After leaving Tallinn, we decided to stop for a few days in Vilinius, Lithuania, mainly to avoid taking a 24-hour bus ride from Tallinn to Krakow. The bus ride was about 9 hours and it wasn’t as enjoyable us our previous ride, but it was acceptable. Most people go from Tallinn to Riga, spend a couple of nights in Riga, and then head to Vilnius, but we only have 90 days in the Shengen Zone so we didn’t want to spend too much time in the Baltic cities. Sorry, Baltic peeps.
Vilnius definitely isn’t as touristy as Tallinn and maybe that’s why it’s still so cheap and even reminded us of Russia in some ways. I enjoyed the food in Vilnius and loved the fact that our dinners cost about $12 USD for both of us, which was really great since we stayed at a hotel and didn’t have access to a kitchen.
On our first day roaming the city, we stumbled upon mass at a small church in the middle of town. I don’t care at all for organized religion, but I love seeing what these churches spend their money on, and it’s especially interesting to see the architectural difference as we moved from Russia into Europe. This particular church was nothing special from the outside, but a placard in front described the interior as “lavishly Rococo” and I just had to see that for myself. It was FABULOUS! I mean, if a church could be gay, this church would be Liberace.
I think one of my favorite things about traveling, and especially for this trip, is being able to see what I’ve read in books come to life. I learned about Rococo style in Art History and I’ve seen pictures in books, but to see the product of a Rococo artist from the 18th century in everyday use at a small church in Lithuania is pretty cool.
Other than the church and the cheap food, I wasn’t all that impressed with Vilnius. It looks like a city that’s still trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. But, it was a good place to get some rest and relaxation since it was quite cheap and our wi-fi connection was good enough to allow us to watch a few episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm while chillaxing on our comfy hotel beds. Larry David is a genius.