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Published: September 30th 2011
A Jewel of a City
There is much to visit and see in Vilnius and, heaven knows, we walked many miles, went to museums, visited numerous churches and explored many streets to see as much as we could in our limited time there. It is not just the historic places that are interesting, life in general and events taking place are also interesting.
We were fortunate in that a folk festival was in progress the Saturday and Sunday we were there. The square in front of the town hall was full of folk craftsmen/women displaying and selling their wares. These were not factory mass-produced "trash" but the real thing, handcrafted items. Sadly we have seen the real hand made items disappear in similar stalls in Prague during times of festivals, such as Christmas and Easter to be replaced by mass produced factory items.
Singing groups in traditional costumes were all over town during the weekend. These folk did not wait behind the scenes until it was their turn to mount the stage in the town square. Before and after their performances they made their way to various places in
the historic district singing and playing their instruments. Occasionally two groups would join together singing what I assumed to be rounds and this was done on a cold and rainy Saturday. In fact, it was cold enough that we bought Nancy a hand knitted woolen sweater with a reindeer design. She will be warm and toasty at home when the cold of winter arrives.
The singing and costumes were beautiful. We would have joined in, as did some people who stood listening to the groups, but joining in is impossible when a person has not one word of Lithuanian in their vocabulary.
Vilnius is the only capital of the three Baltic countries that is not also a seaport. It is about as far away from the ocean as a person can be and still be in Lithuania. So there are no ocean liners here, but there are tourists and they arrived either by bus or by air. It is difficult to travel here by train. It is possible, but not easy.
To travel by bus from Prague to Vilnius by bus takes about 51 hours. This option did not appeal to either of
Lady making & selling her craftwork
There was a folk festival in progress. We were fortunate to be there.
us. True, it would be less expensive than flying, but what condition would we have been in after 51 hours on a bus? Let's not even think about that.
The flight from Prague takes only about two hours and that is a very acceptable travel time. The airport is not far from downtown and there are frequent buses from there to the bus and train stations ... and these sit side by side. I thought this most civilized.
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