We were delighted to be staying there. Unlike the huge cities of Xian and Shanghai with their rows and rows of concrete high rises, this city seemed to have remained a moderate sized town that was considered a good place to go for a vacation and we could see why that was so. A river ran through it with rushing water that pummeled over the rocks and flowed under the bridge that separated the city from the entrance to the mountains on the other side.
The bridge itself was charming, despite the fact that it was only 10 years old, but it had been designed to look ancient. Our hotel was right on the river, just a little way from the bridge and I loved looking out at it all lit up at night.
There was a river walk, covered with trees that people strolled along with baby carriages in the morning and in couples in the evening while small dogs weave playfully in and out. Shops, tea houses, and restaurants lined one side and people occupied them day and evening. The walk was made up of stones and running down the middle of it was a rivulet. Every now and then you'd come to a small wooden bridge with the water burbling beneath. Only the rancid odor of cigarettes disturbs this picturesque area. This was an idyllic place and we all agreed we would have like to have remained her for several more days. Relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere.
The city itself was an interesting one. Shops with the latest Western fashions, expensive jewelry, and jeans. The streets bustle with a conglomeration of vehicles--new cars, BMW, Mazda's, busses, scooters that often had umbrellas over then and were ridden by both men and women, bicycles, and rickshaws that are propelled by pedaling rather than pulled by a driver as in ancient times.
We were a few blocks from what passed for a strip mall with a large department store as anchor. The department store which included groceries was actually a collection of small specialty shops like the one in Lithuania.