Lithuania

Beyond the Expected: Russia, The Baltics & Warsaw

Posted by on 3:00 pm in Announcements, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia | 0 comments

Beyond the Expected: Russia, The Baltics & Warsaw

Brendan Vacations provides travelers with an experience of Europe that goes above and beyond, delivering a delightfully “beyond the expected” journey.  In the final installment of Brendan’s  four-part series, “Beyond the Expected: New Discoveries with Gems of Northeastern Europe,”  Brendan’s fascinating  and i nformative Guided Vacation “The Best of Russia, the Baltics & Warsaw”  is the  featured gem. According to Nico Zenner, President of Brendan Vacations, “This extraordinary part of the world is home to some of the greatest historical...

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Old Town Vilnius, Lithuania

Posted by on 11:41 am in Lithuania, Spotlight | 3 comments

Old Town Vilnius, Lithuania

Old Town Vilnius, Lithuania As Vilnius, Lithuania, seemed to only be a side trip on my itinerary, I did not give it much thought. How wrong I was not to consider it more. My day was spent walking for miles in and around the Old Town area, which I found intriguing from all of Vilnius’ dubious history and incredible architecture. A surprisingly cosmopolitan and hip city. The following is only a small portion of photos I took while in Vilnius, Lithuania, and well worth a travelers time to kick around the idea or visiting for those who are...

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Trakai, Lithuania

Posted by on 1:22 pm in Europe, ITKT Blogs, Lithuania | 0 comments

Reached via two walkways across Lake Galve the island castle of Trakai is the greatest symbol of Lithuanian nationalism. Situated in an area of lakes and forests roughly 15 miles west of Vilnius, the red-brick turrets, watchtowers, and tall keep were restored in 1962 by the Lithuanian government much to the chagrin of then Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev. At first view from the lakeside the castle appeared to be more than the official 500 metres away across the lake. However, I was soon distracted by sail boats, people thrashing about in small...

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Grutas Park, Lithuania’s Communist Past

Posted by on 11:16 am in ITKT Blogs, Lithuania | 0 comments

The Grutas Park is southern Lithuania’s biggest tourist attraction and has been open since 2001. The Park was the brainchild of mushroom entrepreneur Viliumas Malinauskas, who bought all the park’s sculptures in the decade after the country became independent in 1991. He realized that after the downfall of Communism and the break up of the Soviet Union, all the statues from this era of Lithuanian history would need a home and so the Grutas Park came into existence. My guide wouldn’t verify that Malinauskas had wanted to take people around the...

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Crosses Symbolize Lithuania’s Independence

Posted by on 12:07 pm in ITKT Blogs, Lithuania | 0 comments

The Hill of Three Crosses is a symbol on the skyline of Vilnius. These three crosses represent the triumph of Lithuania over its invaders. The current crosses data from 1990 and replaced the previous three crosses that were destroyed during the Soviet occupation, which themselves were erected in 1915 to commemorate the Russian withdrawal from Vilnius. Incredibly, these three crosses replaced three that were destroyed by the Russians in the mid-1860s in retaliation for an uprising in Vilnius. If ever you require a symbol of the ability of a...

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For Easter: The Hill of Crosses

Posted by on 8:44 am in Europe, Lithuania, Spotlight | 3 comments

Bulldozed three times by the Soviet authorities, the Hill of Crosses in Northern Lithuania always came back. When I was there in August 2007, over 50,000 crosses of all sizes were at the site, spread over two hillocks 12km north of the city of Siauliai, Lithuania’s 4th largest city.The planting of crosses originally started in the 1860s, though the exact reason for this has been lost in clouds of incense and piety. I was told two stories about the origins of the cross-planting. The patriotic version says proud Lithuanians planted crosses on...

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