Tag Archives: castle

Dali & Magritte visit a small town near Kaunas

On Sunday I used the last opportunity to visit an exhibition of various minor works by Dali and Magritte at Raudondvaris manor, not far from Kaunas. Thanks to my friend R., who was willing to drive there in this suddenly freezing weather, we reached the recently redeveloped suburban area, which used to be a famous noble clan’s estate (you can read more about the history of Raudondvaris manor here).

Museums in Lithuania can hardly ever afford bringing really famous works, but this was a rare opportunity to see Salvador Dali’s ‘applied’ art. His career spanned for decades, so he was asked to design and produce various decorative objects, such as medals for Olympic games or the 25th anniversary of Israel (I hadn’t known that before), tapestries and ceramic plates. There were also some quite known watercolors, such as illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy. The fallen angel with drawers is one of my favorites. I also searched for the image of his ceramic plate from the Seasons set, the one portraying fall, which is a human figure with a cube instead of its head, and trees growing from it. But I couldn’t find it on google. Continue reading

Exploring London’s cultural life

London happens to make an excellent escape for spring each time. When spring comes, people hurry to wear summer clothes, which always looks really extreme to my eyes. It reminded me of Gothenburg in many ways. People seem to appreciate every sunny day.

London park

London park

This time I went to explore London’s areas that I hadn’t visited before, and experience more of its cultural life. Continue reading

Dubrovnik – the expensive urban and natural paradise (II)

First part here.

Outside of the Old Town, a picturesque fortification attracts not only tourists, but also the theater and cinema industries. It is also used for rock diving. On it, the official motto of the former republic, ‘freedom can’t be sold for the whole gold in the world’, is inscribed. The republic’s nobility (men only) elected their representatives to the parliament, but rich traders were excluded from political representation and increasingly frustrated. The republic was abolished with the French conquest in 1808. The upper fort in the city was built to control the fort in the sea. During theater performances, Hamlet’s father’s ghost appears in the fortress. Our guide said that during her childhood residents could enjoy a lot of street theater, but nowadays theater happens in more closed spaces. Continue reading

Dubrovnik – the expensive urban and natural paradise (I)

Visiting Dubrovnik for the first time got me asking why I never thought about going there before. I am not surprised why it attracts so many people – there is everything for every taste… except, perhaps, budget travel. The popular Croatian city rests on the remainders of the once-prominent Republic of Ragusa, which was known for its vibrant economic and cultural life, as well as diplomacy and tolerance, in the 15th and 16th centuries. Walking in the city feels as if everything is perfectly preserved since then – but in fact its protection by UNESCO since 1979 did not prevent it from being severely bombed in 1991. Scarce remaining residents of the ancient walled city had to look for ways in which to restore their property, with strict UNESCO requirements for specific tiles and colors. Maps detailing the damage of the bombing hang next to regular tourist maps in the main sightseeing spots.

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Luxembourg’s treasures II: Vianden castle and chairlift

People go to Luxembourg to earn money or to buy cheap fuel – the rainy country is not a popular tourist destination. But people who already live there tend to travel quite a bit – travel inside the country, which has the highest GDP per capita in the EU, is obscenely cheap (EUR 1.3 to go by train or bus anywhere in the country), and since Luxembourg wasn’t exposed to wars that much, it has many well-preserved small towns. I have already written about my trips to Echternach and down the Mullerthal trail, and to Esch-sur-Alzette. When I visited a tourist shop in Luxembourg City with my friend, we took note of which towns were marked on magnets with Luxembourg map, and one of them was Vianden. With the help of Wikipedia, we found that the town is famous because Victor Hugo once lived there, and because it has a well-preserved castle. That sounded interesting enough. Continue reading

Moments that warm the busy Milan

Milan was not on my travel wishlist, but this is one of the main gateways to Italy from Lithuania, since Ryanair and Wizzair fly there. Milan is known as the industrial and business capital of Italy. I have met many Italians who have worked there at some point in their lives – and usually did not quite enjoy it. Milan is known to be stressful and competitive, even merciless. Meanwhile, the Milanese are said to be complaining that they earn Italy’s GDP while everyone else is just chilling. My expat friend living in Italy also mentioned the extreme fashion-consciousness in Milan, where, in her experience, people really judge you if you are not fashionable enough. I couldn’t say I got to know Milan, busted or confirmed all these generalizations during the short time I spent there, but the real gateway to the city was my Couchsurfing host, who also commented on my friends’ memories and impressions from living here. Continue reading

Tartu: small but dynamic

It’s a bit more than an hour since I returned from a lovely trip to Estonia, and I want to start from the freshest impressions. Those come from Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia. Tartu is known as a student city with a laid-back character. Everything is more or less within a walking distance, so Tartu people consider everything far if it can only be accessed with public transport. Tartu is biking-friendly, with many comfortable open spaces.

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