We have reached the first capital of the Baltics and our first impressions are favourable. The sun is out, we are parked a gnats ass away from the Old Town and we are ready for a beer.
A pretty uneventful journey through the countryside of Lithuania on decent roads to be fair. The only small problem being we hit Vilnius at rush hour and it took us a good hour to get through the city. Never mind, with a cost of parking at €6 per day that was soon forgotten and we headed through the adjacent park to join fellow tourists and workers for a couple of sherberts. The place we settled in had some interesting items on the menu.
Reading our guide book we found out that Vilnius has the best Mexican this side of the Atlantic and that was what we aimed for to have dinner. Well this was not even the Mexican this side of my left foot never mind the Atlantic. Lonely Planet; not to be trusted, yet again. Disappointed we went to bed. And at 5 in the morning we were woke by a bloke cutting the grass of the neighbouring castle mound. Here is the guilty culprit.
Undeterred we were up first thing for a troll around the town, described as Europe’s largest Baroque Old Town. It may well be but still only takes an hour to walk every street.
We started our tour with a once-up the castle. This is very reminiscent of Glastonbury Tor without the associated music festival. Commanding views can be gained from the top with unusually the best views are to be had over the modern glass towers.
Hill of the Three Crosses
The Old Town
Vilnius is also supposed to support the ‘breakaway state’ of Uzupis. An area of artists, vagabonds, dreamers and squatters and we went to check it out. Well readers don’t you bother as it is the process of being turned into the most expensive Real Estate in Vilnius.
Not much left of Uzupis
Our visit was concluded by doing the normal route through the Old Town starting at The Gate of Dawn and ending at the Cathedral. A Cathedral which we believe is really a Masonic Temple and all the strangeness that implies. So to sum up. It is twee, it is pretty but it is soulless with endless jewellery and designer shops. So Vilnius, probably all right for a weekend, once. Oh and it is not that cheap. We will leave you with our pictures.
Pilies and mound
Gate of Dawn
Cathedral and Bell Tower