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  • Day113

    Kaunas

    July 29, 2017 in Lithuania ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    It's KAUNASTIC!

    Thats what they say and it makes complete sense to me now. To find out for yourselves, you will just have to come here! A fab city with lots to do for tourists but very few tourists around.. perfect :)

    We are staying in the suburbs in a lovely cottage in someones garden. Stuart has won a fan already in the guise of the owners dog who is waiting for him each time he steps out of the door. Kaunas acted as the capital of Lithuania between 1920 and 1939. It is our first taste of Lithuania and is home to a castle, a very successful basketball team, a huge mix of architecture and a devil museum, amongst many other things.

    After a round the houses bus trip on a mini bus we arrived across the beautiful river Nemunas straight into the centre of the old town, past the Perkunas "Thunder" house, an impressive gothic building housing a jesuit museum. We found our way to the Baroque style Town Hall in a very attractive square to collect a mound of maps from the tourist information.

    Heading first to the Cathedral we were treated to lovely singing from the balcony accompanied by the organist and quickly realised that we were inadvertent guests at a wedding! Don't worry we weren't the only tourists there, but whilst Stuart scarpered I lingered a while to see the dress of course! She was one of three brides that we saw in Kaunas this morning, the weather was lovely - and not too warm! - 23 degrees, obviously a perfect day for a wedding!

    Moving through old town streets mooching for souvenirs, we walked the length of "Laisves Aleja" (Freedom Avenue). It is reported to be the longest pedestrian street in Europe, so not surprisingly half way along we needed to stop for lunch. Our intended lunch stop was quite a distance away so we settled for Mexican. And boy it didn't disappoint! Food was delicious and Stuart had a skull drink. A cocktail in a skull shaped glass with food on cocktail sticks and a flaming sambuca in the centre.. this boy sure knows how to choose a drink! I meanwhile sampled a Lithuanian beer which apparently is the best in the World. Now where have I heard that before....

    On a majorly full stomach, and having been to quite a few historical museums recently, we decided to visit the Devils Museum. Basically it is collection of 2000+ devil statues housed in the house of the late collector, an artist named Antanas Zmuidzinavicius. Completely random but a bit of fun and interesting to read about the folklore from Lithuania and other countries regarding the devil, be he stupid or scary.

    To Stuart's delight we found another funicular, this one being the oldest in Lithuania Unlike the one in Prague - where we had to queue for 20 minutes - there was only one other guy riding it.
    At the top of the funicular we visited Christ's Resurrection Church. It was completed in 2005 and apparently is seen as an eyesore by some. It cost us 1.2 euro to walk the 165 steps to the top where you have great views of the city.

    Kaunas is also full of street art that they are obviously very proud of, so much so that they are all marked on the tourist maps.. We passed a lot on our travels, including an old man the size of a building with a pipe full of stars, a multi coloured shack and a space hedgehog.

    According to one of my many guides, we visited/saw 10 of the 15 top things to do in Kaunas today so all in all a good days sightseeing!
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