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Published: September 30th 2017
Breakfast before heading out for the day.
Geo: 54.6896, 25.2799
Not much was planned for today - but we did need to kill time until our night bus. Today wasn't my day - I spilled juice all over my journal at breakfast, and then I ripped the curtain in the room. For a brief moment, I knew what it felt like to be Mary ...
We took our backpacks to the train station to store them for the day. On the way out of the old town, a nice old guy told us "You're going the wrong way - Vilnius is that way!". It was pretty funny.
Mary left me in the dust! I couldn't keep up with her on the uphill stretch - my calves were on fire and were beginning to cramp. I was pretty impressed! I can't believe she maintained that pace all the way, especially with her huge backpack. I was sweating like a pig and almost had a heart attack - I wanted to stop a few times, but Mary probably would have left me to die.
We found out that our joke had backfired - word had gotten to some of Mary's other friends and the news spread like wildfire.
The Gates of Dawn.
We were beginning to wonder if it was all a mistake, but decided that there was nothing that could be done at this point. It would be best to tell everyone in person when we returned rather than send out another mass email.
We hopped a bus to Trakai castle. Lunch was at Kybynlar - traditional Lithuanian food from the Karaim religious sect. We hoped that it would be as good as Ferdinanda's in Klaipeda, but nope! Mary-ism #20: Mary told me that she liked it "hard". I joked, "You mean, that's how you like your guys?" I then said "Well, I like my women like I like my desserts." Mary replied "You mean creamy?" Uh ... no ... I was going to say "sweet", but obviously Mary had something else in mind ...
After lunch we made our approach to the castle - surrounded by a lake, it was a little like the wooden church in the centre of Lake Bled in Slovenia (see Euro 2006 blog entitled "We really must stop meeting like this ..."😉 It also had the tranquil feel of Montreux and the Swiss Riviera (see Euro 2006 blog entitled "I'd like to
Lunch. Cider. Yeah baby!
be beaten with hazelnut sticks"😉
Aside from the stunning location, this re-built edifice was no more than just another castle! We wandered around a bit, but my idea of excitement doesn't involve looking at a collection of old plates. Unless those old plates have food on them.
Walking back to the bus station, we stopped in the TI to pick up some souvenirs. We ran into the Aussie dude from the Liepaja hostel (Justin or John?) We almost didn't recognize him because the last time we saw him, he was clothed only in an insufficient towel that Mary described as being "too small, too flimsy, and in need of repair"
Having time to kill before the bus, we found a nice spot on the lake and chatted while eating chocolate. Some of our best times on this trip were like this (at least, they were for me).
And finally ... we heard someone say "Ah-choo!". Spelled aciu, this is the Lithuanian word for thank you. But never having heard it ... we weren't sure if it was a joke or not!
Back to Vilnius. We had dinner at a "traditional" yet touristy restaurant. No cider for me tonight
- I'm feeling sick and stuck to a mixed-fruit juice. A decent meal that was much better than the recent crap we've been eating in Lithuania.
We killed some more time by stopping at Double Coffee for a waffle and some really good peppermint tea. But we did manage to find a nice dessert for Mary - a pretty-boy local. Well-dressed and groomed, clean cut, and appearing to be a bit of an intellectual, he was probably the best-looking guy that Mary had seen in the Baltics.
Checking out the guys has been quite the scary experience for Mary here. But luckily, checking out the women here has been quite a bit more enjoyable for me! But for all that this guy had to offer, Mary could only comment about how much better Fernando was "from the waist down".
Yesterday we saw that they were setting up an exhibit in the old town dedicated to International Lymphoma Day. They were planning on releasing sky lanterns into the atmosphere - originally we only came because we had nothing else to do. But it turned out to be a very memorable way to end our time in the Baltic
Lunch: The goulash was terrible - oily, bland, and it quite obviously employed leftover chunks of roast beef to get rid of it.
We hoped that the dumplings in broth would be like the Siberian dumplings we had in Parnu, but they were not the same ... sigh ...
states. It left us with a great impression of the Baltics, despite some mediocre times here.
We decide to kill the rest of the time before the night bus at the station. Mary went off to use the bathroom and was taking quite a bit of time. I was getting worried. Mary Moment #48: She emerged with one of her pant legs soaked. Turns out that the bathroom was quite dark, and she splashed in something while using the squat toilet. Nasty! She wasn't sure what it was, so she took some time to wash her pant leg.
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