Cold days and hot nights in Vilnius

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It have been already almost three months since the last time I was walking in the nice streets on Vilnius. A decade for me. My group of friends planed another trip to a Baltic capital after Riga, and I was again part of it.

More photos on my Flickr!

Being a guide tour in the first day

Arriving and morning tour alone

I came to Vilnius with a different company than my friends, the reason was that I didn’t wanted to spend one more hour for an already too long journey. Departure from Tallinn at 22h40 while they left at 21h30. We arrived almost at the same time in Lithuania and I find them in the hostel right after they got the keys. They wanted to take a cheap hostel 5min walk from the station to not have to take transport or whatever. It would have been true if one of them had check the location before arriving… they took taxis to reach hostel. « it’s not rocket sciences » but a little…

Teapots in wall at Pilies street corner

Teapots in wall at Pilies street corner

Just arrived and they went to sleep. It was almost 8am and they decided to have a long morning nape until 10am. I was not in that mood and go to the center instead: I don’t travel to sleep. Our hostel was located at few steps from the Gate of Dawn, first element I check in the Old Town when going to the Cathedral square.

That Saturday morning all the street were desert, I just met one guy who told wish me a nice day! I really appreciate that time, air was fresh and light beautiful, Pilies street never looked so nice to me! I had my morning coffee break in McDonalds – actually I wanted WiFi – but it didn’t work… I had revelation that my phone was not working here also! But I brought with me my Lithuanian SIMcard which still had credit :) That was a wise idea because my local friend called me on it when she understood that the Estonian number was off. We arranged a meeting in city before lunch.

I had a long walk by the river, watching ducks fighting with ice blocks. One man ask me in Russian to take a photo of him with its tablet, I was not able to see anything on the screen because of the sun, it seemed he liked the photo.

Vilnius skyscrapers

Vilnius skyscrapers

When I came back to the hostel two things happen, my travel-mates were still deeply sleeping, and Ona was already on the way to us. I let them sleeping informing where and when we will meet and went back to the Cathedral.

My friend meet my Erasmus friends

It has been three without seeing each other and I was really happy to see her again. While the group was on the way to Cathedral Ona and I went to a café where we drank something to warm us, but when the others were here they also wanted to drink something!

We made for them a small tour to the Presidential Palace and University,  to the Cathedral and to the Gediminas tower on the hill. The view was perfect and sun still over us.

Vilnius castle tower

Vilnius castle tower

After lunch in CanCan we showed them the original Uzupis quarter where my second favorite angel is (first is in Tallinn face to the sea) and the constitution. We almost got lost because of me, I am not too familiar with that area. Near Uzupis is the most beautiful church of the city, Saint Anne (or Saint Ona).

We continued walking for short, when we saw a café we entire in. The night came and we started planing the evening, we had shopping for our preparty and breakfast. I left them at the shop to have dinner at my friend’s place.

Uzupis angel

Uzupis angel

Pub crawl!

Our night rocked a lot! I show them some of my favourite spot: Berlin, Pogo and Tarantino! Only three places but many drinks in each of them. I felt sad to have left my friend but I knew that I will saw her the days after. One of my classmate join us, he had book his tickets to Vilnius weeks before us and it was surprising to see him there. He stayed with us all night long and even more: when we left in the early morning he kept partying in Tarantino!

Short afternoon after Trakai

After a difficult short night in a too hot room I was the first to leave my bed to have shower and breakfast! The mission was to wait for the group to be ready and visit the castle of Trakai. Some of them were so late that we left hostel after 12am. The good point is that I watched the entire F1 race via hostel computer.

Coming back for lunch

We had a short visit of the city and we came back to Vilnius for lunch, once again in a Cilli Pica! Simple, quite fast and cheap. This short day finished with by a walk by the river, crossing the famous Green Bridge to get the other city side from where we watch the sunset. Weather seemed to me colder than in Estonia despite thermometers said no.

Vilnius at dust

Vilnius at dust

Karaoke night with new company

Two weeks ago I have organised a pub crawl in Tallinn for 80 students from VGTU, the Technical University of Vilnius. I made friend with some of them, especially three ESNers. When I told them that I was coming to Lithuania we arrange a meeting. The bus my friends took was leaving around 10pm and I was free after that to see the girls. We met in a café on Vokiečių street and had a drink. At that time I was homeless because I didn’t book any hostel yet. So the girls, my backpack and me went to a hotel behind Gate of Dawn, but not the same as before.

Once I have paid my bed, I follow them to Brodvejus baras, I didn’t know that place before but it looks cool and we attended a karaoke night. I didn’t sing, the girls neither. Despite my classmate had the same phone problem as mine, we managed to message with Facebook and he came to join us. We had a really good and long night there.

Long day with my friend

Early breakfast

I promised my old friend to see her in the morning for breakfast. I first desired to bring her some sweet from shop but I woke up a bit late and it needed 40 minutes to go to her district from the main station. I had with me only some Estonian chocolate which are not bad. The morning was long and I even stayed for lunch. I read some architecture book in her room and got interested by a building. She told me that it was actually located in the University campus in Sauletekis and she hasn’t visited it yet!

Kita, stotele, Sauletekis!

In Vilnius is a place where the two main Universities are: Sauletekis. It has also all the dormitories and Erasmus students hostels. Since last February has been opened a new library, totally white and very design. The place is as beautiful from the inside as from the outside. Everything is pure and clear, no bullshit. I love it. I told Ona that Vilnius replied to Tallinn which had for me the most perfect University library.

Vilnius University library

Vilnius University library

I particularly love the fact that there is no entrance checking and no need to pay. Everything is for free. Entrance, lockers, computers with internet… The only thing you could pay for is the cafeteria! When you think about it, it means that any citizen can spend days there to learn and get knowledge. Because they were moving materials from the old library the only thing which missing were the books! :D

Second sunset at Swedbank and dinner at Panorama

On the way back to the center we stop in Akropolis, the largest shopping center of Vilnius and then of Lithuania. That is kind of stupid but it nice to go there for shopping. I was expecting to bring some goods but didn’t find anything, maybe next time. We have continued the shopping trip to Europa mall but again nothing relevant was found. We only had a coffee and ate dessert in an Italian restaurant there until she had to leave me for few hours.

Sunset over Vilnius

Sunset over Vilnius

I used that free time to watch the sunset at the Swedbank sightsee, a very design place for chilling. But it was cold and I couldn’t stay outside longer so I took the trolley 19 and drove to Panorama shopping center in which I waited my friend for 40 minutes. When she arrived we sat in a restaurant and had a long dinner to wait my bus.

On the whole I am grandly satisfied by that weekend. I see and didn’t everything I wanted, and it came to be even better that what I could expected at my arrival! I really love this city!

Guillaume Speurt

Guillaume Speurt

French settled in Estonia, I have spent my last years in the Baltic States. I love photography and travelling in Eastern and Central Europe, I write this blog to relate my experiences.
Guillaume Speurt

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