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Published: August 5th 2003
Went to Ignalina, part of a beautiful national park about 100km from Vilnius. Missed the early train we had intended to catch so caught one at 11am. The park is truely beautiful, wild forests, fantastic lakes numerous walks and places to hire bikes, boats etc. Sara and I spent most of the day eating blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries that grow wild. So many blueberries - I've never seen anything like it. We ate blueberries until our teeth and toungues were blue. Walked around lakes and forests and had a wonderful day, headed back to the train station in time for the 20:30 train back to Vilnius.
We discovered that the 20:30 train was actually at 19:30 (our mistake). So we decided to hitch back to Vilnius, no luck hitching after an hour and it was starting to get dark. It was also getting colder - so we headed over to the Youth Hostel to find somewhere to sleep. The youth hostel is shut during the summer. There was nowhere to stay, no hotels, hostels, buses, trains or taxis, hitching hadn't worked and we only wearing shorts and T-shirts. Plus a huge thuderstorm was coming. We went to
The little bushes in amoungst the trees.
the train station, it was warm and dry. Went for a short walk, and back to the station to discover that it would be shut until 3:30am, our train - the first to Vilnius was at 4:30am. So we sheltered in the doorway whilst the storm passed. Getting colder and colder... I had nothing useful - no numbers for Taxi's, warm clothes, not even a pocket knife - what kind of a boy am I? - damn I would have paid a ridiculous amount of money for Lithuania just to get to a hotel or back to Vilnius. We decided to walk to the next town and see if there was any hotels, only 6km. We passed a little shop that opens between 10pm and 7am, bought Vodka and chocolate, walked. The walk that we made in the daytime wasn't so pleasant shivering and cold and so dark that the path couldn't be seen. We decided to go back to the shop and squat there until 4.30 - there was another storm coming. We could explain to the shop keeper that we just wanted to shelter until 3:30 out of the way in a corner - she couldn't understand why
we didn't wait at the train station - grrr. She seemed nice and smiled so we stayed anyway. I don't know if it's possible to get hypothermia when the temperature can be no lower than 10' but being that cold was really unpleasant. We made it through till 3:30 went to the station - waited 30 cold mins for it to open and caught the train. Shivered all the way back to the dorm. 7:30am made it to bed. 9:30am sweating under several blankets - kept them on for the novelty of it 😊
Said goodbye to Sara - well actually see you in a week 😉 She left on a bus to Hungary a 30 hour trip... yikes. Met Judit randomly in the city - had Pizza and Beer. Caught the overnight sleeper to Warsaw Poland a new country with more adventures.
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