Thursday, October 25, 2012

Home sweet home.......

Every Autumn we are lucky enough to have a trip away for a few days with a small group of friends.
How we decide where we go is dictated by a number of things, as ideally we like to fly from a local airport, on cheap flights (hello Irish airline we hate where you have a bunfight to find a seat and a cold sweat of anxiety as you wonder if the cage for your luggage will be too small for your cabin only case) that fly at times which allow us the maximum number of full days.........classy? us? oh yes.
Over the years we have covered many of the major European cities, spending 2 or 3 days exploring somewhere as tourists, walking and walking and walking and eating and drinking and sharing good times. Some places I liked better than others, some I would consider returning to, while some are interesting to see but not places that could take a second visit. This year we have visited Lithuania.
'Why?' is what a girl at work said, when I answered her query about where we were going this year.
Well it ticks a lot of the 'pre-requisites for one of our trips' boxes and we hoped that perhaps it would be like the Prague we visited many, many years ago. It wasn't ....but we had a good time.
We flew to, and stayed in, Kaunas and also spent a full day in Vilnius which is the Capital.
Our trip included crochet covered trees, funiculars, soup served in an edible bread bowl, a miracle tile, clean and comfortable trains, cheap and tasty food (beautiful creamy hot beetroot soup), and polite english speaking locals. There was also an awful lot of sculpture (which I love, but those pics include friends and I don't feel able to post those here) and many many beautiful Churches, Cathedrals, and evidence of people being enterprising by using very little to make something which would make them money, for instance an old lady collecting lots of the best and large fallen leaves, of which at this time of year there were many, and shaping them into little bouquets to sell.






There was  interesting art here there and everywhere but the little stone statue (pic 7) is the one that stays with me......for some reason once we had seen it we all had to find the nearest loo.................

Lithuania was an experience, and we had a lovely time, but I cannot say that I would visit again. The Country has had a troubled past and was occupied frequently, so there is a strong flavour of greyness....the utilitarian concrete buildings and visual overall reminders of hard times does not make it as appealing as some other places we have been to, although in truth we don't look for chocolate box beauty, and the beauty we did find there was stunning.... particularly, as the men in our group pointed out, the young girls.........well actually they were right, all the young women seemed to be stick thin and long of limb and hair with pretty features.......but as we were four old married couples, the chaps were a bit silly to point that out to us at the beginning of the trip do you not think? will they never learn?........
Now back home and unpacked I am reminded of how much I love my home....big or small where we live cradles us and makes us feel safe..it is familiar and although it could do with some tweaking and tidying up and I will miss that big hotel bathroom, being back is great..........have to start thinking about next years trip now......any ideas?



19 comments:

Marcheline said...

So... I've been wondering... was it "Lastebuk"? Or "Buklaste"? Or "Uklasteb"? Or "Astebukl"? Or "Tebuklas"? Talk about going in circles! 8-)

libby said...

M...this is the miracle tile...and it is Stebuklas......and in fact we all stood on it and turned around 3 times to make a wish, which is apparently what all tourists do now.....I bet the locals were laughing at us but who cares....a couple of beers in and I was happy to oblige!

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

I was about to say the same thing when I saw the little stone statue...and then I saw your comment!

Very eclectic mix of photos - love them, especially the baby scan in the window!

sensibilia said...

Interesting holiday post. At first I was thinking, "Perhaps we should go to Lithuania", but then I thought, maybe not. I do like the picture of the train, beats Cross-Country trains anyway!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Thank you for this personal insight into Lithuania - a country I have never visited. Maybe we should also go. Most interesting.
Ideas for next year.... Porto, Oslo, Sardinia (Alghero?), Gdansk (Wizz Air from Doncaster), Pescara (Italy), Pisa/Florence, Valencia, Berlin. I guess you have been to two or three of these destinations already.

libby said...

Trish, the painting is called 'future artist' (the baby is holding a paintbrush) and the building is an empty lunatic asylum, where local art students were each given a window to decorate.
Sensibilia...the trains were double deckers and were clean and on time and cheap.
YP...Valencia and Berlin yes...but not the others..so will consider those.

Andy said...

Anywhere that makes crocheted tree-cosies (see what I did there?...) must have its heart in the right place.

Steve said...

Sorry, trying to find an email address for you and can't. I have a new "anonymous" blog set up. If you'd like the link drop me an email via Bloggertropolis. Would be great to keep in touch!

Steve said...

Iceland! Personally speaking that is the place that is calling the loudest to me at the moment!

Cro Magnon said...

I used to love those 'weekend break', 4 nights, 3 days, visits. When you have time, Marrakesh is wonderful in Feb'/March.

libby said...

Andy....and you know how much I love crochet...clever word play there too!
Steve....I would love to see the Northern lights....will email you.
Cro..Marrakesh is high on the list for the mister at the moment..thanks for the tip.

About Last Weekend said...

Think you are really adventurous in your choices of vacation - too many of us just opt for the Majorca sun easy options. These kinds of countries are challenging, not always easy to get around, food is not always brilliant, but in many ways are more rewarding. Think Morocco is next on my wish list . I could kick myself for not going when we lived in London and we were closer. All the countries in the Middle East were incredibly interesting and hot which is what I love.

Working Mum said...

Exactly what I thought when I saw that statue!

I love cities, but haven't done any for a while since having daughter. Hoping to start doing cities with her soon.

How about Krakow? My mum and godmother went there earlier this year and said it was very interesting.

libby said...

ALW....Morocco is on our list too...it is a loooooonnnnnnnngggg list.
WM....When you are free of kids, city breaks are fantastic...... we went to Krakow last year..it was tremendous.

Curry Queen said...

LOVE the tree cosies! Sounds like a really interesting trip and I can recommend Morocco - fascinating place...

libby said...

CQ...Lithuania was good and now Morocco seems to be high on the list!

Nana Go-Go said...

Nice to get away - my sister recommends Prague,Budapest,Vienna or Route 66....but that would take longer than a weekend or mini-break!Glad you're tip-top.x

auntiegwen said...

What about Istanbul? on my list but not yet been, definitely would recommend Budapest too

libby said...

Nana....Vienna gets good reviews and I am lucky to have been to both Prague and Budapest....Route 66 may be a bit far for a city break!
AG....The mister is looking at Morocco so we shall see....