At the end of August – start of September, we had a nice two week vacation. First week we spent in Lithuania. I have been living in Denmark for a year now, so this time my glance at my home country was a bit different. Here are the things that I noticed for the first time; things that were different from what I used to see in Denmark; and overall experience of the stay.

  • There is still a smell of soviet times. Those creepy big buildings, with a very distinctive architecture, will probably stand there for a long time to come. I hope that renovation projects will (finally) start going, and those creepy buildings will look better. I should also say that I’m happy for my parents – they live in one of the newer districts, Pašilaičiai, where soviet architects left more space for greenery, and buildings themselves look not that menacing. Check photos of Pašilaičiai here, and more to be found in Google maps.
  • Streets and driving culture. Ouch. Need to say more?

OK, now it’s time for the positive side🙂

  • People of Lithuania (well, at least in Vilnius) look very stylish and beautiful. Girls tend to choose clothes that accentuate their slim bodies, and guys are also picking up fashion trends. What a relief for my eyes! Check out Laimikis blog, Lucky Catch section for the beautiful people of Lithuania.
  • Both Vilnius and Kaunas are very lively towns. On Tuesday evening in Vilnius all outside cafés were full of people; almost the same in Kaunas on Thursday.
  • Everyone should go to their town’s Tourism Information Centre – even local people will find something that they didn’t know before. To experience, for example, everything that Kaunas offers to its visitors, would probably take three days at least.

…And some restaurant experience🙂

  • Traditional Lithuanian food restaurant “Čili Kaimas” in Vilnius, Gedimino ave. We were almost alone in there, yet the service was quite slow. Food not as good as in another traditional Lithuanian food restaurant, “Forto Dvaras” in Pilies str. And at some point waitresses got very interested in some insanely stupid TV show, so they turned down the background music and turned the TV volume up. Luckily, Anders was sitting with his back to the TV and doesn‘t know a word in Lithuanian.
  • Beer restaurant “Avilys” (website only in Lithuanian) in Kaunas, Vilniaus str. A classy restaurant – brewery, serving their own beer. Our waiter was speaking fluent English, the service was quick, food and beer – delicious. A recommended place to go. Warning: prices are higher than in other restaurants, but it’s worth it.

The best part of Lithuanian vacation – the yearly festival of Baltic culture, Mėnuo Juodaragis. It’s hard to find words that would describe the magic that vibrates in the air during the event. Due to pouring rain we missed almost half of the performances and activities (we just didn’t want to catch a cold right before our hot part of vacation – otherwise we would have been cheerfully jumping in the puddles, like the rest of the crowd), but it didn’t stop us from feeling the magic spirit of this unique festival. We have bought three pieces of natural hand-made soap there, which wake nice memories each time we are taking a shower.🙂

Want to experience a little part of this festival? Listen to Mėnuo Juodaragis radio on Last.fm.

Click here for photos from Lithuanian part of vacation.

I guess that’s it – hopefully I’ll write about the rest of vacation soon🙂 (and the bullet points of this theme are really annoying)