Monday, September 27, 2010

Vilnius, Lithuania

Our tour started in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, one of the three Baltic countries. Since a small part of my heritage is Lithuanian, I was very interested in seeing it and learning about it.
We had a walking tour of Old Town, which was full of beautiful Baroque architecture, some from the 16th century.

St. Anne's Church, made of many different kinds of brick, was thought so beautiful by Napoleon that he wanted to carry it back to Paris in the palm of his hand.

Just one of many pretty views of one of the streets in Vilnius.

In the afternoon we took the coach to medieval Trakai for a delicious lunch and a tour of the castle. We walked over a bridge to get to the castle and were able to see the inside. We learned the difference between a castle, a fortification, and a palace, a home. This was the only castle we saw, but there were many sumptuous palaces on the trip, especially in St. Petersburg.

The thing to buy all through our tour was amber. I did my best to help the local economy and bought a necklace of large chunky beads and two pins.

We had great food with Tauck every day. But on days when you had a large lunch, dinner was on your own. And if you had a big dinner, then lunch was on your own. This day was a large lunch day, so we decided to try some local Lithuanian food for our dinner. It was the only bad meal we had on the trip. Those white things in the picture were zeppelins, made from potato dough and meat filling. The locals love it, but we did not. We also had to sample pig's ears, also a local favorite that we found inedible. The potato pancakes were pretty good.

A beautiful sunset somewhere in Vilnius. Does it matter where?


Anonymous said...

You "HAD" to eat pig ears? those Lithuanians sure are tough on the tourists. The cepelinai, IMHO, were delicious. Of course, you probably like McDonalds hamburgers

norma said...

Wow! No, I didn't HAVE to try the pig's ears. I like to sample the local food. We ate a lot of local food throughout the whole trip and found much of it to be delicious. And, no, I do not eat at McDonalds. Ever!

Vivien Zepf said...

Good for you, trying the local cuisine. It can be a bit daunting, I know, but I think imperative to really appreciating a culture.

St. Anne's is gorgeous, and so is the castle, even though it's a fortification. The sunset is beautiful.