an interview with your lady in the Baltics
What is your favorite neighborhood in Vilnius?
It is definitely the Old Town of Vilnius. To me its cozy and laid-back atmosphere definitely reflects the overall life rhythm in Lithuania. The area is quite large, Vilnius Old Town is considered as the biggest Old Town in Eastern Europe. Here you can have a relaxing stroll in its narrow medieval streets where very few minutes you stop to admire a view to some magnificent Baroque church, ancient towers, caste ruins or some flowering and cozy country yard. Most of the buildings are highly decorative and colored warm pastel colors of yellow, pink, beige or green. So, no matter what time of the year you go there, it always feels like a cozy and warm neighborhood.
What differs Vilnius old town from many other European cities that it is not only like an open air museum full of history, but it is a lively area where locals live, work and come to enjoy their free time. There is a plenty of restaurants “not only for tourists” where you try Lithuanian dishes and bars offering a variety of local beer from well-know pilsner to more unusual sorts with honey or cherry. It is also one of the greenest neighborhoods in Vilnius where you make few steps aside the main streets and end up in some charming park, green hills or by one of two rivers crossing the Old Town.
How would you describe a perfect day in your city?
My perfect day would bring me outside Vilnius to a little town and a popular get-away destination for locals – Trakai (28 km from Vilnius). It is situated in a picturesque peninsular surrounded by lakes with islands. Stunning medieval Trakai castle is located in one of these islands, which is also a “must see” sight in the Baltics.
You can get there by car, bus or train, but I would do something cooler – I would book a 4X4 off road ride there! It’s such a fun to drive through Lithuanian woods and swamp areas, see wild landscape and small isolated villages… a taste of adventure and adrenaline are guaranteed here!
After I get to Trakai, I will continue enjoying the nature, but will do it in a more relaxing way by taking a pleasant yacht trip around the lakes to admire the famous scenic view of Trakai castle from the water, look at green shores of the lake, make a stop by a beautiful 19th century palace, stroll in its park and be entertained by listening to legends and stories about different sights of this unique area.
At the end of this trip I will be definitely hungry and looking forward to taste some local cousin to complete my impressions by a gourmet experience… Well, Trakai has something special to offer here, too! The most popular dish in the area is related to its interesting history. Thus, in 14th century a small Turkic-speaking ethnic group called Karaims arrived from the Black Sea to Lithuania, settled in Trakai and introduced its distinctive cousin to locals. Nowadays, almost 700 years since then they are still living and keeping their traditions here. Moreover, it is possible to visit their community and learn how to cook their most famous dish – a delicious pie called “Kybyn”. So, the perfect end of this trip would be cooking with locals and later tasting “kybyns” and other delicious dishes in Kraims restaurant.
Can you tell us about a few projects you are working on or have recently completed?
Please visit the following link to experience one of the many events that we have ongoing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju2cdpLJ3WM