Our visit to Vilnius was lovely... it has the charm of a Prague or a Budapest, while it's still possible to see many of the former Soviet influences. The people are friendly and the old town dotted with gorgeous churches and pockets of activity. Best of all, there isn't yet a souvenir stand on every corner... visit now, before this changes!

 We almost rented a car to drive out to the coast because our guidebook described it as being so becautiful (drive approximately 3 hrs) and the sites which could be visited en route were intriguing: old castles, a remarkable Hill of Crosses site covered in handmade crosses that the lcoals kept replacing nightly despite the Soviet efforts to tear them down, and a collection of old Lenin and Stalin scupltures. But we ended up relaxing so much in Vilnius that we never got on the road. Next trip, I hope!