Like my day trip to Warsaw, I had another trip requiring a Saturday night stay, and this time I found another cheap ticket and relatively cheap destination to visit. This time Vilnius, Lithuania. Another wintry day, but again I tried to make the most of my short visit.
As I was planning my time, I realized I would be arriving on a national holiday in Lithuania. In fact, it was the 100th anniversary of Lithuania gaining independence after the first world war. I arrived late in the evening, and despite snowy cold weather, people seemed to be having a good time. After arriving, I just went to have a beer and some snacks in a neat old subterranean restaurant down the street from my hotel before going to bed. Most of my time on Saturday morning would be walking around as a tourist.
Vilnius on National day in Lithuania
On Saturday morning, I think many of the locals were sleeping in after a day of celebration. I nearly had the town to myself as I walked around. The Radisson Vilnius Astorija is located in the old town, and a good location for a walking tour. The Old Town is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for There was a little snow on the ground, but didn’t cause too much difficulty in getting around. As the day wore on the snow started to accumulate again. I went back inside, for a quick lunch, and then headed back to the airport. It was a short trip, made shorter by less than ideal flight times, but again I was glad to have the time I did.
Strangely, it seems I took a lot of photos of churches. I guess these stood out more than some of the countless other buildings I encountered.
Besides the old city, I also happened across the Museum of Genocide Victims, housed in a building that has served as the home to the Gestapo and later the KGB. I didn’t have time to visit inside, but was moved by the monument outside:
More unique architecture at the Vilnius Airport
The airport was perfectly modern on the inside, but even the newer areas seem dated on the exterior. The current arrival terminal is from the Soviet-era terminal and the newer terminal used for departures.
Another short stop in Eastern Europe, and another new country to my total. I enjoyed my trip to Vilnius, the people I encountered were friendly, I only wish it was a little warmer when I was there. I really enjoy visiting historic areas like I did here. Maybe because even the oldest buildings in the US are quite new compared to these historic areas in Europe.