Vilnius, Lithuania

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June 18th 2018
Published: June 30th 2018
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Today we left Poland for Lithuania. We had previously changed some money to Zlotys ( mainly in case we needed to use the toilets) and so as we were heading towards Lithuania we needed to spend it. Found a spot for lunch but still had some money left. It was a Sunday so all the shops were closed except for food and drink outlets. Kevin managed to find a shop that sold wine and the shop assistant found him a suitable red off the top shelf - Jacobs Creek Shiraz Cabernet!!!!

Our dinner that night was at the Restaurant Medininkai, in a medieval building near the town square and close to our hotel.

City Tour next morning to see the Baroque buildings around town including the Vilnius Cathedral used by the Soviets in the 1950s as a garage for truck repairs. The Cathedral is also the final resting place of St Casimir, the patron saint of the city. We were taken to the Amber Gallery where we saw the different types of amber and some with insects in it. Amber is mostly recovered from the sea. It is an organic product not dug from stone or underground. It can
Vilnius CathedralVilnius CathedralVilnius Cathedral

Used by the Soviets in the 1950s as a garage to repair trucks
even be collected near the sea where it is washed up.

After lunch we drove to Trakai Island Castle on Lake Galve. Construction of the castle was begin the 14th century and completed in 1409. It was one of the main centres of Lithuania and the castle held great strategic importance. During the wars in 17th century the castle was damaged and fell into disrepair. From the 19th century there were many attempts to restore it. After WW2 a major reconstruction project was begun and it was completed in 1961 in the style of the 15th century. We had beautiful hot weather in Vilnius and were lucky to get our tour of the castle in before the rain came down.

Travelling today towards Latvia. We tried the 999 brandy at our coffee stop this morning. It is flavoured with herbs and amber essence which is supposed to have medicinal properties. Firewater.

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