Friday, February 4th 2005

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.

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