When I was a little girl, I used to travel around the world. My dad was taking me to every place on the Globe I just wanted to. We traveled through Amazon Rainforests with Arkady Fiedler's books, we visited crowded streets of Asian cities with our favorite travel magazine, we dropped by to every European capital on our big wall map. These are the most colorful memories from my childhood.
But he used to say - before setting out everyone needs to see his homeland first. To see this place like a traveler from the faraway country.
Seven years ago, as a young student, I came to Poland. But every Christmas I'm comming back to my hometown, city I was born in and spent **teen years of my (not so) long life. Now I'm just a guest there, I see things I haven't noticed until now.
I would like to invite you to Vilnius, Lithuania.
Legend says that the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Gediminas, after the succesful hunting in deep Lithuanian forests, settled in near the Valley of Sventaragis for the night. After he fell asleep, he saw a huge iron Wolf standing on the top of the hill and howled like hundreds of wolfs. Next day, Gediminas asked the pagan priest Lizdeika to interpret the meaning of his dream. The priest told him: "The iron Wolf represents a castle and a city you will establish here. This city is going to be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the glory of Lithuanian deeds shall echo throughout the world".
And that what happened. Centuries were passing by, but city preserved its fantastic atmosphere. This is a place, where you can meet different languages and religions, feel the echo of pagan past and see remains of 5 decades of compulsory communism.
Last year Vilnius was the European Captital of Culture. Lithuanian art, haute couture fashion and traditional crafts are rated highly around the world.
It's really difficult to tell in few words how amazing the place you love is. So next time, if you let me, I will tell more about my beloved Vilnius :)
If you are interested in original items made by crafters from Vilnius, you MUST see my favorite Etsy shops based in this city! Also, you can use "shop local" Etsy tool to find more sellers, just post "Vilnius".
photos: from my flickr photostream, unless noted otherwise.