I Traveled To Vilnius During The Winter, And I’ll Show You Why It Is One Of The Most Beautiful European Capitals (30 Pics)
It's said that winter is not the best time for traveling. Low temperatures, rain or snowfalls, and more often communication problems can turn the trip into a bunch of uncomfortable moments. On the other hand, it's also a beautiful time to visit cities - especially the ones covered with snow and decorated with Christmas illuminations.
This winter I traveled to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. It was my 3rd visit in this city but the previous trips took place in the summer. This time I totally fell in love with the dark and cold side of the city covered with fresh snow and heartwarming Christmas illuminations.
Vilnius is considered to be one of the most beautiful Christmas destinations in Europe, with its beautiful Christmas trees and wonderful decorations.
Take a look at the pictures I've taken during my visit.
I have always been interested in the arts, especially paintings, poems and architecture. I wanted to be a part of this fascinating world or even more - I felt the desire to create my own world. I also travelled around Poland and neighbouring countries as a kid with my parents and grandparents. They not only showed me the beauty of the places we visited but also bought me books about some of the world's special landscapes, cities, temples, etc.
While travelling I wanted to bring something back home from the places I explored. I began sketching in a notebook and after years, finally taking pictures with an old camera. Right now, I can't imagine going anywhere without a camera in my backpack. I remember my first sunrise in the mountains. Hours of waiting for the sun to rise in freezing temperatures, without professional clothes, without any practical knowledge, and when the sun came up, I forgot about everything uncomfortable. Probably that was the moment when I realized I wanted to fulfil my life with such experiences. It has lasted until this day and I can proudly say that photographing and travelling is my full-time job now.
I'm a photographer and also a geographer. I love natural structures, and wonderful and divine landscapes - they are very picturesque! But I also love cities and architecture. I grew up in a country with borders and border controls, now it's amazing for me to have them open. My grandfather often travelled to Germany with business matters and sometimes I couldn't go with him because "the line on the border is too long and it's too hot or too cold in a car" or something. Such moments made me feel so curious about crossing any borders and while the remote countries were quite impossible to reach for a kid, I focused on Polish neighbors, especially Lithuania and Ukraine. I read a lot about them, their various cultures and history, their landscapes and cityscapes.
"Happiness Of The Ladies" Confectionery
I was really stunned when I first visited Vilnius. It was June, everything was so green, and there were so many people on the streets having fun, talking by the river banks and in parks. I loved the baroque architecture, the hills and rivers, and the views from the hilltops during sunset and dusk. Vilnius is a very special city with a wonderful vibe both in summer and winter and in other seasons. I loved its vibrant atmosphere in the summer and its secrecy in winter. Last January I came back to Vilnius once again to celebrate its 700th birthday and it was my 5th visit. I feel like it's never enough coming back there and absorbing the unique vibe while being surrounded by a fascinating history.
"Augustas & Barbora Love Story Café" On Stikliu Street
Of course, as a photographer, I face some challenges. I really don't like waking up early... and that's a daily routine during photography trips. You have to wake up and be immediately ready to think about how to build the right composition in a picture, and how to catch the light to make it look best. What's more - you also have to climb some spots, usually a higher or lower peak. Sometimes it's better to not go to sleep at all.
Photographing the cities seems a bit easier. Of course, still the best time to take pictures are the blue or golden hours but the streets look beautiful also after dark. At the same time, the moments when the sun comes up over the horizon and floods the area with warm light or when I'm walking alone through the dark city streets catching their beauty with a camera I enjoy the most. Quite difficult is photographing the streets and squares full of people and that's why I choose very early or very late hours to avoid crowds.
Gates Of Dawn
To take a good picture I usually have to visit a beautiful place. This is why I travel and explore spots - to create a picture. But for me, photography is something more than just a still image. Each of the pictures I take is a mini storage for so many emotions and vibes of a moment. During postprocessing, I'm trying to add the feelings accompanying me while pressing the shutter button. I can freeze the moment, freeze the emotions and combine them with visual natural, or architectural beauty. This is definitely something that makes photography and any other kind of art very special.
The Palace Of The Grand Dukes Of Lithuania And A View Of The Old Town
I have a lot of projects and plans to implement. I'm preparing for a winter trip to Northern Norway in the following weeks, hoping to catch the aurora lights. There are many more interesting places I'd like to visit this year. I also plan to prepare my own poetry book with pictures taken during the trips and publish it in the future. I'd love to inspire people to travel and photograph - not only to visit beautiful places and take pictures of them but also to experience them a bit deeper, touching their emotions. I believe this point of view on our natural and cultural heritage could make a lot of people more sensitive to their beauty and the importance of preserving them.