A July 1999 trip
to Lithuania by unorthodox traveler
Quote: My mother born in Lithuania 87 years ago, suffered a major heart attack which the physicians considered fatal.On her 'deathbed" a expressed a wish to visit her birth-home of Vilnius, Lithuania. Miraculously,she survived and a few months later, we were on our way to Lithuania.
A brief history: 16th century Vilnius was one of the biggest cities in eastern Europe. Vilnius, over the years, became an important Jewish city, earning it the nickname, 'Jerusalem of Lithuania'.
In the 20th century Vilnius changed rulers many times. Germany occupied it during WWI. Stalin handed Vilnius to Lithuania in 1939 but WWII saw a 3 yr. German occupation. Nearly all of the Vilnius Jews were killed in its ghetto or in the nearby Paneria forest which we solemnly visited.
Vilnius was the chief focus of Lithuania's push for independence from the Soviet Union in the late 1980's.
Every year on the 13th of January, hundreds of people light candles at the spot to pay tribute to those who gave their lives for the quest of freedom.
The TV Tower(326 m.high) is a present symbol of the struggle for self-determination and freedom. This tower is open to the public and has a small exhibit on those who died and a restaurant at the tope offering a panoramic view of the city. Being at the tower where a relative died, brought the Lithuanian struggle against the Soviets, close to my heart and soul.
Hotel | "Litinterp Guest House"
Today there are a number of good places to stay. Littinterp is one of the best in my opinion.They have a number of comfortable, wooden furnished rooms with refrigerator, telephone and radio. They have three singles, 4 twin and 1 triple room. Guests have their own keys with access to their rooms at any time. All rooms are non-smoking. Breakfast is also included in the price-which is cheap-$30 a night for two people.
Along with the clean, bright room,the tremendous advantage is being in the heart of the Old Town.
The disadvantage for those of you out there contemplating staying here, is that this place fills up fast. Reservations are a must-weeks in advance.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2000
400 Ridge Club Drive
South Lake Tahoe, California 89448