The Urban Ideas Bakery runs under the Creative Cities group which brings together young urban innovators from diverse backgrounds to share and exchange ideas on arts and social projects, creative industries, public spaces, etc. to make cities a better place to live, play and work.
Creative Cities is an international project designed and managed by the British Council. It shares experiences across Europe on ways in which creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation can help to improve people's lives.

The first ever Urban Ideas Bakery took place in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Adventure Seeking in Kaunas: the first night!

A big family from the get-go: with my very outstanding fellow Budapesters, a very charismatic hotel owner, and a very colourful crowd which makes up the UIB team in Kaunas.

We went seeking adventure in dark Kaunas and found some, even in what seemed like a very deserted city. As we separated from each other, we formed some enclaves, ours consisted of Michail, Darius, Maria and myself; a great mix of city lovers and adventure seekers.

Not long after our walk began, we came across some lit candles placed under a cross in-front of a church, and had a very willing old lady tell us that the candles were lit for the very many unknown remains found under the church. We thanked her in our best Lithuanian and with this very morbid beginning, we and continued our journey. On we walked in the cold night, stopping sporadically to take some pictures of empty caf├ęs, public monuments and graffiti.

But the best and most memorable, which we four share with this lovely city is still to come. Open to all possible communication with the locals, we were confronted by a fur clad collar, a brown cord boys cap, and brown leather inlaid jeans, in the image of woman, who went by the name of Magic Vejune.  She claimed to be a traveling singer, doing a show in the local restaurant we were facing, she asked where we were from, and with ease and comfort she changed between English, Lithuanian and Italian (not that any of us spoke it, but she was inspires by Michail's garbs). 

She took an eager interest in us talking to us and dancing, she even invited us for dinner "for free" in her own words. We asked her about her singing and Kaunas, as she revealed that she has traveled a lot but that she was born in Kaunas and will always come back. As she continued to pervade us to join her for dinner in the restaurant - which seemed to have more people than any other place we came across till than - we tried talking to her about Kaunas, she could only say "It's sad". But by this time we had to go and she would be leaving for Vilnius in a few hours, the farewell was quick, but memorable, as one might receive from an old friend, as she kissed Darius and I on the cheeks, and Michail, a special kiss on the nose. There was no awkwardness by any of us as she blew us a final kiss and entered the restaurant.

I will always remember this first night in Kaunas when I met a stranger and made three friends!


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