Friday, 8 April 2016

Little Lithuania

Journey from Riga to Lithuania was pleasant on the Lux Express bus if not uneventful. Luxury bus with a good large reclining seat and list of movies to choose from the display in front of your seats. If one was not too observant you could almost believe you were in an aeroplane.

Town Hall of Vilnus

I reach Vilnius easy enough but a long walk with backpack to the hostel which was in the centre of old town. Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn if I would rate them I would say off all the old town, Vilnius is the most modernized version of them for they had tear apart the old walls, built so much new building due to the destruction during the wars that they had no choice anyway. Tallinn the most preserved as they always surrender and Vilnius the most modern for the war was fought there.
Cobbled Streets of Vilnus
Summer was finally here which wat I felt when I reached Lithuania. Denmark. Sweden, Finland, Estonia and even Riga was somewhat cold and borderline annoying but when I reached Lithuania it was sunny and warm and one could only smile.
Somehow with all the stories I remember from back in Chile of Dr. Smiles talking about going to the Russian Market and buying an AK 47 I had not manage to even go there even once. They had Russian Market in all the Baltic capital cities, all with almost similar description saying that you could find odd things there from the soviet era, like a guy or even a kidney. Each time from Tallinn to Riga I said I could do it in Vilnius but laziness got a good grip on my heart.
The White Cathedral & Tower
Apart from the walking tour which seems to be a routine, I did went up the round tower, last remaining tower of the castle ruins and got a good view of old and new Vilnius.
View of New Town Vilnus from the Round Tower
View of Old Town Vilnus from the Round Tower

Entry to UZUPIO Republic
The walking tour did bring us to a new country UZOPIO REPLUBLIC….. a country that was form on Aprils Fools day …. Like it sounds it was a country that exist as it borderlines jokes and carefully chosen words. We have 18 resident …. Anyone can enter …. We are protected by a guardian angel hence we don’t need an army. Laughter is the visa to enter the country …. And it gets more and cleverer as one reads the fine prints. Sounds like Lithuania adopted Smurf Village but with a Gnome devilish mind J

Guardian Angel of UZOPIA .... a backpacker

The Constitution of UZOPIA

My attempt to escape the casino near the bus station on the last day ( I had a whole day for it was a night bus to Warsaw ) was unsuccessful. I started by going to the bus station to exchange polish money the zloty and went straight to the opposite direction of where the casino was … towards the river North. It was the direction of the New Town of Vilnius, and for two hours it was a beautiful and lovely walk in the warm weather. I reach the river, crossed the green bridge marvelling at the up close beauty of the river and went over to the new town.

Construction Workers that Re-built Lithuania after the War Monument
Across the River to New Town Vilnus
The Pink Cathedral of Vilnus
New Town and I even attempted to look for a cinema so I could burn time and keep myself occupied till it was time to leave Lithuania. On the way back …. Early for I could not find the cinema, about 3pm at the new town attempting to cross the white bridge which was even further from the green bridge and the old town that I stumble upon the big casino in Vilnius. The bus station one apparently was the small version and the one I stumble upon is the large version of the same company.

In I went off course and was rewarded with playing chips. 10 euro for 30 euro worth of playing chips. I quickly realized luck was not in my favour that day but I still played on …. Slowly burning time away and also slowly burning money away. It was a good thing I was loaded from the Royal Flush in Tallinn. Soon it was time to go and no matter what I did and tried I was nearly 250 down. Last 25 chip and I placed it on a dozen column in roulette and won. Play it again three more times and I manage to snag back part of my losses now making it a nett loss of 100 euro. I know when it was time to leave and left with just enough time to head back, pick up my backpack and dove into the bus station in time to catch the bus to Warsaw.

I have a feeling that from the Baltics onwards all eastern Europe will be filled with casino …. This is when I wish I had a travel buddy … someone to distract me and keep me focus on the sightseeing instead of the gambling. One could only hope .

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