The first thing that rushes into the eyes at Vilnius Airport, – suspended under the ceiling Red single-engine aircraft. On his left side of yellow paint, the names of the pilots, Daris and Gipenas are bred. Under the right wing of the apparatus, a network of exchange offices was abused, where for two and a half dollars give a bill of ten litas with the image of this aircraft and portraits all the same aviators. The point here is not at all that Lithuanians – air travel fans.
What was famous for the Daris and Gyrenas, with pleasure, will tell any taxi driver who earn at each trip to the city of ten and fifteen litas. Will tell, naturally, in Russian, and if you ask very much, then in English. In Lithuania, everything – from professors to plumbing – they know their own history and very proud of it.
About the following as follows: In 1933, two pilots decided to fly on a light plane from the USA to Kaunas. Already on the way home they were shot down over the territory of Germany. Since then, Daris and Girenas – national heroes, not less revered than the gathering of Lithuanian prince Mindaugas or artist Churlenis.
In general, in a small country with a population of less than four million people idiot so much that it even scares. Now popular all basketball stars. True, Jalgiris Bogati Sabonis and Marrchylenis now live in the States, but they do not break the ties with their homeland.
Marrchylenis, the discoverer of the path from the USSR to the NBA, owns a private hotel in Lithuania "Sharunas", where the rock star Joe Cocker stopped at one time, US Defense Minister William Perry and Senator Richard Luragar. Basketball player and bar "Rooney’c", SuperPopular among fans of a healthy lifestyle. From the ceiling of the bar hang out the exact copies of Majs and sneakers, Jordan, Harduey and Mallia; Cocktails are served at the rack "Chicago", "Denver" and "Taste of victory"; Basketball experts are slowly absorbed by American rubber hamburgers and pale yellow potatoes. There is nothing special in this institution, and go here only in the hope that the chef will ever decide to personally check how subordinates work. Accordingly, it is possible to talk with regulars only to the accompanied themes.
A significantly more open atmosphere – located on the Central Street of Vilnius a three-story cafe "Pre parliament". In the afternoon, the institution on the Avenue of Gyadiminas quite justifies its name: here the small government officials and the most democratic from Lithuanian deputies are chinno. These are watering children to enjoy with surprisingly delicious buns. And after ten in the evening the lower floor opens – "Ministry".
By eleven basement Bar is already full of Vilnius Hippie and Yappension. They patch on wooden tables sophisticated graffiti, pushed at a rack with cocktails and express, covering specially plastered walls with non-reactive aphorisms. Most often something seems to be: "I love Dive, and she loves Clapton". However, if you look at, you can detect and lived to this day since 1991 slogan "freedom! Democracy! Lithuania!". In the next room dancing, and under quite a decent music.
In the dancela "Ministries" the most cute girls of Vilnius are going. According to the regulars, it was always. Apparently, that is why here for the first time on the territory of the former union there was an automatic for the sale of condoms. Above the entrance door of the club – a sign on Lithuanian, German and English: "Do not make sure, leaving us! Our neighbors are certainly no". It is quite reasonable if you consider that the establishment closes no earlier than four in the morning.
Fashionable youth with hair painted in pesticide colors, going to the club "NATO". The main achievement of his owners is that they managed to transfer the atmosphere of the last part in the nuclear catastrophe. At the time when the institutes still studied civil defense, this club was a bomb shelter. Probably really there is some kind of special masochist buzz in to drink directly under the nozzle of the ballistic missile. Acky Pier during plague. Music appropriate: hip-hop, Dzhangl, Drum and Base and. Amazes abundance of coffee-based drinks.
Having achieved independence, Lithuanians now remember Soviet times with a nostalgic smile. Even a kind of universality system for generation "Pepsi", not knowing what is common and unobtrusive service. The path wrapped the club "Gyalyanis Vilkas" – "Iron Wolf". Walls are intense with portraits of the leader of the world proletariat (the total number of Ulyanovy is selected to the hundred), the tables are made of disgusting gray plastic – this at one time was produced in Zhmerinka, at the intersection of Clara Zetkin and Roses Luxembourg. Waitresses hide hairstyles under indispensable dolls introduced into the fashioned by Almighty Montorg. The same, whom all this has never fascinated, offered a disco, erotic show, sauna, swimming pool and individual cabinets. Music is not particularly originality, but if you carefully ask for Magomaeva or Shulzhenko.
