The Many Faces of Vilnius in Photos

Vilnius, the regal capital of Lithuania, is a city of sedate parks, soaring church spires, and twisting alleys of contradictions. Stern Orthodox cathedrals neighbor with the rebellious spirit of the Uzupis Republic, which declared independence from Vilnius in 2000. Whimsical art, like teapots bursting from shop walls and crocheted trees, mingle with staid Neoclassical facades hiding somber secrets of Lithuania’s tragic Communist past. Cafes bustle with nationalist fervor as the country cheered on Lithuania’s basketball at the London Olympics, spilling into parks as waitresses dodged cars to serve drinks as hot air balloons hovered overhead.

This is a city that pulses with energy and secrets. Just when I thought I knew Vilnius, I stumbled across one more side to her character, such as classical Hollywood movies dubbed in Lithuanian under the stars or locals crossing themselves in the street as they passed beneath the Gates of Dawn into the Old Town as a morning hymn wafted out of the tiny chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

To enjoy my photo slide show, click on the link below.

Vilnius, Lithuania

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About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
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