Friday, August 22, 2008

A hidden gem

Vilnius. Ever heard of it? Even this Europhile didn't know about it until I was looking for routes into Lithuania. It was little more than a transportation obstacle on my way to Kim and Andrew's.

That was before I saw that it was called "a little Prague" in a Norwegian travel book (listed as one of the 100 best cities in the world). Granted the P word is used too much for cities, but its mere mention made me take a second look.

Sure enough, Vilnius is amazing. It's got the red roofs, and the tight, cobbled and arched streets, complete with a castle and more cathedrals in one place than I have ever seen. Most of the architecture is Baroque (pastel with white ornate trims)--it actually looks a bit like Disneyland.

Every two or three steps in old town yields a picturesque moment--and the price is right. A solid meal for two here is just about ten or twelve dollars (and the grocery store is really cheap). Although hotels are 'normal' prices, the cost of admission, food and other miscellany makes this an incredible bargain in a safe and stunningly beautiful city.

I'd say that Vilnius would be a great introduction to central Europe for anyone interested...In a few years everyone will know about it.

PS. Tomorrow we will be going to a genocide museum in the former KGB office. That promises to be sobering.

1 comment:

MamaShift said...

"In a few years, everyone will know about it."

Yes, that's what I'm afraid of!

Thanks for the lovely photos!