This trip was my first to Eastern Europe, and the city certainly had quite a different feel to it in comparison to many of the capital cities I've visited in Western Europe. Slightly quieter, more subdued and definitely a lot less tourists.
What I didn't know before arriving is that Lithuania only became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991 - which is not too long ago when you think about it. The country has a long history of occupation - first by the Soviet Union, then Germany during the second world war, and then the Soviet Union again. And I did wonder with the recent events currently unfolding in the Ukraine how close to home this must feel to locals here.
I'll talk more about the history of Lithuania over the next week - as I did the most amazing free walking tour in Vilnius while visiting - full credit to the amazing Martyna and her passionate story telling.
On arrival in Vilnius I did what I always do in any new place - got out on foot and explored without spending too much time looking at a map. I like to get a feel of a city this way. And what struck me initially about Vilnius? The amazing, inspiring street art. These photos are some snaps from my first few hours...
statue - holding up the ceiling
hand made bird feeder - there were many of these all over the city
something for everyone
soldier and mother?
I wana hold your hand...
my favourite - so random, but very beautiful
yarn bombing - knitted graffiti for trees
I have so many more photos - but these are my favourites. Looking back I still can't quite believe how urban and creative Vilnius was. Definitely one of my favourite cities that I've visited in a while.