It was supposed to be a two-days step between Estonia and France and turned to be a long week in Lithuania. Once the surprise accepted I used this bonus time to visit a little more deeply this lovely city I used to live. From two days this voyage reached a week and even included a day trip to Siauliai!
More photos on my Flickr!
Starting my vacation where I finished it the last time
Holidays started at the Swedbank terrace where the view on the city is good and many seats invite tourists and locals to chill. From there I went to the cathedral. The weather was perfect and the building looking great. I entered the cathedral and visited the little chapel inside it.
Three Crosses Hill is the second hill in the old town along with the Gediminas hill or castle hill, they are only separated by the small Vilnius river that can be crossed by walk. From this hill we have a good view on the castle and the nearest area of the old town.
Coming back from the hill I met with Ona and we visited the church of Saint Ona/Anne and the lookout at Saint John church which is the tower in the courtyard of the University of Vilnus.It was the first time I climb its stairs and saw the city from its centre, and the view was original, possibility to see the old town, the university and the financial district of the town. In the tower is a small museum in which is also a pendulum and a Sonety wrote by Adam Mickiewicz.
When she left me for University I returned on the river bank of the river and walk between the skyscrapers and old market. I finished this day by walking back to Konstitucijos boulevard to get a trolley to Pasilaiciu.
Ryanair cancels my flight and extends my holidays
I have been notified that my flight was no longer going and that my only option was to stay six more days in Vilnius. It was totally unexpected and I couldn’t really afford hostel for so long, but I can counted on Ona who generously offered to host me for those extra nights in Lithuania. It changed my plans a lot because at the same time I supposed to be in France my Korean friend was visiting Paris for couple of days and I wanted to be her guide.
Pilies street and its churches
I was for the first time going in the Gate of Dawn small chapel and observed the golden icon of the Virgin Mary, it is beautiful and shiny! From this golden shell I walked down the street to the interior of the Greek Ukrainian church which is decrepit.
Classical or Socialist realism
I finished this day walking from the church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul to the Soviet gymnasium along the Neris river, the architectural contrast is huge! From a very detailed white interior of the church to the big and Social realist concrete building.
Vilnius hasn’t got the same chance as Tallinn and Riga of being on the coast but it is definitely not a problem when it has so many green area and a large river flowing through it. At the Green Bridge I took my bus to join Siauliai and have a dinner with my host.
The natural beauty of Vilnius
Staying with my friend we went to visit the Belmontas nature park and Rokantiškės Castle site during one afternoon. The park looks incredible and wild. In the valley are countless trees and it felt not like being near the capital but more like exploring the deep countryside of Lithuania. We walked on a path that lead us from small wooden houses to an old battery factory, and to the lower river up to the great panorama view on the hill! Not far from the nature park we visited the site where a castle used to be, Rokantiškės Castle was destroyed during the Russo-Polish war and today only left foundation on the hill on which trees have growth.
Continuing our tour in Naujoji Vilnia we stopped at a Deportation Memorial. A fallen cross, a steam train with its two wagons are the last relics of a terrific period during which about 300.000 Lithuanian have been to Siberia…
Next day I took a bus to a are a I usually don’t go. For the first time I saw the small chapel of Saint Jack and its statue on a column in a courtyard in a residential area. Continuing on the main street led me the orthodox church of Saint Michael and Constantin famous for its bright green bulbs and along the large Central Trade Building, is on the hill that gives panoramic view on the financial district of Vilnius.
Old town pilgrimage
My time in Lithuania arrived after my visit of Šiiaulai. I had one day left in Vilnius and chose to chill in the old town and climb the Gediminas hill a last time. As usual in summer time people were sitting and admiring the nice view offered on the city while I was already looking forward to be in France and especially in Paris…