If you’re walking on the Cathedral Square in the old town of Vilnius, instead of looking up at the surrounding buildings and the baroque bell tower, try looking down. You’ll stumble upon a small square tile, carefully integrated in the granite paving.
This stone is a reminder of a 600 km long human chain across the Baltic states in 1989, called the ‘Chain of freedom’ or the ‘Baltic Way’. About two million people held hands for fifteen minutes, connecting the three Baltic capitals, Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. It was a peaceful protest against the Soviet occupation. The stone has the word ‘stebuklas’ inscribed on it, which is Lithuanian for ‘miracle’. Step on it, turn clockwise and make a wish. It just might come true… The magic definitely worked in 1989: the human chain put Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the final road towards independence.