Sunday, July 5, 2009

Last Weekend: Vilnius

Hello Blog Readers. Today I hope to finally "catch up" on posts, as compared to my whereabouts that is. I got hit with a really bad case of jetlag Thurs, Friday and yesterday and hopefully today will have recovered a bit. A good sign: no headache on waking (which is a telltale sign of jetlag and travel weariness).

Last weekend I was in Lithuania and got to get out and see a bit of the city and surrounds of Vilnius. Here is one of the fabulous old churches in the old part of Vilnius. We were there on a Sunday and did not want to interrupt services in progress, so did not see the inside of this one, but we looked inside one nearby and it was old and had to have been a truly grand sight to see in its former day. The friezes on its ceiling were very faded (and they did not photograph overly well, as no flash was allowed inside).

Below right are a couple more pics of the old part of Vilnius city, on a brilliant sunny day with good warmth too. The city is very pretty and some of the buildings have been re-done like the peach and white panted one here. I am told that now, buildings that are renovated and redone are keeping a small patch of their original exterior somewhere, which is a charming way to be sure that some small piece of the original character is preserved !

I find myself drawn time and again to photograph doorways, gates and also windows on building facades. The gate at left was of an old timber, arranged in nice mitred corners for some good diagonal movement. I really liked this small gate of wrought iron set into it, allowing a view of a patio and garden beyond. The stones on the patio beyond were set in a pattern that carries the eye around too.

We went to a national musueum and saw an exhibition of a Lithuanian painter Mikalajus Konstanias Ciurlionis. Most of his paintings were from early 1900s. He was prolific, even in the course of a short life (died in his mid 30s). The exhibition showed an impressive number of his works (paintings), also sketches and his drawings inspired by and of his musical composing (he did that too, a busy guy !) Photography was not permitted and I don't have anything to show of them from my photos. But I can recommend looking up his work if you are curious, there are some really top notch abstract aspects. I quite liked a series of 8 paintings called Winter, from 1907.

And to end off with a charming scene I really like, some window boxes with pretty red geraniums in bloom in front of a country cottage outside the city in a village town called Trakai. That green is so bright and on its own is almost in-your-face with its brashness...but out in the country with white window frames and the flowers in the window boxes, it just looks right !

A great visit in Vilnius, work was really productive too. I was surprised to note a reversal of typical gender balance in our Vilnius office, with more female IT operations staff than I have seen in any of our offices around the world--Go Girls ! More posts soon, do stop by again :)

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