, a full-size ice-skating rink, and much much more. (One random thing about this mall, I have noticed, is that it has many more baby accessories/toys/clothing stores than the average mall in the US—the last time I was in Akropolis I counted six stores just for babies and toddlers.) One interesting fact about Akropolis: ... read more

Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas November 21st 2007

This year was the first season that the Lithuanian Cup was awarded. The Cup was an end of year tournament that allowed all of the adult teams in Lithuania, from both the first and second divisions, compete for a championship. It was the final weekend of the season. This was also my final weekend in Kaunas. Saturday it was rainy and there were questions whether we would be able to play the game. Draugas pitched in the game and I was playing center field. Not much interesting happened in the game until the second inning. There was a fly ball to shallow left field. No one called for the ball and as a result both the left fielder and the center fielder went for the ball. They collided and both fell to the ground. One of ... read more
Lithuanian Cup
isveikata! (cheers!)

Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas November 21st 2007

September: I was on the hill for game 1 of the Lithuanian finals. The weather was horrible--lots of wind, lots of rain, very cold. Kaunas stadium can sometimes give you the feeling that you are on top of the world. The clouds are right above you, there are few trees around, not much protection from the weather--in short, you feel like you are in the clouds, on a mountain summit perhaps. The rain stopped play numerous times throughout the day, and it is in fact a miracle that we completed the game. Twice we ran out onto the field ready to play, the umpire positioned himself behind the plate and yelled 'play ball', and then realized he had forgotten his mask in his car. He would call time and run to his car, as we all ... read more
Kaunas Lituanica
Kaunas and Family
Me, Viktorija, Andrius, Zena

Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas September 12th 2007

There is a t-shirt that you can by as a souvenir here in kaunas on which is written ‘Kaunas yra Kaunas’. This is the sort of de-facto slogan of the city, though I don’t think it is one you will find in tourbooks or brochures. ‘Kaunas yra Kaunas’ simply means ‘Kaunas is Kaunas.’ As I have come to understand, the city of Kaunas and its people have a certain reputation in Lithuania as being sort of rough-edged, a city where the energy and mannerisms from ‘Old Soviet Times’ are still extremely pervasive in society, moreso than other cities, in particular other Lithuanian cities comparable in size. The belief is that Kaunas people, externally atleast, are ‘harder.’ Life here is ‘harder’ and ‘heavier’ than in, say, Klaipeda or Vilnius, the two Lithuanian cities larger than Kaunas. The ... read more

Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas September 12th 2007

Geo: 54.8969, 23.8924Breakfast was served this morning with an amazing peach jam. I couldn't get enough of it; good thing for me Mary didn't want hers. Hopefully our next B&B is as good - the rest of our accommodations in Lithuania are with Litinterp, a chain of B&Bs in this country. As we checked out, I realized that the best thing about Litinterp isn't the rustic and charming accommodations, or even the hearty breakfasts. It's the attractive ladies working in the office - hopefully the other B&Bs are as good! At the bus station - the people in front of me seemingly got a lower price for their tickets. I wonder if we pay a tourist tax here? It probably doesn't really matter since things are already so inexpensive for us here. It was a hazy ... read more

Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas September 10th 2007

September 1st in Lithuania is a marked day on everyone’s calendars because it is the first day of school. This year the 1st of September was a Saturday, nonetheless they had school (in the US, of course, we would simply begin school the following Monday if the ‘first day’ happened to fall on a weekend.). September 1st for athletic coaches, baseball coaches included, marks the beginning of the scouting season. It signals that it is time to head to the elementary and middle schools in search of players for their upcoming seasons. Last year I spent two days visiting schools with Sigitas looking for young baseball prospects, and this year it was planned that we would do the same. Tuesday, September 3rd: Today Sigitas picked me up at 8 am from Viktorija’s flat, on Asygile Gatve, ... read more

Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas September 6th 2007

These days I met some old travel companions of mine and we talked about our expedition in Eastern Europe from some while back. There were many beautiful things that we saw, the people were wonderful, even if we could barely understand them, the language was melodious but who knows what they were actually saying, right? And I also remember well the Castle of Kaunas in Lithuania, because I met someone special there and well… you know how it goes. Anyway, the castle is really an impressive sight, it’s really old, from the 13th century or so and some crusaders happened around at some time or other and made a mess of it. And then it was reconstructed and then the river (the Neris, I think) came along and kidnapped all its towers. But it’s still impressive, ... read more

Europe » Lithuania » Kaunas September 3rd 2007

This weekend we faced the Black Vikings in a 3-game series that would decide who would finish first place in the Lithuanian Regular Season Championship. The games were played in front of a record sell-out crowd—I would say that including the younger players watching, parents, friends, and a few spectators who had happened upon the field somehow, there was somewhere between 20 and 30 spectators (closer to 20). As silly as it sounds, I think the crowd heightened the pressure on our guys to play well. And I have to say that I even felt some of this extra pressure to play well now that ‘people are watching.’ We faced Eimantas, a crafty and hard-throwing lefty for Vikingas. In our first meeting he had pitched 14 innings in one day over two games. He is by ... read more

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