Day 15: Rest Day in Vilnius

I slept reasonably well; I woke up at 5am but managed to doze off again and woke about 7am. Walli and I had agreed not to meet for breakfast until 9am so I read and mucked around until then.

After breakfast I gave my bike a really good clean and got all the grease out of the chain, degreased it and put more lubrication on it. I was lucky enough to catch Gergo outside by the bikes putting together David’s bike (Australian joining us here until Barcelona) so he had a look at my bike and gave it a bit of an overhaul – it had gotten a bit clunky and stiff.

I told Walli that I would met her at 12:30 as I decided that I actually needed a rest day, not a rushing round taking in all the sights day. So we met at 12:30 and we did another bus tour for an hour and half around the main sights. It was a good bus as it had open windows which were good for taking pictures from. It made a couple of stops; one was the St Peter and St Paul’s church – another beautiful church.

St Peter and St Paul’s Church (photo from Wikipedia)

We went past the Museum of Genocide Victims which is in the middle of Vilinus, and is the former KGB palace. We did not go in – you can go in and see cells, solitary confinement and the execution chamber, but I chose not to. It was sobering enough looking at the bricks of remembrance outside – a stone for each freedom fighter that was killed. Some of the ones I saw inside were just young men in their early twenties. There were 200,000 thousand Lithuanians sent off to Siberia between 1944 and 1953. Before Hitler, Lithuania was known as the Jerusalem of the East and 28% of the population was Jewish. The Jews were all forced into a ghetto and then finally killed.

We saw the Peace Park Memorial complex and the Presidential Palace. Outside there was a group of people protesting but as I can’t read the local language I do not know what they were protesting about.

Presidential Palace (photo from Wikipedia)

We also saw the Vilnius Town Hall and the Vilnius University – one of the oldest in Europe – and the Gate of Dawn, the only remaining gate in the defence walls built in 1600. There is an image of the blessed Virgin Mary Mother of Mercy on the eight oak pieces that make up the gate and there is a chapel above the gate. This gate is believed to have magical healing powers.

Gate of Dawn (photo from MyWorldTravelGuides)

Plus we also saw many other beautiful buildings such as the International Church of Vilnius, National Museum and the Applied Arts Museum.

National Museum (photo from Wikipedia)

We then had a snack as it was 3pm and we had a beer – a Svyturys, unfiltered with lemon, as we had not had lunch, to hold us until tea time. Then we headed back to the hotel to regroup for tea at 6pm with Shirley, Daphne and Walli. We set off to find a restaurant that some of our group had been to called The Kitchen which they had thought was pretty good. We found it but it is closed on a Sunday. Most of the shops here are also closed on Sundays. So Shirley then said how about the Lithuanian restaurant so we headed off to look for it. We found the street but she could not find the restaurant. I asked at another restaurant and they directed us, it was about 50 meters up the road. We also collected John on the way down the street.

The restaurant was called Dvaras Lietuviski Patiekalai. It was a nice meal, I had potato pancakes and herring and fish pudding which is fish pie, plus I shared a bottle of dry red with John. The waitress was wearing tartan which is part of their national dress, so not just the Scotts! I am now very full and quite sleepy and need go pack for tomorrow.

Categories: Cycling trip | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Day 15: Rest Day in Vilnius

  1. Caroline

    It is great to hear all your news….your blog brightens my day….so glad all going well and the piccies are really interesting. Had the performance meeting today……was fine but look at what you are doing…..heaven.

  2. Miranda

    We’re loving your blog – really enjoying reading it, although we don’t look at it every day, we catch up every couple of days. Facinating, and thanks for keeping it up!

  3. Dave

    Kaye, Chris and I rush to the computer every night after dinner and log into the blog. It is so interesting! Glad you got the snap lock bag situation sorted and the ongoing drama with dogs is also a hoot. Last night we even tracked the map to spot where you had been and where you are going. We are so jealous….but our clothes are more dry than yours. You don’t have the rain just to yourselves….London has only just stopped raining yesterday in time for Olympics. Here it is clearly winter and sadly I have had my usual man cough / flu etc although the nurse is looking after me very well except I am worried she may take my temperature. Other than that, all good here.
    Dying to see some of your pix when you get a chance.
    Stay safe and keep up with the newsy blogs…they are excellent.

  4. Karen

    Hv jst caught up with yr blog as I actually had a day off and didn’t get 2 read them!!! The weather here is crap! Very windy, very wet and very cold! Winter I guess. Geez the dogs sound a bit mangy, best 2 gv them a wide berth I think. There must b a real temptation on rest days 2 rush around like a mad thing to c all the touristy attractions and I guess sumtimes u hv no option cos u won’t b there again. Awesum architecture. Must b pretty overwhelming. Don’t worry bout the days that u feel a bit tired and not up 2 it, all part of the adventure, u knw u won;’t get left behind.

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