Saturday, March 2, 2013

Vilnius, Day 1

We came back to Vilnius for Kazukas Fair. It's only about three hours by train from Minsk and we really like to visit here.

Since we've already been to a Kazukas Fair, we didn't feel any need to see a high percentage of the vendors' booths. We just like being in town with lots of other people for a cheerful event. We focused today on the university, since our self-guided tour last year left us with more questions than answers. This year Alla signed us up for an English-speaking tour. Pleasantly, a group of seven friends signed up to join us. Six of the friends live in Vilnius, and they brought along an American guest. They were very sympathetic people, we had a great guide, and everything clicked. The guide appreciated everybody's interest and curiosity so she added spaces not normally included in the tour, and we spent two and a half hours together seeing beautiful rooms and hearing fascinating stories about them. Our guide is a librarian, and she knows a lot about many things. Her tour already made the weekend a success.

We did lots of other fun stuff too, but I have to mention dinner. TripAdvisor recommended a new restaurant called Druskos Namai, and we went to try it out. It's in a part of town (technically, not even in Lithuania, but there's no border control) we hadn't visited before. They're following the local-foods movement and reinterpreting Lithuanian cuisine using traditional ingredients in very non-traditional recipes. The pureed caramalized-onion soup started us out right and everything flowed from that. We can hardly believe how deliciously we ate for a lot less than we'd spend for less-interesting food in Minsk or in Boston. Needless to say, we're going back for lunch tomorrow.

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