Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lithuania the Beautiful, Belarus the Bad...

Vilnius was an incredible city with tons to offer tourists. It was great that we had already booked a room in advance so we did not have to worry about it upon arrival. The road to Vilnius was beautiful, but very similar to several other countries that we had travelled through, rolling hills of farmland. Vilnius itself was a war torn city much farther along the way to being rebuilt than the Ukranian city of L’viv. During this trip we have been sight-seeing quite a bit more than I had imagined possible. Fortunate or not, Vilnius did not offer much in our Lonely Planet guide that we wanted to see. So our first destination upon arrival was a local restaurant the guide suggested for local cuisine. We all decided to order a skillet of various potato dishes that are unique to Lithuania. After sampling a few of the different selections, it became apparent that they were not going a selection my mouth would hold in high regard for taste. We left the restaurant still hungry and decided to find a local site and tile with a legend of granting wishes to anyone who turns around once while standing on the tile. I will not reveal the wish I made, but it was made!

From there we headed to the hotel room to get set up for the night. It was in an alley with a locked gate and we ended up in a renovated building surrounded by structurally unsound counterparts all around. It was a great find inside and we decided to play a game of monopoly to determine who would get the bed. I went out second in the game with Stanton being the eventual winner of a very coveted prize. To those who have not experienced a game of monopoly with our group of friends, I will suffice it to say that they get pretty heated and are a ton of fun. The next morning found us off to Belarus and what would become possibly the most interesting day of our trip through border crossings at both the Lithuanian and Russian Borders.

Stay tuned for more and congrats to Matt Dearing and Aubree Dearing in welcoming their new son Jackson to the world!

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