Friday, April 23, 2010

DAY 51 EUROPE TRIP - LITHUANIA – Vilnius – Song Festival

5 July 2009

LITHUANIA – Vilnius – Song Festival

It is our last full day in Lithuania. We had to make a hard decision today. We were given an opportunity to go to Kernave in the morning to experience the Live Archeology Day or to stay in Vilius and see the festivities leading up to the culmination point of a concert in the early evening. We had been to Kernave earlier in the trip but it was tempting to go to this event.

In the end we decided to go to Kernave with friends. I am so glad we did as it was a very exciting but unusual experience. We were a diverse group - Australians, Bavarians, Lithuanians – and we had a ball.

A lot of stalls greeted us along the main street

leading into the area of the mounds that have archeological and historic significance.

Along here there were live displays of what life was like in the various prehistoric periods.

People demonstarted how people lived, how they made things, cooked etc

There were family groups involved as well as participants from all over northern Europe.

I enjoyed watching the demonstration for making fishing nets.

Naturally dyed threads were labelled for all to see what they they were dyed with.

Weaving looms of different periods captured my attention.

My hubby on the other hand was interested in the armour and shields of the various periods.

Our time here passed very quickly and before long it was time to go back so that we could make it to the song festival. On the way out we dropped in to see the special bus that has been travelling aroung Lithuania as part of the 1,000 year of nationhood celebration.

By the time we arrived at a roadside café the weather was looking very sus as the clouds were coming in fast.

The setting was beautiful for the café.

After a good lunch we said goodbye to the group as we made our way back to Vilnius with a another couple for the song festival.

By the time we got back to Vilnius it was raining. We saw the end of the parade of choirs and other participants.

I felt sorry for the participants walking, riding in the rain.

We walked alongside the parade to get to Vingio Park for the concert Songs for Lithuania of a Thousand Dawns. The rain eased in time for the concert. After speeches by the various heads of countries the songs began.

Again the number number of participants was huge. Each section of the concert was performed by different groups of participants. Conductors changed for every song. There were parts of the concert that were brilliiant and other parts that dragged. Several soloist performed with the combined choirs, some in spectacular outfits.

Overall everyone left on a high. After the official concert finished the songs just kept flowing. Even the people as they walked out were singing. On the way out we went past a sculture built specifically to commemorate the 1,000 years of nationhood – the Unity Tree - that had been unveiled that day. It was spectacular and included names of those who made a significant contribution to the nation in that 1,000 years.

We made our way back to our apartment on a high. We hope that maybe the next time the song festival is held that some of our grandchildren might be able to have this experience.

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