Time of one my my sporadic "spend the week elsewhere" posts. My aunt is embarking on a tour of eastern Europe next week, and it got me reminiscing about my own trip a few years ago. One of my stops was a brief one in Vilnius, Lithuania. We didn't venture far from the Old Town of Vilnius, plus a day trip out to the very cute lake region of Trakai, where a popular site for tourists is this castle:
It's like falling into a storybook, but it's real.
Other than the extraordinary variety of potato dishes Vilnius offers, and the sleepy beauty of its historic town, I can't say I got a very good feel of Lithuania, but what I do remember is the spectacular quality of the autumn light.
Photographers I know sometimes talk about that magic hour just before dusk creeps in, when the light is soft but clear, and everything glows, everything takes on a poignant beauty. In Vilnius, it feels that way at all hours of the day. The air is fresh and crisp and cool, the sky is a blue so brilliant you can't quite believe it's real, and everything dazzles. I don't colour-correct or Photoshop any of my photos and the colours are here true to what I saw.
And check out the Frank Zappa monument.
Also, pink buildings are unusually numerous in the Old Town. I suppose it's because they catch the light so well.
Vilnius, being the capital, of course has its urban areas, and even in the Old Town you will find Zara, Replay, and Armani boutiques and trendy cafés but there's a feeling of time suspended - few tall buildings, little vehicle traffic. The cobblestone streets are spacious and the squares are generous. Times slows, and you can walk the streets, and feel like you have all the time in the world, and everything that passes by is passing elsewhere.