A Travellerspoint blog

Romania Part 2

Sinaia, Brasov, and Bran

Greetings! During our stay in Bucharest, we decided to take a one day tour to Sinaia to see Peles Castle, Castle Bran in Bran, and the city of Brasov.

Peles Castle is located in the Carpathian Mountains near the city of Sinaia. The castle was commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883. It was the first European castle to have electricity, hot and cold running water, central heat and central vacuum system. The stain glass roof of the foyer opens mechanically and there was a small elevator installed for the royal family. The rooms in the castle are said to have inspiration from various parts of the world. For instance, there is a Turkish inspired room, a Moorish inspired room, and French inspired room, among the various rooms in the castle. King Carol enjoyed collecting weapons and he displayed them throughout the castle. There are also a few secret doors around the castle.
7a673690-f8be-11e9-bd3a-3d8f335c5213.jpg7a5200e0-f8be-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpg7a5dc0b0-f8be-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpg
330ef110-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpg
Entrance_Peles.jpg
334fa390-f8bf-11e9-b439-0182ad586e28.jpg
30c416b0-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpg
b602ce70-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpg
3180d700-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpg
30ca0a20-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpg301279f0-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpg
32f8a9f0-f8bf-11e9-b439-0182ad586e28.jpgTheater.jpgThrone.jpg3294df10-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpg32651c80-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpg31fd0be0-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpg32de4420-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpg32bbc800-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpg316deb40-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpg312c2750-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpg3102cd60-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpg306db950-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpg302f50c0-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpg32f68710-f8bf-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpgBallroom.jpgb3c2c980-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb3b11640-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb36cba40-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb36937d0-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpg
b6cc38f0-f8bf-11e9-a856-bf8879091484.jpgStaircase.jpg32f68710-f8bf-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpg333da230-f8bf-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpg32bbc800-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpg32de4420-f8bf-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpgThrone.jpgTheater.jpg32f8a9f0-f8bf-11e9-b439-0182ad586e28.jpgb019beb0-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb05bf7d0-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb14916f0-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb1111700-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb1035b60-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb0a33a00-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb18d24d0-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb1b5e280-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb1d06f60-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb212cf90-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb2960950-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb404db90-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb41be600-f8bf-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgb455e1c0-f8bf-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgb46e99e0-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb4c14dc0-f8bf-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgb4c08a70-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb4d8f470-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb5af3030-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb5da85f0-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb5ebeb10-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb61e1ea0-f8bf-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgb619d8e0-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb6ac2dd0-f8bf-11e9-8c3f-433b020a558b.jpgb6299050-f8bf-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgb60bcf20-f8bf-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpgb5fefde0-f8bf-11e9-b439-0182ad586e28.jpgd3d5b1b0-f8bf-11e9-a856-bf8879091484.jpgb58f9a40-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpgb0a86a20-f8bf-11e9-8978-f7d4de34cb85.jpg
b5f40160-f8bf-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpg

The city of Brasov is about 40 miles from Peles Castle. It is a city in the Transylvania region of Romania, ringed by the Carpathian Mountains. It's known for its medieval Saxon walls and bastions, and the towering Gothic-style Black Church. We were able to go inside of the Black Church but photos were not allowed and externally, the church was surrounded by buildings. We had lunch in Brasov in the square and had Papanasi, which is a traditional Romanian desert of donuts with cream and jam. They were delicious and disappeared before I could snap a picture, ha!
4e869bb0-f8be-11e9-b439-0182ad586e28.jpg4ea3e7b0-f8be-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpg4ebd6320-f8be-11e9-bd3a-3d8f335c5213.jpg4f4b9960-f8be-11e9-bd3a-3d8f335c5213.jpg4f53d6c0-f8be-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpg4f79d550-f8be-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpg4e7b02f0-f8be-11e9-bd3a-3d8f335c5213.jpg

Castle Bran was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. Although Stoker never visited Bran Castle, it apparently matches the description of the castle Stoker writes about. In my opinion, it has less of a castle feel and more of a fortress feel. It was definitely cool to see though, especially the views!
cea9a5d0-f8be-11e9-b439-0182ad586e28.jpgced856f0-f8be-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgcc77d1b0-f8be-11e9-bd3a-3d8f335c5213.jpgcc9e9390-f8be-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpgcd076780-f8be-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpgccbe2980-f8be-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgcc847be0-f8be-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgccd7a4f0-f8be-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpgcd3666c0-f8be-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgcdb7a4b0-f8be-11e9-b439-0182ad586e28.jpgcdad9290-f8be-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpgcd76f230-f8be-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgcd5909f0-f8be-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpgcf3baca0-f8be-11e9-b439-0182ad586e28.jpgcf2c6a60-f8be-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpgcf428a70-f8be-11e9-8e3a-05f4be793086.jpgcfe38560-f8be-11e9-a4cb-b58abe73dda2.jpgd5f26ca0-f8be-11e9-b188-453e0f610f78.jpgcdb50ca0-f8be-11e9-9acb-adb185cc0194.jpg