Especially for the fans of Natasha Queen and Igor Sarukhanov in the city center there is a Russian club "Gallery". It is worth going here, only if you are tired of the europe to the liver colic, finally, feel at home.
As in any self-respecting European city, in Vilnius there are clubs for homosexuals. The most famous of them – "Amsterdam" – On weekdays, it is just a place where you can eat. Specific audience is going here on Saturdays. However, there is no fixed program. To learn plans "Amsterdama", to the club you need to call. You can also contact the information service of the Lithuanian League of Homosexuals. Telephone will be prompted in each cafe.
Places where you can spend a fun night, only in the center of Vilnius, according to the most modest counting, more fifth. Separate mention also deserve: bar "Armadillo" (Texas on Gediminas Avenue), "Cybercafe" (body – in Vilnius, soul – on the Internet), "Biks" (Perfect option – come here on "Harley", in leather and cowboy boots; Club motto – "Phuc` n` Fun") and "Gricha" (Lithuanian village, learning how to cook "B-52").
After the visit to any of these institutions, experienced people are sleeping until noon. Inspection of Vilnius Sights – Heavy Labor. Decent attention churches, monuments and museums – more than thirty. Of course I have, "Gentlemen set", Cathedral, chapel "Gate of Zari", Upper and lower castles, the hill of three crosses and the Museum of the KGB. But swirl in the previously developed and battered route on the map – nevertheless not quite right.
Vilnius has a hurry to wander through the streets, turns out the oncoming. For some reason, it seems that if a knight appears from behind the corner, measuring the width of the alley will appear, no one is especially surprised. No wonder because the old town, occupying 359 hectares, is included by UNESCO in the list of cultural heritage of mankind.
Going where the eyes look – a faithful way to see what none of the organized tourists see: city yards. The most interesting of them is located inside the university complex. He is still unpacked by the Italian courtyards, familiar yet on the films of Soviet pore. In general, almost all the yards in Vilnius – passing, and none of them can be descriptions in terms of the school year of geometry.
Therefore, being after the half hour travel there, from where I started, you do not need to be surprised. In every self-respecting yard costs some sculpture. Near the hospital on Kalinausko Street, for example, a single monument in the world is aware of a well-known rock-n-roller Frank Zapping. At the Stop of the Bronze Musician you can drink coffee to the music of the most famous humorist from rock and roll. However, in the summer, the tables with coffee are everywhere, where two people can disturb. The average price of a cup – one liter (1.5 new rubles).
The main rules for a person wandering around Vilnius – from time to time to look up, because there are amazing things on the second floors and roofs of houses, and be sure to turn out the path, seeing the cluster of trees. In 90% of cases, something interesting is hidden behind them. For example, in the West of the city, behind the forest belt, one of the largest car markets can be found in Europe.
Having survived the first shock from the price level, it is worth remembering the old proverb about the telly, which is over the sea – a half, and leave the market with proudly raised head. With brithead compatriots offering "BMW" At the price of broken "Zaporozhets", Do not even greet. In the extreme case, you can assume a resident of Sunny Zanzibar, nor a word knows in Russian. Every year, however, there are less and less obvious gangsters in Lithuania. Say that one day in a small border town of Mariympole "Tavriya" some local student knocked "Six hundred" with fraternity driving. Owners "Mercedes" fined on "Pure specific" the amount and – in educational purposes – also held in the plot.
Lithuania is now experiencing boom auto business. Office "Rent-A-Car" rolling. The cheapest option – "Tavriya" ten dollars a day, the most expensive – "Rolls-Royce" (the price is so high that it is called contractual from the constraint). On the average, rent a car will cost twenty-thirty dollars a day. Refueling – at the expense of the client, marked wings – at the expense of the company. The main reason for the popularity of this business is that the so-called is increasingly in Lithuania "agrotourism" – Accommodation outside the city with frequent departures.
