Wednesday 12 June 2024

Republic of Uzupio, Vilnius

Last morning in Kaunas and we paid a visit to Spurgine. This is an old style Soviet doughnut shop, with the original decor and non smiling, slightly terrifying staff.

They were great doughnuts, warm and very jammy. Then we caught a bright red train to Vilnius.

Settling down in the hotel I was thrilled to discover that we were less than three minutes walk to the Republic of Uzupio.

In Soviet times Uzupio was a derelict and dangerous place, but then artists started moving into the area, and in 1997, with their tongues in their cheeks, they declared it an independent Republic with a written constitution, including such rules as 'Everyone has the right to appreciate their unimportance.'

The rules are written in at least 20 languages along a wall. It's a very quirky and popular place now, with a lovely square and a statue of an angel on top of an egg.

At the grand unveiling of the statue the artist had unfortunately not finished the angel, so just unveiled the egg and said that one day an angel would hatch out of it.

Nearby, a fat cat statue is balanced on metal railings and the instructions underneath it are to 'touch my ear, have no fear'.

We both carefully stroked the cats ear and little gold earring, and I can confidently say that we are now feeling exceptionally fearless.

Just around the corner was a beautifully decorated café and we sat outside with mango gin and tonics enjoying the sun and the strange atmosphere.

On to dinner at Baking Mad Hidden Lab, a Breaking Bad themed burger bar, and enjoyed homemade crystal meth lemonade and Heisenberg burgers. It was all tasty and really very strange.

I think that one day they may be sued for copyright reasons, and the bad taste menu.

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