Published: July 10th 2012July 10th 2012
How does this make you feel?? What do you think is the light from His hands?!
As I haven't written what's occuring for 2 days I will do 2 seperate ones. The other will focus on the Jewish history of Vilnius and will provide interesting reading (I hope).
So I began my first proper day in Vilnius exploring the 13 courtyards of the University. As an expert map reader I actually struggled following the map so I just explored at will! It's really nice actually but aint got shit on Liverpools red brick?!!?!? It even has a belfry which I went up then had to literally climb to the very top. I normally don't get scared but I was! I think because my feet are starting to surrender to all the walking I was struggling to put my feet on the tiny steps! The view was amazing seeing all the spires and houses and hills.
Next I had a crepe at a very nice cafe before going to the Holocaust museum (see next blog). I also saw a memorial to Frank Zappa (even though he's never been to Vilnius, thats Lithuanians for you...). There are so many churches that I have been in they all kind of roll into one...each one is unique though, for
example the Holy Spirit Church had a wonderful gold and white interior and the Orthodox church has 3 14th century martyrs preserved in a glass box - their feet pop out from under the sheet! I spent a lot of time in one of the churches which wasn't in my guide book so I don't know the name but it was so splendid (a quick google search reveals it is the Shrine of Devine Mercy) - there was a picture of Jesus that was just so captivating (see image).
The quest for a cheap brew has begged some form of rule setting to be implemented. I went to a very special cafe offering over 100 types of tea. I was in tea heaven. I opted for my favourite Earl Gray and had a tea pot giving me 3 cups for £1.76 totaling 58p per cup. BUT it came with a biscuit AND a little glass milk thing (which I now own....) with WARM MILK. So eff it Lithuania is the winner!!! *Fanfair*
I had tea in a Lithuanian food chain called Cili Kaimas, I had been wanting to try herring for an age so went for that (it
was divine!) then had cepelinai, or zeppelins (named not just after their shape but the fact the fried potato dough stuffed with meat is a calorie bomb!). This plus a coke came to about £5. Why would you want to live in England?!?!!?
I then went to a bar a friend at the hostel had recommended - it did flavoured beer so I tried the banana and coconut ones whilst talking to some proper random Lithuanians (actually one was from Birmingham but had been living there here for 15 years!).
So today a very odd thing happened.... I went into a church this morning ...and a begger crossed himself when he saw me. He did this also when I left. And said something in Lithuanian. I just smiled then hid round a corner to watch if he did it with anyone else...and he didn't?! I don't understand!? It's actually getting quite annoying the staring malarky but I find a nice warm smile at them usually makes me stop becoming annoyed!
Today I got on the train to Paneriai (see next blog) and as it was 'on the way' I also went to Trakai. Here there is a very picturesque castle in a pretty lakeside location. It was nice to be out of the cities actually. The lakes were really still and beautiful and the red brick castle was good to walk around in. I tried a Karaite favourite of kibinai (like a cornish pasty) whilst watching the boats! I also bought some tourist shite from the many stalls there before enjoying a brew (a good excuse for a rest too). I had to wait an hour and a half when I got back to the station before the train! So sat again enjoying the lake!
Back in Vilnius I went to my fav cafe here and had some to die for cold summer time soup (which had an egg in it - a soup, with an egg!!). Then had some dumplings. To walk this off I went to the top of Vilnius Castle and saw the sun setting.
So all in all a very delightful few days. I kinda wish I was staying here a bit longer but I think it gives me a good excuse to come back again! My only annoyance of the day is that I have got burnt on the back of my wrists and hands?!?!