Articles tagged with "lithuania"

Back to Riga

Back to Riga

On my journey to Vilnius, the skies had been grey, and when we stopped at a small roadside cafe just inside Lithuania, snow was falling. On the way back, the skies were blue, and the endless expanse of snow shone brightly under the wintry sun. We stopped at the same cafe, and this time I had Lithuanian currency and so I could eat, which was nice. As I walked back to the bus I slipped on some ice and skated along for a metre or two, arms flailing, but luckily I held it together and survived without falling and only feeling slightly ridiculous.


Suburb tour

Suburb tour

I wanted to go up the TV Tower in Vilnius. It looked like the views from it would be awesome, so I followed the instructions in my guidebook and got trolleybus number 7 from by the station. The windows of the aging machine were scratched and opaque, so it was a bit difficult to keep an eye on where we were as we rumbled out into the suburbs, but I kept on seeing the TV tower getting closer. After a while we seemed to be almost there, and then the tower disappeared behind a hill. I thought the next stop must be where I needed to get off, but we drove on for what seemed like ages, and when I caught sight of the tower again and it was miles away.

I got off, finding myself in Justiniškės. It was getting dark, and I was in a forest of Soviet-era tower blocks. There was no direct line from here to the tower, so all I could do was cross the road and get the number 7 trolleybus back into town. Later I found that my guidebook was wrong, and I needed bus number 7 as opposed to trolleybus number 7.

Having missed out on the tower, I decided to head back to Gediminas Hill. After a beautiful day, the skies were clear and the temperature was plummeting. Orion shone overhead, and the Old Town looked impressive as it lit up. I took a few photos, then headed back to the hostel, to sit by a warm fire all evening.


Vilnius

Vilnius

I spent a day in Riga, visiting the Museum of the Occupation, which charted the horrors of life under the Nazis and then the USSR. Then I got a bus to Vilnius, which was a six hour journey through snowy countryside.

Vilnius was incredibly picturesque but also incredibly cold. It reached -17°C while I was there, cold enough that when breathing in, I could feel the inside of my nose freezing up. The hostel I stayed in had a roaring fire which made it difficult to leave, but I managed to get out and explore.

I headed up Gediminas Hill which overlooked the old town and was crowned by a tower built almost 700 years ago. On my first evening here, the sunset was spectacular, and I am sure I took some good photos, but sadly I sent them to Boots to develop, and they were never seen again.

I also went in search of the famous Frank Zappa statue. I had heard it was four metres high, so I thought it would be fairly obvious, but I managed to walk past it a couple of times before finding it. It was in a residential suburb, and consisted just of Franks’s head on top of a four-metre high pole. He overlooked a block of flats, like some kind of Central Scrutinizer. I thought it was a very cool statue.