18 April 2011

CRF: Lithuania

"CRF" is not a crime show you've never heard of, it stands for "Cutting Room Floor." Below are some of our favorite pics that never made the blog. We figured we'd reminisce a little while we're home for a visit. (Back in Europe April 26th). Lithuania felt more exotic before we got there than it did in-country. Somehow, we were expecting the Baltic states to feel like outposts of civilization, on the edge of a frozen sea, far away from anything that was familiar. When we got to Vilnius, though, we found a mostly green, orderly place with friendly people and pretty old buildings. We contemplated doing a mailboxes post, which this picture would have been a part of, but never finished it. One day in Vilnius we came across a huge gathering of people listening to a bishop or cardinal give a blessing. This picture was taken from beneath an archway, atop which the man was standing. We later saw the event featured on the news - thousands of people packed the street in front of us here, all looking up above our heads. We never got a glimpse of the actual speaker, even though we were so close. Vilnius is a pretty city, with a compact and interesting old town. There are a number of low-key beauties amongst the buildings, and the crowds were thin enough that we never thought of it as too touristy. A wall of art pieces that we passed many times but didn't really notice until we saw it lit up at night. The Curonian Spit is one of the most fascinating and unique places that we've visited on the trip - made more so because it was the offseason and the whole strip of land had quieted almost to silence. Even the water in the lagoon was still and glassy. A riverbank art installation. We couldn't tell if this was a theater group or an advertisement, but it was interesting. Driving through the flat plains of the south country, we stopped at this little family graveyard. It was old and contained only a dozen or so graves, most with a similar tilt. We almost did a whole post about the place, but there wasn't much to say. We took a trip to Seda one rainy afternoon. It's a tiny town where some of Rebecca's ancestors lived before the war. Once primarily Jewish, the town is now a muddy huddle of small buildings, vegetable gardens and outhouses. We stopped into the library, looking for someone who could point the way to the old synagogue, which was located on the map but which we couldn't find. An ancient man was enlisted by the librarian to take us there. He moved extremely slowly and spoke no English. This is a picture of the synagogue. The whole story will be recounted another time, it's too long to fit here.

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