Today we visited the other side of Vilnius, resplendent in all its Communist-era brutalist glory. Naturally, it seems that the Baltic states are anxious to erase the ugly scars of Communism, but the process is a long and painstaking one. Construction and renovation are constantly ongoing, and great strides have been made in some areas, but certainly not everywhere. We visited a USSR-era market in a section of the city which has yet to be updated. The contrasts are stunning, to say the least. Beautiful modern skyscrapers provide a backdrop to run-down shanty homes and concrete block apartments. Elderly people sell fruits, veggies, smoked meats, cakes, candy, honey, pickles, clothing, and hand-made mittens in a stinky, deteriorating market square. Prices are ridiculously cheap. Hard to believe that people lived like this for decades, barely getting by. I have a lot of admiration for these people and their strength of spirit.
December 4, 2015
Baltics Trip – Day #9: Vilnius, Lithuania
Day 9: Vilnius, Lithuania