Fall colors at Bran:
61624430-f8c0-11e9-a856-bf8879091484.jpg

We really enjoyed our tour in northern Romania. Peles Castle was very interesting and in a beautiful area. It was one my most favorite castles we have had the opportunity to visit. We are glad we made the trip to Romania and we certainly learned a lot.

Onto the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 01:33 Archived in Romania Tagged mountains castle romania sinaia brasov dracula peles bran carpathian Comments (1)

Romania Part 1

Bucharest

Greetings! Our next adventure took us to Bucharest, Romania! Like Vilnius, Bucharest was not originally on our must visit list, but again, we had heard from several colleagues who really enjoyed Romania. Bucharest is in southeastern Romania and is the capital city. The city is probably most famous for the Palace of Parliament, which is the second largest building in the world; second only to the Pentagon. Bucharest was a very cheap city to visit, most of our meals were under 80 RON (Romanian leu), which was about was $20. Romania is part of the European Union, but retains its own currency the Romanian leu.

We stayed in a lovely AirBnb situated behind the National Theater Bucharest. We also walked everywhere in the city and used Uber to and from the airport.

AirBnb: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/plus/15984949?source_impression_id=p3_1572181231_j9Azw27So9aO0IVY

National Theater Bucharest
56411440-f8b7-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpg

Some fun facts about Romania:
-The Romanian language is 1,700 years old.
-The first ever perfect 10 awarded in the Olympic Games went to Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, for her performance on the uneven bars in Montreal, Canada in 1976. She was also the only person allowed to marry in the Palace of Parliament.
-According to legend, Bucharest was named after a shepherd called Bucur who was in love with a young lady named Dâmboviţa, like the name of the river that flows through the city.
-The name “Romania” comes from the Latin word “Romanus” which means “citizen of the Roman Empire.”

Views of Old Town Bucharest:
e844f380-f8b6-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpge81d9560-f8b6-11e9-bf13-37478e0681b5.jpge91737a0-f8b6-11e9-8e50-b1bd4b6e2906.jpge80af7c0-f8b6-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpge7cfea90-f8b6-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpge7e9b420-f8b6-11e9-8e50-b1bd4b6e2906.jpge8331930-f8b6-11e9-8e50-b1bd4b6e2906.jpge7809210-f8b6-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpg

Famous Bookstore in Old Town Bucharest, Cărturești Carusel:
03b411a0-f8c1-11e9-a856-bf8879091484.jpg

Food from Bucharest restaurants:
Caru' cu Bere, one of the most famous restaurants in Bucharest.
98552010-f8b7-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpg98a93380-f8b7-11e9-a89a-f3fe76f37bb8.jpg985a9e50-f8b7-11e9-8e50-b1bd4b6e2906.jpg98db4000-f8b7-11e9-bf13-37478e0681b5.jpg
Traditional Romania dish of Sarmale (Cabbage Rolls):
9861a330-f8b7-11e9-a89a-f3fe76f37bb8.jpg

Trofic:
Breakfast_Trofic.jpg

Boutique du Pain:
14ff0900-f8b8-11e9-bf13-37478e0681b5.jpg

Sushi Room:
357287c0-f8b8-11e9-bf13-37478e0681b5.jpg

Palace of Parliament. Palace of Parliament took over 13 years to build (1984–97). The palace was commissioned by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the last communist dictator of Romania, for his family to live at, but communism in Romania was overthrown in 1989 and he never used the building. Most if not all, of the materials used to construct the building came from Romania, including all of the marble. The palace has over 2800 chandeliers and cost $3 billion to build. Michael Jackson infamously said, "Hello, Budapest!" from the balcony in 1990. Today, the building is used by parliament and I think spaces in the building can be rented out for events. For instance, a wedding expo was underway while we were on our tour.

