Jump to content
Clare
Clare

Day 2: Kaunas to Vilnius

It was another beautiful sunny day when we woke up on Kaunas this morning. After a bit of a lie in, we went out into the town to get breakfast and then set off for another stroll around the city. 

We retraced our steps from yesterday initially, walking through the park with the view of the confluence...

kaunas-100.jpg

,,,round to Kaunas castle...

kaunas-102.jpg

...and then into the main square.

kaunas-109.jpg

We had thought Kaunas was pretty quiet yesterday, but it seemed even quieter on a Sunday morning; there was hardly anyone else about :)

kaunas-111.jpg

We decided we wanted to visit the church of Christ's Resurrection, which we knew from our previous trip to Kaunas is an enormous structure, on top of a hill above the city. Last time we had climbed up there, but this time we decided we'd rather be lazy and went in search of the funicular.

On the way we passed a patch of grass with some rather strange examples of Lithuanian art!

kaunas-112.jpg

kaunas-114.jpg

We eventually found the funicular and paid an entire €0.70 each for the ride to the top :) 

Optimized-2018-05-27 11.24.41.jpg

As soon as you walk out of the station, you get a view of the huge church.

kaunas-115.jpg

The decision to build the church was made in 1918, to celebrate Lithuanian independence. Kaunas was eventually chosen as the location, due to it temporarily becoming the capital of Lithuania when Vilnius was annexed by Poland in the 1920s.  The construction of the church was finished in 1940.

kaunas-116.jpg

Unfortunately, 1940 wasn't a great year to finish the construction of a church. First of all the Nazis used it as a storeroom, then later the Soviets used it as a factory. It wasn't until Lithuanian independence that it was able to function as a church, finally being consecrated in 2004.

kaunas-120.jpg

We saw on a map that the church wasn't far away from one of Kaunas' parks, so we decided to walk towards that.

kaunas-124.jpg

At the entrance to the park we found this (rather concrete) monument to the Lithuanian aviators who flew across the Atlantic ocean in 1933. They were supposed to land in Kaunas, but for unknown reasons they crashed over Poland, a few hundred miles short of their ultimate destination.

kaunas-127.jpg

The park had looked large on the map, and sure enough we soon found ourselves walking through what felt like a forest :)

kaunas-128.jpg

It was a nice and shady place to stroll, and when we eventually exited the park to head down towards the train station, we found ourselves emerging into the town with a view towards this beautiful church.

kaunas-131.jpg

This is the church of St Michael the Archangel, which was built in 1891 as a Russian Orthodox church. Kaunas was part of the Russian empire at that point, and the church was needed for the garrison of Russian soldiers stationed nearby. Today, having spent some time as an art gallery under the Soviets, it is now a Catholic church.

kaunas-137.jpg

It took us about 20 minutes to walk from here to the main train station, where we knew a train to Vilnius was departing at 13.46.  The tickets cost a mere €4.80 each, which seemed like good value for a journey of 104km.

kaunas-139.jpg

The train was very modern and we had a nice comfortable journey to Vilnius, arriving just after 15.20.  We set off to find our apartment, which is located partway between the train station and the old town.

vilnius-01.jpg

It's nice and spacious and again seems great value for €35! We also have a Russian washing machine.

Optimized-2018-05-27 19.55.18.jpg

After a bit of a rest, we set out to explore Vilnius.

vilnius-02.jpg

This is our third visit here, so things soon began to look familiar :)

vilnius-03.jpg

In fact, we even managed to find a restaurant which we had eaten in last time we were in Lithuania. This was a branch of the Lithuanian chain Čili pica, which we knew from experience has an extensive menu with pictures :)  I ended up ordering the same meal I'd had last time; a dish of Lithuanian pancakes, stuffed with minced beef and ham, covered in a cheesy white sauce. It was delicious.

vilnius-07.jpg

Amazingly, my meal cost €3.99 :o The entire meal, including a pizza for Tim, a side order of fries, a glass of wine and a Lithuanian beer came to €17.  You definitely can't beat Lithuania for value!

We walked down some of the pretty streets in the old town...

vilnius-12.jpg

..passing various churches on the way...

vilnius-14.jpg

...until eventually we caught a glimpse of Gediminas Tower in the background.

vilnius-16.jpg

That meant we weren't far away from the cathedral square.

vilnius-19.jpg

This is one of the most beautiful bits of Vilnius. In one direction there is the tower and the statue of Gediminas with his horse. Gediminas was the Grand Duke of Lithuania for 25 years until 1341, and is credited with founding Vilnius.

vilnius-25.jpg

In the other direction you can see the enormous cathedral of St Stanislaus and St Ladislaus of Vilnius.

vilnius-26.jpg

The cathedral also has a large bell tower.

vilnius-31.jpg

If you stand far enough back and look carefully, you can just make out the monument of the three white crosses on the hill behind Vilnius.

vilnius-30.jpg

We were fairly tired by this point, so decided to start walking back towards our apartment.

vilnius-37.jpg

We're flying home tomorrow evening, but before that we hope to spend the day visiting the nearby town of Trakai :) 




User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.



Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.