Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vilnius the First Few Nights

My last few days since coming to Vilnius have been nothing but spectacular. Lithuania is a hidden gem hidden away on the eastern side of Europe. Coming here I did not really know what to expect at first. My first thoughts were that it would be a run down old Soviet territory that was still recovering and trying to rebuild. Or I pictured it looking like a vast forestland with gingerbread looking homes speckled throughout, the type of pictures you would find in old European fairy tale books. Lithuania however is a gorgeous country from what I have seen so far. Here is is a recap of my first day since I couldn't use my laptop due to forgetting a wall adapter.

I arrived from Copenhagen on the 28th around four in the afternoon. I immediately looked to switch to some Litas that way I could pay for a ride to my hostel. After a little negotiating with the taxi drivers I eventually got a ride for 50 Litas, which was still a rip off from what I've come to find out. The ride happened only to be around 10-15 minutes from the airport. Eventually I arrived at my hostel Paupio Nomai which looks like an old apartment complex tucked away on the side of the street. The classes don't start till July 2nd so I was arriving a little early before the rest of the students. I checked in and found out I would be the only one for a couple days. I walked up to my hostel room which consists of nine single beds all tightly packed together in a bright white room. Being the first student I was fortunate enough to have the first picking of beds. I chose the corner bed which had the most space of all from the other beds. After dropping all my belongings off I decided to go and do a little adventuring. Our hostel is located on the southeastern side of Vilnius which happens to be walking distance to a lot of the main attractions and bustly centers of the city. My first destination was the Old Town which is considered the best Old Town center in all of Europe. It did not fail to meet expectations. Walking up and past the hill  where all the local teenagers like to hang out and get sloppy I reached the first visual signs of the Old Town. Cobblestone roads lead you up narrow alleys with authentically decorated entrances at the very top. The architecture around the town is beautiful consisting of various European styles from different regions and periods. The area is also filled with very extravegent and beautifully designed churches around every corner. I eventually made my way through the curvy paths to the town center where it was bustling with events. Outdoor bars, people shopping, fancy restaurants, and vendors on the street sides made it a very spectacular scene. Fancy name brands fashion labels, well known hotels, and delicious looking restaurants were everywhere. I began walking around just to get a better feeling of the area and to see how big it really was. After a good couple hours of just absorbing the spectacular sights and environment that I was in I decided I should probably get something accomplished. I personally did not know where to start , but I knew that my stomach was growling at me so I knew where to begin. My stomach eventually lead me to an underground supermarket where I stocked up on a good amount of grocery. Lithuania I have since found out is great at cooking all kinds of baked goods to munch on. I made sure to buy a fair share of what all looked tempting and made my way back to my hostel where I passed out for the night.

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