Back of Palace of Parliament
692f88d0-f8b6-11e9-8e50-b1bd4b6e2906.jpg
View from Palance of Parliament balcony looking onto the promenade (modeled after the promenade at the Palace of Versailles).
690ae9d0-f8b6-11e9-bf13-37478e0681b5.jpg6857ed80-f8b6-11e9-a4f5-67bb534577cb.jpg68e97f20-f8b6-11e9-849f-67e8a83f327b.jpg69078e70-f8b6-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpg68ee6120-f8b6-11e9-b200-eb002af3e999.jpg686a3d00-f8b6-11e9-9db5-692c711a2f11.jpg68d22690-f8b6-11e9-a13c-75cfeafdb9b2.jpg68cbbdf0-f8b6-11e9-a89a-f3fe76f37bb8.jpg68e78350-f8b6-11e9-aefc-c57580abb199.jpg682fcc10-f8b6-11e9-9db5-692c711a2f11.jpg68176210-f8b6-11e9-a4f5-67bb534577cb.jpg
1ace92c0-f8b7-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpg1acff250-f8b7-11e9-8e50-b1bd4b6e2906.jpg

A few of the many churches around Bucharest:
Kretzulescu Church
a539f2a0-f8b8-11e9-bf13-37478e0681b5.jpg
Saint John Chrysostom Church
a5395660-f8b8-11e9-a89a-f3fe76f37bb8.jpg
Stavropoleos Monastery Church
a540f780-f8b8-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpg

Cișmigiu Gardens:
217ab980-f8b9-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpg212ebc60-f8b9-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpg217e14e0-f8b9-11e9-a89a-f3fe76f37bb8.jpg20f9f0c0-f8b9-11e9-a89a-f3fe76f37bb8.jpg225206b0-f8b9-11e9-a89a-f3fe76f37bb8.jpg

Izvor Park:
e24bf350-f8b8-11e9-ab09-15e99b99903f.jpge2665920-f8b8-11e9-a89a-f3fe76f37bb8.jpg

Memorial of Rebirth (commemorates the struggles and victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which overthrew Communism):
6bd8a870-f8b9-11e9-a89a-f3fe76f37bb8.jpg

Onto Siniai, Brasov, and Bran...

Posted by LCP 23:43 Archived in Romania Tagged church palace of national romania parliament cu care theater bucharest bere grandees Comments (0)

Scottish Highlands

A one day jaunt through Pitlochry, Blair Atholl Distillery, Fort Augustus/Loch Ness, Spean Bridge, Glencoe, and Tyndrum

Greetings! Today's adventure took us on a tour of the Scottish Highlands in northern Scotland. Scotland is one of my favorite countries and Edinburgh has been one of my most favorite cities we've had the opportunity to visit. We took the train up to Edinburgh and stayed in the most amazing AirBnb in Edinburgh. The hosts had the most thoughtful touches in the flat and the location was perfect. We created a customized private tour with Highland Experience Tours and would absolutely book tours with them again. Simone was absolutely wonderful to work with and created a tour with everything on our list of must see places. Mark was our guide and driver and we could not have had a better guide. He was hilarious, insightful and fun!

Highland Experience Tours: https://www.highlandexperience.com
AirBnb: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/5805796?source_impression_id=p3_1571041311_HIY4TDUxj090zdn4

Mark picked us up at our front door and we started our journey north. The bridge on the right is the Forth Bridge which is a cantilever railway bridge across the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, nine miles west of Edinburgh City Centre. The Scotsmen are very proud of this bridge and it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016. Construction of the bridge started in 1882 and it was opened in March 1890.
a6663750-f30a-11e9-b9b5-3d9f5df0f24b.jpga66d6340-f30a-11e9-b963-491d586e7ac2.jpg

Here are some pictures in the car making our way up the M90. It was such a scenic ride to our first stop. Along the way Mark taught us a thing or two, like loch means "lake," ben means "hill," and glen means "valley."
Sheep.jpg44fae040-f30c-11e9-b963-491d586e7ac2.jpga013a570-f30c-11e9-b6bc-fbff6d270cd2.jpga01d6970-f30c-11e9-bea1-f9268111a316.jpg
45cab360-f30c-11e9-9ca4-4d743d6d80b2.jpg44b7bcc0-f30c-11e9-b963-491d586e7ac2.jpg45dbca60-f30c-11e9-b6bc-fbff6d270cd2.jpg4522daa0-f30c-11e9-b9b5-3d9f5df0f24b.jpg4521f040-f30c-11e9-b963-491d586e7ac2.jpg45a1cea0-f30c-11e9-bd91-c780aedb0cbc.jpg4678f4c0-f30c-11e9-b6bc-fbff6d270cd2.jpg45d69a40-f30c-11e9-bea1-f9268111a316.jpg4497b1a0-f30c-11e9-b9b5-3d9f5df0f24b.jpg447bec40-f30c-11e9-b963-491d586e7ac2.jpg

