Lithuania: Vilnius



September 14, 2014 

So here in Vilnius, after several weeks on the road, I decide finally to take pictures … at night.   I dig down in my luggage, remove the tripod, attach the remote shutter release to my camera, and head down to the nearby Cathedral and into the maze of streets of Old Town.  I hope I get a few decent shots.

Vilnius, the capital if Lithuania and its largest city, has a population of about 540,000.  History here dates back to 1243.   There is so much to see.  

During the day, I wander the streets and find some impressive, colorful architecture, mostly church towers and government buildings.  The weather is warm and the local folks sit and slouch and stretch out as they enjoy the luxurious early fall sunshine. 

I tour the old Jewish area and visit the Choral Synagogue.    The Choral Synagogue (1903) is the last remaining synagogue in a city where, at one time, before the Nazis and before the Soviets, there were more than one hundred functioning synagogues and a vibrant Jewish community.  Napoleon called Vilnius the “Jerusalem of the North.”  All gone now.

Nights are chilly, but everyone, including yours truly, remains outside, enjoying a beer or a meal and good conversation.   Tourists and travelers aplenty but we are absorbed by the large local population.  Restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs abound.  Vilnius is a good place to just hang out.

Not me.  I’m lugging around my tripod.v