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Old July 28th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #1
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Vilnius 2009, the capital of Lithuania. Sexy or not?

Great weather, as ever many shining new Audis, Mercedes, BMW and Lexus on the streets of the old town... Vilnius doesn't seem to have been affected by the current economic nightmare... at least visually it doesn't if not counting a few halted construction projects (many are, in fact, still underway). The evidence of the very recent economic miracle are still here... One must talk to the people to get to know what is happening. It seems as if everyone is frightened and uneasy about what's going on... bars and pubs, however, are still cheering with increasing flows of customers and revenues: people seem to be getting out more and trying to escape from what is unavoidable - a merciless and harsh economic recession which will decrease Lithuania's GDP by 15-20% this year and will probably keep on with negative growth in 2010. Here is the harsh lesson of capitalism. Despite all the nastiness Vilnius seems as funky and sexy as ever. And this year it is also the European capital of culture (along with city of Linz in Austria) which actually does help with tourist flows... a bit at least.

Here is what got caught by my camera

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Gedimino Prospektas, the main highstreet of the city. It is meant to be the main shopping and leisure destination although it still lacks liveliness and action in the evening. Visually, however, it is one of the most spectacular streets you could ever see anywhere
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Trolleybuses are "endangered species" of modern public transport these days. In Vilnius, however, they are the main means of public transport carrying about 400 thousand passengers every day (population of Vilnius is about 550,000). Solaris Trollino (pictured) is the most recent addition to the fleet of trolleybuses in Vilnius offering larger capacity and aircon which helps during the hot summer days
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A Polish-made Solaris Trollino trolleybus. It is as long as it looks. This does help with capacity although is more difficult to handle, especially in the narrower streets
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Bus/tolleybus stop information screen
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A hot summer day is a good time to show-off with a cabrio... if only Crysler wouldn't have gone bankrupt earlier in the year. Personally I would be ambarrased to drive a car with a badge that has gone bankrupt
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Still the tallest. Europa Tower at 129 meters is the tallest highrise building in Vilnius and the Baltic States
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Tall glassy buildings making up the modern skyline of Vilnius are the best showcase of the tremendous economic boom which lasted during 2000-2007. Fueled by loans from Scandinavian banks and foreign investors Vilnius got a reasonably cool and sexy skyline with some good looking highrises. That is one of the best things about the real estate boom... even if it's all messed up now, these buildings will stay for a long time to come
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Driving in Vilnius may be uneasy... especially if you have never driven here before. Street network seems chaotic and rush-hour traffic is an annoying issue. After some familiarisation with the signs and streets it may be a reasonably nice experience though... especially in the night when traffic is low and you can criss-cross the entire city in 5-10 minutes
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The new City Center or CBD rising on the right bank of the Neris River
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Vast amounts of land are still about to be urbanised even in the central areas of the city...
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An ongoing construction of a massive residential project (left) and the almost-completed development of the new Vilnius HQ of Swedbank (right)
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The "Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009" logo
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The recently refurbished National Art Gallery is considered to be one of the primary architectural showcases in Lithuania of those times (60's - 70's)
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Chiyune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat who did some positive stuff in WW2 which is why he's got a memorial and a street named after him somewhere in Vilnius
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This photo may be of any interest only to car-nerds. The interesting thing is that this model of Toyota (Fortuner) is not dedicated to the European market and not even to North American one... my guess that there are no more than a dozen or so of such cars in Europe. Most probably it is an import from South America, Africa or Asia (less likely). This is the most popular SUV in Thailand which is based on the popular Toyota Hilux platform and is something inbetween Rav4 and Land Cruiser
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Some sexy cars parked at one of the central spots of the old town
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St. Casimir's Church
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Some more car stuff
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Swedbank building
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I was drunk when taking this photo and used a 30s. shutter speed without using a tripod. Despite such harsh conditions it turned out reasonably good, IMO
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Modern skyline vs. the old one. New highrises caused a massive fuss of controversy and discussions a couple of years ago
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Polish number plates are a common sight in Vilnius
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A trolleybus, again...
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thank you!

Last edited by Pansori; July 28th, 2009 at 03:53 AM.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 07:34 PM   #2
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For sure, Vilnius is an amazing city very nice photos from this city
Urban Showcase: Athens Kalamata Trikala Thessaloniki
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Old July 29th, 2009, 09:26 PM   #3
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Great photo trip, thanks for posting!
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Old July 29th, 2009, 09:53 PM   #4
bitte spiel mir etwas
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stylish city
"Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." Elbert Hubbard
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Old July 30th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #5
Parisian Girl
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Sexy or not? VERY sexy! Vilnius is very easy on the eye! I think the highrises work very well with the old skyline ... they blend together very well indeed IMO.

Would love to see lots more photos of this charming city
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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:43 AM   #6
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Yes! Much more than I thought.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 07:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ace! View Post
Yes! Much more than I thought.
Same dude..

Looks so coollll
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Old July 31st, 2009, 07:59 AM   #8
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Looks like an up and coming city, nice photos and thanks for sharing.
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