Kernave is the oldest of the former capitals of Lithuania having been first mentioned in 1279. With such a history it's now a small town of 300 people just 35 kilometres from Vilnius and with such a big reputation for archaeology that it's included in the UNESCO World Heritage listings. You may visit the museum of church relics in the old wooden presbytery in the very centre of the town or discover the more recent history of Church and Communism in the well- preserved economic- technical centre of the Soviet " kolhoz" to find out about economic life in the countryside in the more recent past. Hungry? It's time to visit the Kerniaus bar in the old mill. Eager for some active recreation? Ask at the bar for directions to a country estate whose owners will offer you a horse ride in Kernave woods or, in winter, a dog- drawn sled drive. If you would like to stay here in the calm of the countryside you can overnight in Bajoryne or a rural tourism homestead offering cosy accommodation. If you'd like to organise a complete tour talk to Taiga Euro Baltika: www. taigaeurobaltika. com office@ taigaeurobaltika. com Tel: + 370 5 2121 388 Fax: + 370 5 2121 713
by Neil Taylor Author of Baltic Cities ( Bradt Guides) Published 2008 Modesty is always the word that comes to my mind whenever I visit Kaunas or meet somebody from there. It should be on any Lithuanian itinerary and attracting journalists as frequently as does Vilnius or the Curonian Spit on the coast. Sadly, however, it remains exclusive when it should really be wide open to all. It has an international airport and is only sixty miles from Vilnius so access is easy. In Kaunas I find myself putting together a day which would be impossible anywhere else in Europe. I may start my travels on a trolleybus, then switch to a funicular train which takes me to a church that seats 3,000 visitors and used to be a factory for radio valves. Later I may feel my way around the Museum for the Blind or look at thousands of devils, assuming I can take my glance away from the two leading ones, Stalin and Hitler, shown dancing together on Lithuanian territory. I am thick- skinned enough to stay amongst the exhibits at the Medical Museum, though feel very relieved that I will never come across them in a contemporary hospital. I will often visit an art gallery and then attend a concert, but only in Kaunas can I do both at the same time, looking at pictures by Mikalojus Ciurlionis whilst listening to his symphonies. KAUNAS THE CITY OF MUSEUMS Click here and quote ' kaunas25' for 25% off Baltic Cities.