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Tuesday, December 1, 2009
When you arrive in town, you may be lucky enough to hear the driver say, ''Welcome to Vilnius, have nice day, bye bye.''
A certain something strikes you as you enter Vilnius throught the blue gates of Dawn. It's not the miraculous number of churches or the narrow side streets, street cafes, or high castle up above on a steep hill. No, none of these. Something even better.... No seagulls. Throughout the rest of the Scando-baltic region the threat of the gull is a very real event. But Vilnius if free of the flying enemies, thus allowing for an unparrelled tour of the city.
Down Ausros Vartu, past the butter and sugar filled pancakes to Rotuses Square, where cafes and pubs line the pavement. Take a stroll down crunched yet perfect Stikliu to the Presidential Palace of white and blue. Head past the university to Katedros Square where the Belfry and Cathedral are seperated, making an interesting change to the usual set of ecclesiastical palaces. High above stands Gedimina Castle atop a hill of the same name.
Yet for all of that, the city doesn't feel special, the sounds aren't there, just the regular city annoyances. The smells, sweet and savoury pancakes are few and far between. Sights are there to be seen, but they're so severely spaced that it doesn't feel like an old town should. The view from Gedimina Hill is superb, but apart from that... well I'll say it again:
There are no seagulls in Vilnius.
Oh and by the way, have nice day, bye bye.
Posted by Matthew Tombs at 12:31 PM