Loading Map...

Vilnius

Written on: Tuesday April 10th, 2007

A journal entry from: Easter Backpacking

Vilnius was not what I expected... very modern and westernized for Eastern Europe.  Since Lonely Planet described it as the largest Old TOwn in Eastern Europe with a "raucous" party scene (to use their words) I expected something like Prague meets Krakow.  Instead, Vilnius almost felt like Western Europe with cheap food and drink prices.  The Old Town was very spread out and under massive reconstruction.  The food was good, the drink was good, and the people we met were interesting.  Lithuanians are, thank godness, much friendlier than the Poles!

Our first night we just checked in to our hostel and SLEPT.  Our friend Carmen flew into meet us and we didn't wake up from our nap til mid afternoon when she arrived.  Once we were showered and presentable again, we ended up just wandering around the city and having dinner.  It was really quiet because it was Easter, which was a bit unfortunate, but we still managed to find a place to have a couple of drinks before heading "home."

The next day we just wandered the city after a late breakfast.  Easter Sunday made things a bit of a ghost town unfortnately, even moreso than on Saturday.  We wandered through the Bohemian sector of Vilnius which is quite interesting... they declared themselves their own state and have a mock government... hah.  We were trying to find a castle, which when we did find it, was quite disappointing.  Just some old ruins and a not so decent view of the city.  After that time to check out churches because there are millions in Vilnius.  Saw some pretty amazing baroque churches and drank lots of coffee, took silly photos.  That night went for some Lithuanian food and then for some drinks.  One of the girls who was travelling with us decided she couldn't handle it, cracked the shits, and booked a flight home (thank god).

We made friends with some others in our hostel and went on a day trip to a castle with them the next day.  It was snowing and cold, but a beautiful trip.  The castle was on an island called Trakai and is hundreds of years old - I think dating back to the 12th or 13th century.  It has since been turned into a museum.  That evening we went to a bar/club which was an interesting experience.  Met this group of Aussies who were extremely weird.. one of them invited Casey to join Al Qaida as his bitch (yeah okay).  Met an American who thinks that George Bush is the best thing to have happened to the USA and then likened it to Star Wars and Luke Skywalker beating Darth Vader with light sabres.  Hmmm...

When we got back to our hostel (3 or 4am) we managed to somehow break the lock on our door and become locked into our room.  Casey and Carmen dismanteled the doorknob, but couldn't get it open still.  I rang reception and the girl sounded like she thought I was a COMPLETE idiot and came up and told us to use the key.  Number one: the lock is on the outside.  Number two: the lock is BROKEN!!!  So she had to ring for help, and basically some guy came and kicked the door down!!!!  We had booked a bus to come to Riga at 7.30am but ended up sleeping through it because we were still drunk when my alarm went off at 6am, and went to McDonalds for a nice, greasy hangover breakfast... and managed to run into ALL the weirdos from the previous night!!!  Aargh!  AND they ALL are now in Riga with us, IN OUR HOSTEL (but thank goodness not in our room - I actually requested them not to be... hah).

 

From avril on Apr 10th, 2007

hey jen! sounds like you're having a good and interesting time. can't wait to see the photos! Happy Easter! i went camping on the island with bryan and alan for Easter. check it out on footstops! xoxo