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Journal #45 - Lithuania

White columned building with statues and a dual ramp in the front
Vilnius Cathedral by Mrs. Wanderer

Labas from Lithuania! 

We got to call the capital, Vilnius, our home during the stay. This quaint city was in the middle of their winter celebrations and preparations for their anniversary. The city turned 700 years old this year! We got to see the decorations for both events, reporters on the street asking people what they love about the city, and everything cleaned and decorated to make it shine.  

Large Christmas tree with gold ornaments and gold/silver presents at its base
Vilnius Christmas Tree by Mr. Wanderer

This old town knew how to get gussied up. The largest Christmas market was held in the city center. They had a massive pile of presents cascading out of the base of a giant tree whose branches were lit at night. Surrounding this were two semi-circles of stalls selling baked goods and hand-made crafts. From those stalls wafted aromas of candles, pies, and the ever-lovely cinnamon on roasting dough.  

Yellow, green, pink pastel buildings with cobblestone streets
Vilnius Streets by Mrs. Wanderer

As a part of these festivities, we stumbled upon a performance within the gates of the Presidential Palace. The parts we saw involved a reenactment, set to rock music, of the medieval era in Lithuania and its national history. This was complete with an electric lights show that reflected on the hill set behind the palace.  

Yellow columned building with scroll details
St. John the Baptist and St. John the Apostle and Evangelist Church by Mr. Wanderer

So much of what we did felt concentrated towards the center of town since there were a variety of celebrations occurring in parallel. We made sure to set aside time to walk to many corners of the city and to sit inside and enjoy classic Lithuanian cuisine while sipping on acorn coffee.  

Brick dramatic church face at dusk
Church of St. Francis of Assisi by Mrs. Wanderer

Our visit to Vilnius was peaceful and helped round out our time in the Baltics. We are excited for our upcoming stop though. The country we go to next served as the birthplace of a multitude of famous classical music composers including Franz Liszt, Mozart, Strauss, Schoenburg, Josef Haydn, and Franz Schubert, to name a few. Any guesses where we are off to next? 

Arched colonade with snow-dusted rooftop
Vilnius University by Mr. Wanderer