Our first stop was the village of Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Distillery. Pitlochry was a charming little village. We stopped into of the cafes for a quick bite to eat and then it was onto the distillery.
Pitlochry.jpgPitlochry1.jpgPitlochry2.jpgf64fc1d0-f30c-11e9-bd91-c780aedb0cbc.jpgf541ad30-f30c-11e9-bea1-f9268111a316.jpgf6302be0-f30c-11e9-9ca4-4d743d6d80b2.jpgf55b28a0-f30c-11e9-b6bc-fbff6d270cd2.jpgf5859400-f30c-11e9-bea1-f9268111a316.jpg

Next, we made our way through the Cairngorms National Park and made it to Laggan Dam and and Fort Augustus and the Loch Ness area. Unfortunately, we could not find Nessie.
8eb4aa80-f30d-11e9-9ca4-4d743d6d80b2.jpg8e644090-f30d-11e9-9ca4-4d743d6d80b2.jpg8e6be1b0-f30d-11e9-bea1-f9268111a316.jpg8d9ecdb0-f30d-11e9-bd91-c780aedb0cbc.jpg8dcc4650-f30d-11e9-9ca4-4d743d6d80b2.jpg
Fort August/Loch Ness
8da81c80-f30d-11e9-bea1-f9268111a316.jpg8e92a390-f30d-11e9-bd91-c780aedb0cbc.jpgLNFA2.jpg

After our lunch stop in the Fort Augustus/Loch Ness area we continued on to Spean Bridge, Glencoe and Tyndrum.
4f45b190-f30e-11e9-9ca4-4d743d6d80b2.jpg4f850480-f30e-11e9-9ca4-4d743d6d80b2.jpg4f9a1320-f30e-11e9-b6bc-fbff6d270cd2.jpg4fbc6830-f30e-11e9-9ca4-4d743d6d80b2.jpg

There is a Commando Memorial dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces during Second World War and it is located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) north-west of Spean Bridge, the area where we stopped for pictures. It overlooks the training areas of the Commando Training Depot established in 1942 at Achnacarry Castle.
5001ae90-f30e-11e9-9ca4-4d743d6d80b2.jpg

Next it was onto Glencoe and Tyndrum. Tyndrum was probably my favorite stop. The views here are stunning.
Glencoe
e6c9d730-f30e-11e9-bea1-f9268111a316.jpge70818b0-f30e-11e9-bea1-f9268111a316.jpg
Tyndrum
Tyndrum1.jpgTyndrum3.jpge7cbdde0-f30e-11e9-bd91-c780aedb0cbc.jpge9f4ff70-f30e-11e9-b963-491d586e7ac2.jpge6abeef0-f30e-11e9-bd91-c780aedb0cbc.jpg

Hairy Coos also known as the Highland Cow!
c4c90bc0-fe11-11e9-b63c-372fea9adb4f.jpgc4a04e10-fe11-11e9-9c93-f3dd7fa818c3.jpgc4fb8d70-fe11-11e9-bdd4-597009e22c24.jpg
faa81790-fe11-11e9-bdd4-597009e22c24.jpg

After Tyndrum, we made our way back to our AirBnb. Visiting the Highlands further reiterated why Scotland is one of my favorite countries we have had the opportunity to visit. There is so much to see here and everywhere you look the topography and scenery is stunning. I cannot wait to return!

Onto the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 23:46 Archived in Scotland Tagged loch edinburgh fort bridge tours highland experience ness blair glencoe distillery augustus atholl tyndrum spean Comments (0)

Vilnius Day 2

Lithuania

Our second full day in Vilnius we went to the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, also commonly referred to as the KGB Museum, and stumbled across a street fair in the main area of Vilnius. We also did some shopping as Vilnius is famous for amber and linen.

The Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights is located in the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius. Tourists are able to see the prison within the complex (which was in the basement) and where executions were carried out as well as learn about the Lithuanian people's fight for independence from occupation. It was interesting to see how the building was designed especially how the KGB wired the building to conduct its activities in Lithuania. The museum also pays tribute to Lithuania Jews who were killed during World War II. It was an overall very impressive museum!

