Cheap Seats: Bargain airfares to Lithuania and Norway
Next weekend — April 13-16Vilnius, Lithuania: 169.94 pounds round tripFly Lithuanian Airlines from London Gatwick to Vilnius.
Exploration of Lithuania’s capital city should start at the Gates of Dawn, built into the city wall in the 16th century. A wooden chapel was built into the gate and now houses the noteworthy painting “Mother of Mercy of the Gates of Dawn.”
From there, travel into the city’s old town, which was added to the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage list in 1991. The Vilnius municipality Web site, www.vilnius.lt, estimates that there are 1,500 buildings within the medieval layout representing Gothic, Renaissance, baroque and classical architecture. Visit Pilies Street to browse the many shops offering gifts and souvenirs.
Walk to the renovated Vilnius Cathedral, housing more than 40 artworks from the 16th through 19th centuries and a goblet-shaped 18th-century pulpit. Located in the cathedral’s catacombs is a museum revealing the building’s history and pagan past. According to the city Web site, a 14th-century fresco, the oldest known in Lithuania, was found in one of the underground chapels during the restoration of the cathedral.
Visit the Gediminas Castle Museum for more history on Vilnius and its surrounding areas. Exhibits include archaeological finds, historical documents and armor. Don’t forget to bring your camera, since the castle’s tower features a magnificent panoramic view of the city.
If the weather is pleasant, visit Europos Park, an open-air museum with more than 100 sculptures from various artists of the world.
Next month — May 11-13Trondheim, Norway: 139.34 pounds round tripFly Norwegian Air from London Stansted to Trondheim.
Start your exploration of Trondheim about 10 miles outside the city at the Ringve Estate, home to the Ringve National Museum. The museum, located in the manor house, has collections of music and musical instruments from around the world. According to the museum’s Web site, www.ringve.com, there are guided tours and musical demonstrations available during the summer. Surrounding the museum is the Ringve Botanical Gardens, complete with historical herb gardens and an English landscape-styled park. The onsite cafe, Tordenskiold, offers hot waffles right off the iron.
Journey back into the city and stop at the National Museum of Decorative Arts and browse the collections of furniture, silver, textiles and more.
Another museum worth visiting is the Trondelag Folk Museum, comprised of mini-museums with both open-air and indoor exhibits. The open-air museum shows how the people of Trondheim have lived over the centuries. Children and adults alike may enjoy trying to make a phone call using the hands-on exhibits at the Norwegian Telecom Museum, one of the mini-museums.
The Maritime Museum includes exhibits of models, figureheads, maritime instruments and more. Of special interest are objects recovered from the Pearl, a frigate that sank in 1781.
Airfare prices include estimated taxes and are courtesy of the Web site www.skyscanner.net. Prices were verified as of Monday afternoon when Stripes UK went to press. Deals are not guaranteed to be available; restrictions may apply.