This is a continuation of last week‘s post regarding our trip and some history of Lithuania. If you missed last week‘s post, stop on by Labas! Mes nuvyko į Lietuvą! (Hi! We went to Lithuania!) to catch up.
Since my husband and I already went on a walking tour, we took our guide’s suggestion and explored the capital of Vilnius, wandering into the city’s nooks and crannies. While I would love to share all of my pictures with you, I’m sparing you from the countless number we took, only highlighting some of the things we did.
During our exploration, we came across the KGB/Genocide museum. My husband and I didn’t want to go in because we knew it would be too depressing. The Museum of Genocide Victims was the former KGB headquarters. Its document collections are a dedication relating to the Soviet occupation, Lithuanian resistance, arrests, deportations, and executions that took place in the building. Between 1944 and early 1960s, the basement became a prison where over 1,000 prisoners were executed. The below pictures are from the outside of the Genocide museum. The first one is from a wall of pictures; I’m assuming residents created them. In the second picture, I took a close-up of one of many engraved blocks with the names of those killed inside.
To take your mind off of the depressing information I just told you, check out this ship made of Amber. If you love Amber, then Lithuania is the place for you. It’s amazing what they make with it. My husband bought me a leather Amber ring. Love it!
On our second day, we started with rain again, but that didn’t stop us. Our very bright raincoats kept us warm and dry. We went to the Gediminas Castle Tower, built in the early 1400s. They built a lift to bring people up to the castle and museum. We bought a one-way and walked down. Walking down wet cobblestones is not fun.
The weather cleared up for a while, so we roamed the streets again. The Literatu Street Project is a unique area in Vilnius. Its name originates from the street that once housed many bookstores and antiquary shops—Literatu meaning writers or authors. This is a memorial for famous Lithuanian writers and those linked to Lithuania. It originally started as a temporary exhibition, but remains with the continuation of new plaques. The walls stretch and branch off the famous Pilies Street. Below are a few pictures of the walls and some of the artwork… and my husband wandering into one picture.
Then we went up the Belfry to take some pictures of Vilnius, which our tour guide claimed has the best views. I would have to agree with him.
And to end the highlights of our trip to Vilnius, Lithuania, here are a few pictures of the Hill of Three Crosses. Legend has it that these crosses, originally wood, were built where friars were beheaded during pagan times in Lithuania. The Soviets destroyed the crosses that replaced the originals.
I have to mention that I haven’t met so many Americans while traveling to other countries as I did in Vilnius. For a country not many people I knew ever heard of, it was amazing to come across them. We met a woman from Napa Valley, two people from Illinois, and a woman from Minnesota.
What were your summer travels? Did you learn anything exciting wherever you went?
Vacations and History,