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The first sights in Lithuania we came across was one of Lithuania’s most awe-inspiring sights, the Hill of Crosses. Here on an unassuming hillock, thousands of crosses seem to sprout from the earth, interspersed by poignant statues of the Virgin Mary, carvings of Lithuanian patriots and effigies left by Catholic pilgrims. They began appearing after the suppression of the 1831 uprising against the Russians, who made several attempts to bulldoze the site but the crosses kept reappearing. Over time the hill has become a symbol of hope and peaceful resistance against hostile invaders. This was the reason I had booked this trip. I have wanted to see this crosses for some time. I personally loved them and could not believe how many there are. Reportedly around the 200,000 mark. This is a sight I will never forget.
The very next morning, we had a tour by coach and by foot. We started with the Church Of St Peter And Paul.
Then we walked through The Gates Of Dawn.
We then drove to Cathedral Square. Where I decided to spend some time independently taking the sights in. I left the group and went to find The Church Of St Anne.
Walking back through the park, I could see the Three Crosses statutes.
And the Gedimas Tower Of The Upper Castle which is closed. Due to the damage to the hill.
When I eventually got back to Cathedral square, I found that the Palace Of The Grand Dukes were closed to renovations and they were also closing the main street Gedimino PR for their marathon that was taking place the next day.
After resting back at out hotel. I went out to explore further. Vilnius is very hilly and lots of sights are scatter all over the place. I enjoyed walking through the roads admiring the architecture. There are some beautiful buildings.
I decided to find the former KGB office which is now a Genocide museum. For 4 Euros, you can explore three or four floors. With my mobility, I only managed to get downstairs to visit the prison cells.
Today we visited island castle of Trakai. Due to my health problems, I did not actually enter the castle as I can not get up stairs easily. So we went and got an ice cream which was delicious. And just watched all the different tour groups enter and exit the castle. It appears that as the marathon was on, every tour group decided to leave Vilnius and visit this island castle.
Later that afternoon, I went and enjoyed walking around our hotel, along the river and relaxing. It is a lovely city to visit.
Then later that night, something special happened. I had cancelled dinner plans with the group. And I was having a pamper session. When out of the blue, I noticed some hot air balloons lining up. I got outside as soon as I could and with a crutch I am not fast. I walked over the bridge and watched ten hot air balloons go up. It was completely unexpected and I loved every minute of it.