A Travellerspoint blog


Day 15

Vilnius to Bialystok

overcast 4 °C
View Anniversary expedition on nanny0gg's travel map.

Another day of prolonged travel, but at least we had the extra hour of sleep to enjoy thanks to daylight saving time! Aware that it was to be a late arrival in Bialystok, we ventured out to the local market after breakfast at the hotel so we could by bread and meat for an ad hoc tea at tonight’s hotel. It was a brilliant market with lots of produce on display, but without a car to carry vast quantities of food, it was a bit wasted on us this time. Then we had another little wander into the Old Town where I managed to find just a little bit more amber to buy. According to my research, Vilnius is the best place to buy as it’s so close to the Russian source, it’s cheaper for them to buy the real stuff than to buy fake plastic amber… I haven’t got much anyway, and if it’s fake it would still be a good souvenir! We managed 6 miles of walking yesterday, but barely 2 today as we didn’t have much time left in the town.
Then back to lovely Vilnius station and off on the train to Kaunas. Didn’t see anything of Kaunas but it was interesting to see all the tiny stations we stopped at ( some with hardly any platform)...and we stopped at a lot! We were in the upstairs bit of the lovely Lithuanian train for that bit...sadly, the shorter element of the journey( 1.5 hours)...so it was nice, comfy seats and a clean loo. At Kaunas, we boarded the Polish train for a LONG trip to Bialystok ( nearly 5 boring hours as it’s too dark to see anything) with very hard seats and what started as a clean loo, but didn’t last long. But apparently it’s better than being on a bus. If they didn’t stop for 10 minutes or so at a lot of the stations, it would take less time. But it’s cheap and will reduce the journey to Warsaw tomorrow and it’s getting my day’s blog done early as I’m unable to do much else ( for another hour and a half at least).

Posted by nanny0gg 15:21 Archived in Lithuania Comments (0)

Day 14

Latvia to Lithuania

overcast 5 °C

It was always going to be tricky as some of us do not do early mornings, but in spite of me setting my alarm wrong and having to speed up to be done before Keith drags himself into the bathroom complaining about the hour,we made it up, breakfasted and to Daugavpils station by 0820 yesterday in time for the morning train to Vilnius. For obscure railway reasons, trains only come into and out of Vilnius station from a distance at weekends, so that was why we had to visit Daugavpils...in order to get a train on a Saturday. It’s all Byelorussia’s fault...it’s in the way between Latvia and Estonia and you need a visa to cross it. It’s possible to get in and out of Vilnius by bus at any time, but trains are Keith’s preferred option ( and I didn’t in times past cope well with long bus journeys so he’s avoided them). So that’s why we were on a slow train to Vilnius early in the morning. Vilnius station is lovely...not quite as beautiful as Helsinki, but not bad at all,
Vilnius Staion

Vilnius Staion

However, it was such a different ‘feel’ to the train from yesterday...on this train, people talked, laughed, smiled - the atmosphere felt lighter, less threatening ( Keith still reckons I’m mad to think this).
Gates of Dawn

Gates of Dawn

Arrived in Vilnius in light drizzle and after a few false starts, found our lovely hotel just near the Gates of Dawn. Exploring is easy, it’s a lovely place to walk and not too crowded. Still not as charming as Tallinn but that’s mainly that the buildings are later and Baroque so much grander but not as pretty. I felt compelled to investigate as many Amber shops as possible before making a decision...so that was fun!
Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square

Eating out was great too...very dumpling-y so substantial and tasty fare! We’re not far from the town market at the hotel, so before embarking on a marathon train journey to Bialystok ( change to a Polish train at Kaunas), we’ll visit it to find something to eat tonight as we won’t be in until gone 9pm!

Posted by nanny0gg 01:25 Archived in Lithuania Comments (0)

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