baltic capitals: vilnius, lithuania
after tallin and riga, our last baltic capital was vilnius.
this itinerary through estonia, latvia & lithuania is becoming
more and more popular as these places have grown among tourists,
and we were so happy with all of them. they are different from the
rest of europe however, so be prepared to be a bit outside your comfort
zone. i think we passed our 6 week travel mark here, so we hit a bit
of a wall with our bodies exhausted and mentally worn out from seeing
new cities each day. it was a funny place to hit a wall because things
are so unfamiliar here – not much comfort food to be found, not
many english speakers, and just a very different cultural feel — but
there is a lot of charm to be found around each corner so we picked
ourselves up, reminded ourselves how lucky we are to be living our
dream and seeing new places each day, and found the beauty of vilnius.
(after one long facetime session with my parents who made us feel better :)
there is lots of pink to be found in this city…that’s a pick me up right there!
you’ll find yourself looking UP here at the unique, detailed, (pink!) rooftops ^^
^^ and, an entire wall of tea pots definitely cheered me up.
i love it! (i would have shown it all, but there was also lots of
grafitti that didn’t say the best things so i’m showing you the cute part ;)
^^ i swear, europe has the art of the flower box DOWN.
another good idea: go to lunch at shakespeare restaurant. the
setting, food, and views are what european dreams are made of.
i think our lunch here lasted about 3 hours, well into the afternoon.
we just couldn’t pull ourselves from the cool library and setting
and out into the heat, so we adopted the european long meal trend.
how amazing is this library / dining room? we were in
heaven taking in all of the books and eating such good food.
also, this balcony terrace had one of my favorite views ^^
we had MEAT, of course! we were in lithuania after all :)
the 3-course set menu rotates daily, and my guess is you can’t go wrong.
^^ a little chocolate soufflé never hurt anybody…
when we did peel ourselves off the chairs and outside,
we were greeted by the heat – but also the appeal of the city.
these pastels! oh my! ^^
the former vilnius ghetto neighborhood was interesting to see,
and you can almost feel the eerie history in this part of the city.
i feel like that with a lot of WWII sights, and this was no exception.
i made chase try some lithuanian cuisine for dinner, which was
good, simple, different, and SO CHEAP. look at those prices! ^^i was told to try cepelinai while in lithuania, and i usually follow
any + every suggestion from locals (chase makes fun of me for it :)
so i got this interesting potato/ minced meat dish! i may not have it
again, but it was worth trying. nothing like experiencing a culture’s food.
the pink sunsets and sunrises here are some of the best. maybe
that’s why hot air ballooning is so popular (post on that coming!)
after a lot of wandering we checked into our moon garden hotel,
recommended by none other than the ny times. it is a smaller
boutique hotel and good to stay if you want a more western feel
in this area. it’s also nice as it’s between the bus station and old
town, but in a more quiet area (you won’t be right in old town).
we stayed on a unusually hot night, so that was our only source of
uncomfortableness. otherwise we had a great stay at this stylish spot!
can’t forget the most important part of a hotel :: the BREAKFAST.
they knock it out of the park here with a setup of endless options,
(this above is just toppings for oatmeal!!) and you also get to
order hot breakfast items off the menu (included). yum!
vilnius rounded out our time in the baltic capitals.
we ended our final day here on a hot air balloon ride, so
that is still on the way as well as some info on an inspiring
non-profit here that we partnered with in the baltics!