Lovely Vilnius Strange Little Uzupis.
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and was chosen as my post Riga next stop on my Summer 2016 Entrepreneur Social Club travel adventures. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, which, when you plan weddings and complex events for a living (NOVA 535 Unique Event Space) it’s nice to just let things happen as they happen. Minimal planning involved. So I took the 3.5 hour bus ride from Riga, easy peasy, and landed here in lovely Vilnius, on a beautifully sunny day. And Sunny night as this part of the world seems to enjoy looooooong days. Let’s explore!
1323 – 1973 Vilnius
While in Vilnius, I was recommended several times to try the local dish, potato filled with ground beef. This restaurant was to be the spot so I sauntered my way down the streets and avenues, on a beautiful, sunny day. Also today was a national holiday for Lithuania. Cheers to Lithuania!
I ordered a healthy green salad, fresh and tasty. Momma will be proud! The ground beef stuffed potatoes with sour cream were certainly hot and tasty, just not that ‘oh my god amazing” that I was hoping for. Solid good (once again, say 4 of 5) and certainly worth a taste! My grandmothers and parents were all excellent cooks, plus traveling the world has expanded and biased my palate towards truly excellent, so it’s really gotta be OMG great to make me sing.
So what to do next? After lunch, I decided to see the selfly independent republic, hence my 1/2 country when counting to 44.5. I googled of course and noticed the reviews were mixed online, comparing this to Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen, which I was impressed with when I visited there years ago. Unfortunately this “artist” community fell well short of impressive. Again I’d implore the Lithuanian artists to come here and boost up this area, which COULD and SHOULD be fabulous; just currently isn’t.
You cross over this pretty little bridge, with a cool swing above the water (great timing as there were 3 sisters being photographed on the swing) and you are boom, straight into the Republic of Uzupis.
Below was one of the better, “more professional” pieces of artwork.
Entering into this artist haven, an artist incubator, which is a subsection of the Independent Republic of Uzupis, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The graffiti along the way was vandals or poor at best. Below is about as good as it got, unfortunately.
The tree sign was ok and cooler still are the rock pile “statues” that are scattered throughout the river. The LittleFreeLibrary.Org is wonderful. I’m a HUGE advocate of reading, early childhood reading especially. Instill the love and joy of reading early on!
Making my way out of the tine Republic of Uzupis, the sign (of the times here) says it all. Graffiti (vandalism) and a few stickers. Where is the pride of this Republic? Where are the real artists to come and beautiful and protect what is theirs?
I did stop nearby for a coffee at a cute Cafe Žalia Žąsis, and chatted up the lovely Marija Luiza running the show. We felt it apropos to selfie with this (better) sign of the times. Below is the best of the artwork I found here, truly disappointing, especially from an “Artist” community. The obligatory gift shop was (wo)manned by a student who didn’t care, plus the goods and space, uninspiring at best. I’d gather the best Entrepreneurs, and local business owners and artists and use our St. Pete Mural Festival SHINE as an “shining” example of what a community can do to elevate itself to a world-class position in the global arts community.
Their Constitution was displayed in 15-20 different languages, and I’m not sure how much was wonky translating, and how much is accurate, however it’s hilarious, and beautiful, and well worth the read.
Back at Hotel Congress Avenue, enjoying a salmon lunch, which, like the 5 Star service provided by Kamile Gostautaite (above), excellent. Thanks again Kamile for all the help with my Fax. Hotel Congress truly understands 5 Star Service. Bravo!
Here’s the whole crazy fax story if you dare. ** Warning ** Trump and Putin are pictured making out **
Vilnius is filled with beautiful, historic buildings and landmarks, interesting bars and restaurants, certainly a warm, lively friendly feel throughout the city. Keep in mind all my photos are on my Samsung Galaxy Note 5, my 6D it home resting.
Just across the street from the beautiful massive #mural #Streetart #graffiti is a small fruit and veggie market, from regional family farms. Gotta eat your fruits and veggies, every day! I wondered at the ladies stained fingers, until I finished my purchases of blue and strawberries, during my walk “home”, and my fingers were also stained. Wow so fresh and delicious!
On my final day in Vilnius, I had to change hotels, and wandering this new area after getting settled, I found so cool public art.
I noticed a crowd gathered around a small store, their attention on their wine and the 1920s-1930s Jazz being played by a street band. So I strolled in to Burbulio and did what had to be done, properly! They offer live street music, on Thursdays I believe. Friendly service, tasty charcuterie and cheeses, plus plenty of Italian (only) wines to enjoy!
After the wine, band and snacks, and more strolling around, I was Googling a place to eat and bumped into some cool Economics students from Porto, Portugal, who were also hungry. We decided to eat together, little did I know another all nighter was in store. And here’s congrats to Portugal for their 2016 European Cup Championship!
It was a SLOW night in Vilnius, Thursday I believe, so many of the bars were quiet. Mr. Giant is nose toking below, hilarious! We swung into a really cool Karaoke Bar that I sniffed out, while the ladies we met were on a quest for food, err McDs (McD’s is not proper food but they would not be deterred. Ladies and Gents, remember you are what you eat. Eat natural, healthy food!).
The manager and bartender of the Karaoke club were really friendly, even playing some Doors for me, THANKS!
Below are some ladies hanging at McDs (ugg, again please eat well, you are what you eat!) who we were chatting up. I’m sharing this story with them all via email (hello!) except ‘mom’ as she is a “public figure” and didn’t want to share her email with me. OK, shush, you’re secret is safe!
Hope you enjoyed my Vilnius, Lithuania adventures. I’m off to Minsk, Belarus, stay tuned as it’s an AMAZING showcase for the Best of the USSR!
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