Thursday 13 June 2024

Vilnius walkabout

Our last day in Vilnius, and a lovely one for a walkabout.

We started in the old town, and this semicircular 16th century fort that had cannons peeping over the top.

Onwards into the beautiful centre which is full of churches in what I would call the Wedding Cake style.

We passed through an amazing arch under another church and out of the old town.

Then we were out into the suburbs that weren't so attractive, but there was something that I specifically wanted to see.

Darren had sorted out the route and it included a section along the wide and fast flowing river Neris.

Eventually we turned off and walked alongside the extremely busy main highway to Vilnius. At the junction of the E272 where a multi lane roundabout meets the A14 was our destination.

Running alongside the roundabout is the Road of Freedom Memorial Wall, and it can be seen by every vehicle that drives by.

It commemorates a protest in August 1989 that saw two million people from the three countries join hands together in an unbroken chain that stretched for 700 kilometres.

It was in protest of the Soviet occupation and went from Vilnius in Lithuania, straight through Latvia including Riga and all the way to Tallinn in Estonia.

It is in the colours of the Lithuania flag and has cut outs in the shape of people holding hands.

The current population of all three countries is only approximately 5.7 million people today, so it was a huge percentage of the people.

For the record, Lithuania left the Soviet Union in March 1990, and Latvia and Estonia left in August 1991.

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