Day 12 – Vilnius

I spent 17 hours on bed, from 4 o’clock last evening to 9 o’clock this morning. I woke up last night at 3 or something, drank one liter of orange juice that I bought in Warsaw, completed the blog post and slept again. I almost felt bad for sleeping so much, but then I told myself that it was good that I rested and now I have a full day ahead of me.

Justina and Me

I had plans to rent bike today, and explore city and go to a surprise place today. So after getting fresh, I went downstairs at reception to rent bike. I forgot to mention that this hostel also have bike rental options, how cool is that? Anyway, had chit-chat with girl at desk, her name is Justina and she was super friendly, she even offered me coffee.

They only have city bikes, so I took one and went out for exploration. I went back to places that I went yesterday and also to new places.

Since I didn’t had breakfast, so it was time for brunch. I went to the same place I went yesterday, it’s called Berneliu Uzeiga. There were plenty of empty seat, I took one and ordered Gaspadoriausśiupnys which is basically Lithuanian Stew served with potatoes. For desert I ordered lemon cheese cake.

YVoaCfRAll that food for 8 euros, of course I was generous with tips. At this point I realized I haven’t paid for bike rent and by the time I’ll be back, the reception will be closed and I’ll checkout early morning tomorrow. I came back to hostel, made the payment.

In hostel, I meet this crazy but good teenager and had chat with him. He was into raps and similar stuff and was fun guy to talk to. I also found that he was the one who was shouting Kurwa (Polish slang word) last night.

0XtNZlmNow that I had eaten and paid for bike, it was time to go see some nature. There are six lakes located in northeastern part of Vilnius. They are like 17-18 km from my hostel. Distance wasn’t much but problem was that I had a city bike with no gears. But I decided to give it a try anyway.

After 30 minutes of cycling, I was out of city and Vilnius started to show me her hidden beauty. At a certain point, I wasn’t sure if I was cycling on right track, then I saw a girl cycling, I stopped her and ask her if I was going the right way and on right track. To which she said, but she suggested it was a bit risky as I didn’t had helmet and I was on a city bike. She also warned me of path with elevation and also mentioned she was surprised to see that I chose bike in such a weather.

So I continues with the journey and after cycling more and more I reached a point which reminded me North of Pakistan. As I was moving forward, I came across a small house and I smelt the burning coal and wood, a smell that made me nostalgic about my trips to North Pakistan.

At this point it dawned on me for the first time, how far I have come from home. Not just in terms of distance but everything. How things have changed in Pakistan and they probably will never be the same as they used to be in my teenage years. I couldn’t control emotions and my eyes became wet, and then I cried as I cycled slowly. Fortunately, there was no human around to see me and Mother Nature was there to comfort me.

After this point, I entered the forest and cycling for more than a kilometer and no seeing a human or animal, I started to ask myself if I should proceed, brain told me NO, heart told me YES! So I went ahead. I reached a point where I could hear the wind combing the leaves of trees. It was a bit creepy to be honest.

I was looking for big lake and a bit lost, but at one point I saw a glimpse of lake. But I had to go down to take a close look. I locked my bike, and thought what should I do? There were following problems involved.

  • Path was steep and full of bushes
  • What if I won’t be able to climb back?
  • If shit hit the fan, there was no one around to help me!
  • I was out of time and if it got darker, my bike didn’t even had lights.

The thing is, people who have been to lakes wouldn’t find it difficult to get there but with me, I was the only person for a kilometer in forest and that made me a bit scared. Taking all the problems into account, the answer was clear. I was going down to see the lake!

So I searched for the best way to go down, first I had to cross an empty gutter created by nature for rain water to flow. It was around 125 cm deep and 100 cm wide. There was a fallen tree that was serving the purpose of a bridge. I said I am gonna use it. Right at the end, I lost balance because tree was slippery and fell into gutter. Fortunately, not even a scratch. Apparently, nature love me as much as I love her. Now that I was there, I realized that path wasn’t so steep. I walked and slipped twice but reached the end of lake.

Path was steep in forest at some places
Path was steep in forest at some places

I spent 4:26 minutes there precisely, I know that because this is the length of my all time favorite ambient song by Brian Eno, it’s called An Ending. So after listening the song, it was time to go back. I went back up, and took my bike and started journey. By that time I was really tired, but I had no choice. So I started to cycle back, I had to get off the bike from time to time if slope was too much and run with bike.

Honestly, return journey was very tough and tiring. I was exhausted and almost dehydrated. But I managed to return to city center. Found a supermarket, bought two juices and finished them both in less than 10 seconds. Then I went to hostel to fresh up. Laid down for 15 minutes and then I was ready for dinner.

I went to the same place and ordered Ćićinako kiaulenos kepsneliai which in actual is Deep fried boiled potato dough wrapped around meat and pees. For drinks I had 7up with lemonade. Here are pictures of course 🙂

After that, I wanted to take a look at the city in night as I missed the opportunity yesterday so I grabbed a coffee from McDonald’s and walked to City hall and then towards the Gediminas Tower. It felt a bit unsafe to go to top so I walked back towards hostel. Following are some of the pictures I took during walk

One thing I learned about Vilnius in my short stay, it’s a small city of people with beautiful faces and hearts and awesome food.

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