I can’t say I was too upset to be leaving Belarus. The Baltics are up next, beginning with the largest state, Lithuania. For a capital city, Vilnius isn’t big and bustling, but it’s got a cheery small-town charm. After Minsk, it was good to see some vibrant, decorated facades again. For some good examples, just take a look at the old part of town. There isn’t a whole lot to do, but it’s the kind of place that makes you want to sit on an outdoor patio with an ice cream (Lithuania is famous for their dairy products) and people-watch.
Old town aside, my favourite part of Vilnius isn’t technically in Vilnius at all. About 30 km west of the city is a town called Trakai. The jewel of that town? That would be Trakai Island Castle. It was built way back in 1430, but construction started way before then in the 1300’s.
On the whole, I’d say Vilnius did a pretty good job of brightening up the mood of our trip after the seriousness of Minsk. And this is just the beginning. My favourite Baltic city is still to come!