OK, it’s 1pm here in Kiev, it’s hot and I’ve taken refuge in a dark internet cafe. It’s dark, the heavy metal is too loud and it is filled with young kids and (rather strangely) a 40 year old woman all playing war games. Perfect.
I now have the mammoth task of writing up everything I’ve done since leaving my beloved Siauliai. Sit comfortably, stock up on suitable stimulants and start here ->
Siauliai to Vilnius.
Never loose your cash card in Siauliai. More specifically, never loose your cash card in Siauliai if you don’t know the PIN code for your credit card. That is unless you fancy one hour of blank faces, angry bank clerks, rejection, frustration and general chaos which is exactly what I had to sit through to get out of this town. A visa card and a passport just doesn’t do it for these guys – not without a fight. However, put up a fight, stage a sit-in in the bank and repeat yourself many times over and you will be rewarded with a fist full of Lithuanian notes! (the secret: they have a small manual card swiper hidden under the desk)
So, after a fantastic (read shit) morning I was on my way back to civilization and a sofa bed on a floor in Vilnius. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania is situated in the south of the country near the border with Belarus. The city (like the other Baltic capital) is great. Much more open and greener than Talinn or Riga it’s full of stunning buildings, beautiful women, has a castle and plenty of bars and restraunts to add numerous inches to your waistline and dents in your wallet.
Managing to complete the trio I stayed in the ‘Old Town Hostel’ (as I did in Talinn and Riga) and the place was great. The front room doubled as a bedroom but it’s a small detail that didn’t really detract from the place – especially as I was in a proper room avec two friendly Finnish girls. In fact, I’ve now become a pro at spotting Finnish girls and guessed where they were from the moment they sat up to greet me. I don’t know what it is but they are just so Finnish – Small and very smiley. Also staying in the hostel were two good English lads, a 40 something guy called Pete who’s on tour to find a wife and fall over lots of times and two Auzzie guys. I actually met one of the Auzzie’s in Tallinn which was funny – he had photo’s of our night out 4 weeks earlier!
So, between us we all had a good few days in Vilnius, did some exploring and worked up numerous new blisters on the dodgy-cobblestone roads. Unfortunately I forgot to exchange emails with anyone so, unless I’m very lucky I probably won’t see these guys again but still – they made for a good stay in Vilnius.
Whilst on the subject of Vilnius someone called ‘anonymous’ has asked about the face with the red dot. Unfortunately I don’t have a story behind this – it was sprayed onto a wall in the city. I was just curious as to why they wanted a shrine to Dave Seaman?
In a tragic blow to my planned night on the town I discovered late on Wednesday that my bus to Grodno leaves once daily at 5.40 am! The conversation went somthing like this…
Can I book a ticket?
Yes, do you have Visa?
Yes I have my Credit card
Yes – it’s a VISA
No, you have Visa?
…ahhh my Visa! – Yes I have Visa
See that girl (he points to a girl next to him)
Can I book a ticket?
I had to pay the bus driver if there were any seats left. An expensive gamble at that time in the morning but thankfully one that paid off. 5.40 am and I was off to see border men with impossibly large hats and even larger moustaches.
Oop’s – I’ve just run out of time! …Check back soon if you want to hear about Belarus! Right now I’m off to explore Kiev. Oh – but guess what I had for dinner last night? Yeah – got it. Chicken Kiev – it just had to be done 😉