After a morning workout of runs and TRX and a yummy omelette (with a side of peas...random), we embarked on the bus journey to Vilnuis.
After an hour and a half trip of tossing and turning sleep, we arrived to the Lithuanian capital. Through the Gate of Dawn, we found a fire fighting competition outside the town hall.
My competitive side really wanted a try at the body carrying, hose firing race. Instead we watched and later got a shot on fire engine :)
Continuing on the sightseeing route, we came across the European Space Expo. Lithuanian are having their first satellite into space which was exhibited along with lots of other cool interactive learning screens. The place was filled with school children so we were glad when we finally got an activity station to ourselves and learnt about pollution etc.
The castle was next on our list and we decided to take the cable car up to the sky. The most amazing views of the city along with sounds of the busy life below. Over 40 churches and Vilnuis was quite apparent from the castle view.
We could no longer take the hunger anymore so we ate at a traditional restaurant with outside seating on the busy Pilies Street. The waitresses were quite blunt and the food wasn't as good as the food in Kaunas. We tried the traditional buckwheat pancakes along with dumplings and it didn't quite agree with my taste buds. l
In the mission to see the rest of the sites, we got caught in rain storm and ran into the closest place. The 'white elephant' was a vegetarian quirky place with a lot of cool characters. We enjoyed a coffee until the rain went off and headed to Snekutis for our dinner and litre beer.
The place is owned by a fifty something moustache'd man who we were happy to see he was working there so we could get a picture of him. This pub was small with a lot of charm. Thinking we were close to the bus station, we enjoyed some fried dumpling and beetroot soup. Yum.
The time came when we had to leave for our bus to Latvia just as another downpour started. Since the bus station wasn't as easy to find as it looked on the map we were scurrying around to find it. On arrival, like a drowned rat and with only five minutes to spare, we ran around the station looking for our bus and then an English speaking worker. Neither were to be seen. We went to the information desk who advised us that we had missed the bus and we were supposed to get it from city centre. Oops. So plan b? What do we do now? Squelching feet and very few Lithuanian Lats? we then were informed there was a bus at 1030 which is the time we were supposed to arrive in Latvia and meet Mimi. Well with it being our only option, we decided to stay close to station to make sure we made it. The next three hours were spent in MacDonalds using their wifi and having the smallest coffee each. The basketball was on too so it wasn't that bad. We went to the bus stop with plenty of time and our puppy dog eyes didn't work with the driver to let us use our other ticket so we were luckily able to use card to buy new tickets.
4 hours later we arrived in Riga, Latvia and luckily Mimi was tucked up safely in bed. The A1 hotel was nice but we obviously didn't spend a lot of time there but the sleep did feel great.
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.