Kevin and Kaunas
Kevin and Kaunas
We started our talk by asking our dear guest to introduce himself and the story of how he founded himself in Kaunas in a first place.
Hi, I’m Kevin! I’m originally from Ireland, but now living in London, working in the retail sector. But my background in aviation is how I first found myself in Kaunas way back in 2009.
My first stay in the city was completely by accident. My job took me to cities all over Europe, but never for longer than 25 minutes. Until the Lithuanian snow put a stop to that and I ended up staying in Kaunas for a night!
What was your first impression about Kaunas?
My first stay in Kaunas may have been unexpected, but first impressions are important! Seeing a city for the first time with its streets blanketed in snow and illuminated by glistening decorations was one not easily forgotten.
The most striking thing about Kaunas for me was the seemingly never ending street in the center of town. I had no prior knowledge of Laisvės Alėja and its history, so the line of trees, snow topped benches and cost coffee shops were instantly inviting. I knew after that first impression that I’d be back to explore it properly!
What could you say about the people of Kaunas?
The people of Kaunas are incredibly accommodating. I was initially cautious and somewhat nervous about approaching people due to my lack of skills in speaking Lithuanian, but it didn’t take long for my nerves to be put at ease as everyone I encountered was friendly and helpful.
What are your favorite places in Kaunas?
Without a doubt Laisvės Alėja. It’s where I tend to base myself when visiting Kaunas. Location, atmosphere and appealing architecture make it the perfect place to spend a few hours, hopping between coffee shops, book stores and fashion retailers all while admiring the sights of the city passing by.
My favourite walk in the city is down Laisvės Alėja to the Old Town and Kaunas Castle. The Old Town is smaller than some of the more high profile cities in Europe, but its size and location is what makes it appealing to me. Also, the regular events in the town square mean I’ve often stumbled into an exciting concert, art show or exhibition.
Could you name the most unique feature of Kaunas?
The combination of unique architecture and street art! Every corner of Kaunas seems to be decorated with an expression of individual talent that together makes the city feel young, vibrant and bursting with talent, while the architecture tells a story of history and development.
What was the most memorable story from your visit to Kaunas?
On my second visit I was dragged to a basketball match. I’d already became little familiar with the interest in basketball throughout Lithuania (the ‘Lietuva’ basketball sign along the river bank was a big hint), but you have to actually be at a match to really get a sense of how incredible the passion for this sport is!
Getting taught the lyrics to ‘Tautiška giesmė’ by a bunch of strangers was a highlight. I think I’ve mastered it well enough to almost sound like a real Lithuanian!