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Monday, September 19, 2016

Randomness, Vilnius-style

It's been a relatively low-key weekend here in Vilnius, and I'm feeling a little lethargic as Sunday winds down, so what follows are some photos taken yesterday and today. My daughter has started swimming lessons on Saturday mornings, and as there's a large park close to the gym, I go for walks while class is in session. Here a fisherman looks for a good spot along the banks of the Neris River:

The view of the other side:

Gediminas avenue in Vilnius was the site of another street festival this weekend, Nation's Fair 2016. It wasn't obvious how this celebration differed from the Vilnius City Fiesta held on the same street just a fortnight before, as many of the crafts and foods on sale were the same, but it was still fun to check out. Free baked apples were being handed out at one end of Gediminas, and Amber was pleased to score one (and in case you're wondering, no, she doesn't have a dandruff problem. Ashes from the charcoals used to bake the apples were being blown about by the wind):

My wife buys some fresh fruit. Unlike in Taiwanese markets, there wasn't any haggling going on here:

While Mom and Dad walked to Gediminas Prospektas, our daughter did the trip on two wheels:

Some of the crafts on sale during the festival:

Taking a break. Shu-E bought the hat just before sitting down in preparation for the upcoming cold, dark winter everyone warns us about. This weekend was chilly and mostly overcast, and barring a sudden heat wave, was probably the last time to wear shorts until next spring:

A potential customer checks out some of the seafood on offer:

A group entertains the crowd with some traditional folk music on a stage set up in Cathedral Square:

Amber has the street to herself as we head home on Saturday evening:

This afternoon (Sunday), while the girls were outside playing Pokémon Go, I went for a bike ride. Back in May, a mural painted on the wall of a Vilnius barbecue restaurant of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin locked in a passionate kiss went viral:

The mural was vandalized last month, but it's back up again, only this time showing Putin and Trump sharing a joint in a very intimate manner:

The view from the top of the street:

Andy Warhol would've agreed:

Near the main train station:

Bus fares from Vilnius to (from top to bottom) Riga; Tallinn; Warsaw; Berlin; Prague; Saint Petersburg; Bialystok (a city in northeastern Poland); Moscow; Stuttgart; Frankfurt; Hanover; Munich; Nuremberg; and Kyiv:

Speaking of buses, here's one that has found a second life as a hamburger stand:

Looking across the Neris River, with that squat, Soviet-style building in the background being Parliament House (Seimas). The government building sits at one end of Gedimino Prospektas, with Cathedral Square at the other end, 1.75 kilometers down the road:

I'm always on the lookout for examples of architecture built during the time when Lithuanian was an unwilling constituent republic in the Soviet Union. This is the Agricultural Information and Rural Business Center (Žemės ūkio informacijos ir kaimo verslo centras) government building:

Interesting cloud patterns in the sky this afternoon:

The view from a scenic vista point near the U.S. Embassy:

A Catholic shrine by the side of a small road:

"Christ the king bless Lithuania and the whole world":

Lots of faces lining the top of this building:

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