Museum website: http://genocid.lt/muziejus/en/

07aed2d0-ddce-11e9-88f8-c7824c17d8ac.jpg07643540-ddce-11e9-88f8-c7824c17d8ac.jpg07d14ef0-ddce-11e9-baaf-9da77fcf7dd7.jpg07dd5ce0-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg081cafd0-ddce-11e9-b220-e19130212e0e.jpg07121da0-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg076805d0-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg070ee950-ddce-11e9-88f8-c7824c17d8ac.jpg
07d14ef0-ddce-11e9-baaf-9da77fcf7dd7.jpg07dd5ce0-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg081cafd0-ddce-11e9-b220-e19130212e0e.jpg56fb1dd0-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg579784e0-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg57b1eab0-ddce-11e9-baaf-9da77fcf7dd7.jpg57286f60-ddce-11e9-baaf-9da77fcf7dd7.jpg57057e10-ddce-11e9-b220-e19130212e0e.jpg5742ae20-ddce-11e9-b220-e19130212e0e.jpg575cc5d0-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg5771d470-ddce-11e9-baaf-9da77fcf7dd7.jpg57e44550-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg581c4540-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg585556a0-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg

Some of the placards describing the prison conditions:
a6770450-ddce-11e9-baaf-9da77fcf7dd7.jpga5e74770-ddce-11e9-baaf-9da77fcf7dd7.jpgKGBM_placard_4.jpga5c6c720-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpga61164b0-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpga64dd170-ddce-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpga6772b60-ddce-11e9-b220-e19130212e0e.jpg

After the museum, we stumbled across a street fair that ran through the main thoroughfare from Cathedral Square. It was really cool. There were local artisans and food tents and live music, such a great experience. We also did a bit of shopping for amber and linen, which Lithuania is known for.

Vilnius was absolutely fantastic and I would go back in a heartbeat. It is a neat city, with a lot to do, very walkable and economical. Vilnius was not initially on our "must see list" in Europe but we are so very happy we made it to the city. The city is definitely one of my favorite places we've visited so far.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 23:29 Archived in Lithuania Tagged churches and of museum vilnius freedom fights occupation kgb Comments (2)

Vilnius Day 1

Lithuania

On our first full day in Vilnius we hit the ground running. We managed to see the Gate of Dawn (which was just outside of our AirBnb), Cathedral Square (Vilnius Cathedral and Palace of the Dukes) Gediminas Tower (which provided great views of Old Town Vilnius and the New Town area), the National Museum of Lithuania, St. Anne's Church, Bernardus Park, and The Bastion. We also managed to walk through Užupis, which is a Bohemian, artsy area of Vilnius.

But before we get to all of that, we ate breakfast at Gusto Blynine, which was right outside of our AirBnb and specialized in pancakes and crepes. It was a really cute restaurant, take a look at the fun decor!
e28d9670-dcfc-11e9-80bb-9739b3c91082.jpge2fc84e0-dcfc-11e9-80bb-9739b3c91082.jpge38d2c20-dcfc-11e9-8ab7-c92ebab29e52.jpge38a1ee0-dcfc-11e9-95e8-4d9c33f87321.jpg

Walking right outside of our AirBnb was The Gate of Dawn. It was built between 1503 and 1522 as a part of defensive fortifications for the city of Vilnius, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Of ten city gates, only the Gate of Dawn remains, today. The Chapel in the Gate of Dawn contains an icon of The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy, believed to have miraculous powers. For centuries the picture has been one of the symbols of the city and an object of veneration for both Roman Catholic and Orthodox inhabitants.
7cd7b9e0-dcfd-11e9-95e8-4d9c33f87321.jpg

We took a stroll through Town Hall Square and made our way to Cathedral Square, where we went to Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas' Tower, the National Museum of Lithuania, and the Palace of the Dukes. Cathedral Square was very cool and laid out quite well.

