And we're back in Europe - Kaunas

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2010

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Flag of Lithuania  ,
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Touching down in Lithuania (no the hen party wasn't on our flight, we got the screaming babies instead) and we are evidently back in the winter part of the world. Hang on, shouldn't it be the middle of Spring? The trees are all still completely bare and temperatures are back in the single digits. At least its positive single digits this time.
Lithuania has existed sporadically over the last century and a half, being in a rather precarious location between expansion-happy Russia, Poland and Germany. And Kaunas used to be the capital (when Poland nicked Vilnius for a while there).
Other than the beautiful old town and small remnants of a castle, the first thing we noticed was the proliferation of art around the town, especially statues. Parks are dedicated to statutes and ancient churches hide modern oil paintings. The museums are equally quirky, with one devoted entirely to cheeky statues of the devil.
Hidden in the catacombs of St Michael's church is the museum for the blind. A completely nerve wracking experience, Lithuanian students have devised an obstacle course in pitch darkness to simulate the loss of what suddenly becomes the most important sense - sight. The knowledge that you are fumbling around in a former burial place adds that extra dimension of creepy for the longest ever 10 minutes it takes to relocate the exit.

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