It was a cloudy and somewhat rainy day when we went to Kernavė, Lithuania. This village of just a few hundred people is one of Lithuania's best-known archeological sites, due to its piliakalniai (hill forts), secret underwater roads, and being a one-time capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Unfortunately, due to the cloudy and rainy weather, my photos of the beautiful countryside around the piliakalniai didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.
June 20th, 2009: Unofficial opening parade on the West Toronto Railpath. One of my favourite features of the neighbourhood!
In the background is the Wallace Ave. pedestrian bridge, from which I took yesterday's photo.
Taking another short break from posting vacation photos. This one is much more recent and closer to home: Looking east from the Wallace Ave. pedestrian bridge.
I like this view because it shows off two very old and prominent features of my neighbourhood: The Wallace Ave. bridge, and the old General Electric water tower a little further east on Wallace Ave., closer to Lansdowne Ave. This is a great place to spend a few minutes just watching things happen in our 'hood: GO trains going by underneath, people walking and cycling along the West Toronto Railpath, environmental cleanup of the old Glidden Paint factory site, construction of new condos on Wallace Ave., heavy machinery at work on the West Toronto Diamond railway grade separation project, and much more.
I often "take the long way home" from work just to come across this bridge and stop to watch things for a few minutes.
During our second tour around Vilnius, we climbed Trijų Kryžių Kalnas (The Hill of Three Crosses). Check out the Wikipedia link for the whole legend behind it!
Needless to say, this is one of Vilnius' most visible and best-known monuments. It's easily visible from many parts of the city, and also offers a spectacular view of the Vilnius Old Town below.
One of the first places we visited in Vilnius was Aušros Vartai, which means "Gates of Dawn". This is the last remaining gate into the Vilnius Old Town, and contains a chapel with a famous painting of Mary.
On our first day in Vilnius, Lithuania, after meeting up with some of my relatives and exploring the old town for a while, Kotryna took us to a wonderful bar/restaurant to relax with some wine and cheese.
This photo is not of the bar, but it's neighbour. It was a curious sight, because as we sat on the shaded patio of this bar enjoying our wine and cheese in the middle of a very well restored old town, this beautiful old house next door was abandoned and decaying. It's unfortunate, since with such a great location and wonderful look, you'd think it would be put to good use. Apparently it was a bar or restaurant recently, but now it's just full of junk etc. I hope someone can take it over and restore it.
More photos of Lithuania soon! It was a fantastic trip, and I'm really enjoying going through my photos to pick the ones for posting here.
The "view" through a window at Tower Automotive on Sterling Rd. The window was covered in so much grime that "filth trees" started growing up from the bottom.
On a completely unrelated note: One of my favourite photography websites is shorpy.com, "a vintage photography blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s." This week they featured a wonderful street scene pic from New York City, 1905. There's so much going on this this photo: Dead horse laying in the brick street, filthy barefoot kids paying in the gutter water, the poses and expressions on the faces of the kids, etc. Fantastic. Make sure you look at the high-def version.
Another photo from inside the Tower Automotive building at 158 Sterling Rd. Most floors had the same basic structure (tall ceilings, large tapered columns, etc.), but they all had unique colours and other furnishings.