Perhaps that is a little melodramatic, but it feels as though I hardly saw daylight last week. It was my first time visiting Lithuania and our time was divided between the capital Vilnius and the second city Kaunas. The country seems a mixture of beautiful historic buildings, crumbling soviet brutalism and a new era of western inspired commercial buildings. On the whole I found it beautiful and would love to see the old town areas of both cities during daylight to truly appreciate them.
My visit was on college business with my colleague Andrea, delivering five days of training to fashion and textile companies and academics. Determined to see something of the country while were there we tried to spend as much time as possible in the evenings (when not preparing work for the following day) walking about to see the sights.
All that darkness had some benefits. Lithuanians are justifiably proud of their historic buildings and they are beautifully illuminated at night. We also came across this stunning installation in Vilnius. Made up of thousands of votive candles, the installation stretched across the square in front of the cathedral. The installation is a sad reminder of the loss of lives from car accidents in Lithuania, one for each person killed each year for over 20 years. The entire work created a gigantic bar chart. It made us a little nervous being driven to Kaunas early the next day.