Tuesday 11 June 2024

Kaunas, Lithuania

We arrived last night in the pouring rain and our hotel room was along a dark and scary looking corridor. However, things soon looked up as the rain stopped and we went out for an excellent Mexican meal complete with huge margaritas.

I know that we should really have gone out for a Lithuanian, but I got a bit sidetracked, so we will try again tonight.

Kaunas is the second city in Lithuania, and you probably have never heard of it. I certainly hadn't until a few weeks ago, but it has a very interesting history.

The exact dates seem a bit vague as everything that I read is slightly different.
However, Vilnius was the capital city until 1919 when it was annexed by Poland, and suddenly Kaunas stood in for Vilnius and became the temporary capital until 1940.

Overnight Kaunas started to try to transform itself into a European standard capital. During that time 12,000 new buildings were constructed and lots of them were in the Art Deco style.

They are not usually very big, but all very attractive and individual. The city centre is full of lovely buildings and is very pretty, in a very manageable size.

In 1940 Russia invaded Lithuania, and very soon after that Nazi Germany took it. The Soviets took it back in 1944 and then the Lithuanians resisted and eventually gained independence again in 1989.

On the outskirts of the city is a huge half built concrete hotel that was never completed by the Russians. All the way along the top of it is the longest word in the Lithuanian language - nebeprisikiskiakopusteliaujantiesiems.

I have no idea why its there and it means something about not collecting enough sorrel in the woods.

Well that's definitely enough history and facts for today.

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