A few years after the proclamation of independence, the state began to return rustic houses to their old owners. Many, however, did not dare to change the city comfort on the rural bucolic, and the newly acquired estates did not move. But that the real estate is not idle, rental accommodation for the summer. Popularly popular at home located in national parks, which are five in Lithuania.
The owners of such estates united in the Association of Agrotourism and produce a single advertising booklet. You can choose from eighty-seven options, but the average living conditions are as follows: a three-room house on six in the forest, one way – ten minutes before the lake, to another – as much to the road; In the house – TV, refrigerator, telephone, washing machine, sauna and fireplace; The hosts are renting a boat, a bike and, naturally, the car. If you ask, it can also provide products to both fresh and already turned into quite disapplosed dishes. It is especially pleased with the fact that you will have to pay for it: on average five dollars per night per person. That is why the Lithuanian national parks are much easier to meet Muscovite or St. Petersburg, than a local resident.
Considering the relatively modest dimensions of Lithuania, it is quite possible to have time to go on a day, for example, from the south to the center of the country, to lay on the largest collection of devils in the famous Kaunas Museum in the world and, not particularly straining, have time to return home to the evening gatherings by the fireplace. In order not to blush when meeting with Moscow friends after returning from vacation, it is necessary to go to Shauliai, to the hill of crosses, visit Europe Park near Vilnius and Trakai.
In Schauliai from the near suburbs of the capital, it is not very convenient to get, but the trip is worth. Twelve kilometers from the city along the Vilnius Riga highway there is a place sacred for all Lithuanians. Based in the pagan times Kurgan is now covered with whole forest crosses. The most diverse – from the bronze to the made from the papier-mache. The first appeared in 1831, after the royal police suppressed the uprising of local residents. Since then, every self-respecting Lithuanian Catholic considers his duty to put on a hill and his cross.
In the Soviet power, the crosses were regularly demolished by bulldozers, and so that new religious symbols do not appear, they even tried to spend the channel through the hill. However, at night, everything was miraculously returned to the circles. Now on the hill more than fifty thousand crosses. In 1993, Dad Roman John Paul II visited Lithuania during a visit to Lithuania. Then the head of the Roman Catholic Church visited the nearby park of Europe located near Vilnius.
It may seem strange, but twenty-five kilometers north of the Lithuanian capital really is the geographical center of the continent. The place where you can get to the Atlantic Ocean in the same time, and to the Urals, naturally, marked with a memorable sign. Every year in the park there are festivals of sculptures in which monumentalists from all the countries of the old world participate. Now the park is already quite possible to consider a kind of open-air museum. The number of exhibits in it passed in fifty.
South of Vilnius is Trakai.
To visit Lithuania and not visit this castle – just as strange as read "War and Mir" and not remember as the name of the author. In 1321, Prince Gediminas built a well-fortified fortress on the island in the center of Lake Galve, which served as the capital of the state. Now in the castle – a museum, and in its surroundings they live Karai – representatives of the most exotic national minority of Lithuania. Tauridian Jews picked up Prince Vitautas in the XIV century. They came to the Baltic from Crimea and brought with them their religion – one of the oldest in the world – and amazingly delicious Trochinte Mesa dishes (something like our stew), kinibay (pies) and gir (soft drink type kvass).
Karaization cuisine is quite worthy competition of Lithuanian, which is not less wonderful in itself. Especially good her dishes, if there are them in the appropriate setting. Such, for example, as in the ethnographic village of Rumshishkes. Fully recreated atmosphere of the Lithuanian farm of the XIX century. On the village are moving exclusively on horseback or on foot. Here we are the costumes of the last century, use the grandfathers and store dresses in forged chests. Paradinary clothes are taken out of them quite regularly – to each folk festival. Lithuanians love holidays. Probably there is a direct meaning to take part in them and tourist. After all, it is the best chance to chat with Lithuanians in an informal setting and even in part to sense themselves by a citizen of the European country.
The sadder will then return to Moscow or, worse, Uryupinsk. But at least after a visit to Lithuania, you begin to understand how to equip Russia.