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Saturday, 30 June 2007

Travel Lithuania! - Page 2

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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Looking for a safe place to explore with friendly and beautiful people, ancient castles, magnificent churches, cobblestone streets, quiet forests, thousands of lakes, huge sand dunes, and sparkling beaches lining the sea?

The musicians were from all over, the main concert Saturday night in the town square featured a modern eclectic Lithuanian band with both an electric guitar and violin section that sang in English called Rebellious International. They were followed by a very popular Turkish singer Sibel Tuzun who was Turkey’s representative at Eurovision 2006.  She was a rambunctious performer and kept the crowd involved especially when she came out with a Lithuanian song that everybody knew and the crowd went wild!  The festival was so entertaining that I barely had time to see the rest of Kaunas.

 

I did see the Kaunas castle and several churches in various architectural styles as I wandered down all the cosy cobblestone streets of the old town.  The old city was small, but had a very nice feel to it, and Laisves Avenue ‘Freedom Ave’ in the new town is a bustling pedestrian street with lots of outdoor cafes and at one end is the majestic St. Michael the Archangel Church with its Russian style domes.  I was glad I visited Kaunas – it did really feel that this was a more Lithuanian city than Vilnius (like all the tourist literature points out).  It has 92% Lithuanians and it seems like such an authentic place.lithuania

 

I mainly ate street food from vendors at the festival, but I did stop in at Crazy House’s outdoor café. After my meal I went inside to use the bathroom and realized why it’s called ‘Crazy House’ – it was like walking into a haunted house with strange looking things startling you as they move around. I also went to City Café on Laisves Ave where I had Saltibarsciai: cold sorrel, beetroot, and sour cream soup and potato pancakes with mushrooms, both of which were good.

 

I stayed at Kunigaiksciu Mene which was a nice, newly refurbished, small hotel with highly polished floors, beamed ceilings, and all the amenities - ac, phone, and wireless.  Most importantly, it had a perfect location right in the old town at an affordable price.  A filling breakfast was included – a plate of cold cuts (common in Lithuania), boiled eggs, bread, cheese, yogurt, coffee, and juice.

 

lithuaniaAfter two nights in Kaunas I was off to Druskininkai, a spa town that’s become famous because of its curative mineral waters.  I took the bus there (2-3 hours south, depending on stops) and arrived in the park-like healing center of Lithuania.  One of the first things I noticed was the smell of lilacs and the people walking leisurely on the many paths and resting on benches.  The thing to do in Druskininkai is relax and heal any aches and pains you may have, so the first thing I did was book a spa package for the next day at Spa Gydykla.

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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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