Vilnius Cathedral, the Cathedral Basilica of St Stanislaus and St Ladislaus of Vilnius, is the main Roman Catholic Cathedral of Lithuania. The coronations of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania took place within the church and many famous people from Lithuanian and Polish history are buried inside its crypts and catacombs.

f141df80-ddc6-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg
44e9e380-ddc7-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg
717d8220-dd00-11e9-80bb-9739b3c91082.jpg71edf730-dd00-11e9-a304-e137b792b0c5.jpg71aa1060-dd00-11e9-80bb-9739b3c91082.jpg713ecb70-dd00-11e9-a441-e192f118ddc8.jpg72551d70-dd00-11e9-80bb-9739b3c91082.jpg72183b80-dd00-11e9-80bb-9739b3c91082.jpg72850710-dd00-11e9-a304-e137b792b0c5.jpg72ab53c0-dd00-11e9-b8b3-1fc1f3b70ca0.jpg7205c4f0-dd00-11e9-a441-e192f118ddc8.jpg723a1b60-dd00-11e9-a304-e137b792b0c5.jpg71c2c880-dd00-11e9-a441-e192f118ddc8.jpg712fb040-dd00-11e9-80bb-9739b3c91082.jpg

From the Cathedral, we did a short hike up the hill next to the church to reach Gediminas' Tower. The Tower is the remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius. The first wooden fortifications were built by Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. The first brick castle was completed in 1409 by Grand Duke Vytautas. The three-floor tower was rebuilt in 1933 by Polish architect Jan Borowski. There are spectacular views of Old Town Vilnius and New Town Vilnius from the tower.
daa5fde0-ddc8-11e9-a8e8-4b52d582940b.jpg
688cbe50-ddc9-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg

These are some views from the tower of Old Town and New Town which are separated by Neris River.
26f8fb80-ddc8-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg
63e94360-ddc8-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg

Next, we looped around to the National Museum of Lithuania. This was a fantastic museum and the docents were really friendly. There were some great displays and artifacts here. The museum also had great information on this history of the Lithuanian people.
Museum website: http://www.lnm.lt/en/
feb4a4c0-ddc8-11e9-a8e8-4b52d582940b.jpgff8a9260-ddc8-11e9-a8e8-4b52d582940b.jpgff432920-ddc8-11e9-a8e8-4b52d582940b.jpgff007ad0-ddc8-11e9-a8e8-4b52d582940b.jpg
00302130-ddc9-11e9-987e-3d4e6bc32a52.jpgfecfa6d0-ddc8-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpgff69eb00-ddc8-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpgff9e1a60-ddc8-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpgff93ba20-ddc8-11e9-987e-3d4e6bc32a52.jpgfff2a300-ddc8-11e9-987e-3d4e6bc32a52.jpg
ff173720-ddc8-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg0016a5c0-ddc9-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg005a3e70-ddc9-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg

After the National Museum of Lithuania we stopped at a really cute bagel shop for a quick bite before walking to St. Anne's Church, which is a beautiful red brick church.
Bagel shop
cbb82a00-ddc9-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg

St. Anne's Church is a Roman Catholic church in Vilnius' Old Town, on the right bank of the Vilnia River established around 1495-1500.
1c904520-ddca-11e9-987e-3d4e6bc32a52.jpg1ca776a0-ddca-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg1c6bf440-ddca-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg1c433690-ddca-11e9-987e-3d4e6bc32a52.jpg1be75af0-ddca-11e9-a5c5-031856b4409e.jpg1bee86e0-ddca-11e9-987e-3d4e6bc32a52.jpg

St. Francis of Assisi (Bernardine) Roman Catholic Church is co-located next to St. Anne's Church. The Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard is a Roman Catholic church in the Old Town of Vilnius.
9a54d060-ddcb-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg9a5f57b0-ddcb-11e9-88f8-c7824c17d8ac.jpg

After touring Bernadine Church, we took a casual stroll through Bernadine Park, near the church.
Bern.jpgf202cc40-ddcb-11e9-88f8-c7824c17d8ac.jpgf2ff54b0-ddcb-11e9-88f8-c7824c17d8ac.jpgf34de9e0-ddcb-11e9-88f8-c7824c17d8ac.jpg

We rounded out the day by strolling through Uzupis, the Bohemian part, of Vilnius and finding The Bastion.
Uzupis.jpgUzupis2.jpg

The Bastion is part of the Vilnius Defensive Wall, often called “barbican”. It is a Renaissance-style fortification characterized by its original construction. It consists of a tower installed in the city defence wall, underground gun ports and a connecting corridor, which turns into a 48-metre long tunnel. The Bastion was built in the first half of the 17th century by the German military engineer, Friedrich Getkant.
9ef9d1f0-ddcc-11e9-9f3e-ddef833c2f77.jpg

Onto Vilnius Day 2...

Posted by LCP 01:08 Archived in Lithuania Tagged of town square new cathedral old st dawn gate hall bastion vilnius lithuania gemeninas annes Comments (2)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 42) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 »