It was summer when we visited Vilnius, Lithuania. Tourists can be seen everywhere, and since it is summer, most of the people are outside lounging on a chair or having picnics. We planned for a lot of outdoor activities so the kids can take pleasure in their vacation. Aside from that we would also want to learn and explore the city’s culture and history.
We arrived late in the evening; there was nothing much to do but have a good night’s rest so we can have an enjoyable day in the morning. Tomorrow would be a great day to explore and have fun. Enjoy what the city can offer!
Here are the highlights of our day to day activities. The best thing with our trip is that we did not book any tour guides so we can have a great adventure in exploring the country.
As we are tennis fanatics, we went to the popular Sereikiškių Park donned with our tennis outfits. Unfortunately, we were not able to play as there was an ongoing local tournament. We learned that the Excellent LT Club is the organizer of this tournament for their club members. So instead of being depressed, we watched the whole game and luckily the kids enjoyed. We cheered loudly and applauded while watching the game. Though the weather is a bit humid, it was still nice to be outside. After the games had been played, we had a chance to experience how it was to play on their tennis court. Their grass tennis court is absolutely great as the grasses are healthy and has a hard-packed soil. It was absolutely tiresome, but an enjoying event to remember.
It was the start of the Christopher’s Summer Festival. There was a lot going on in the place. Christopher’s Summer Festival is the largest music festival held every summer. You can hear all types of music from classical masterpieces, jazz, original composition, piano cycles and a lot more. The hotel that we were staying was just near the festival so we just lounge on the chairs outside and was treated with wonderful music while sipping our drinks. The hotel staffs were very accommodating when we asked questions about the festival. It was a relaxing day for us after the tiring tennis game the previous day.
We went swimming and fishing in Neris River. It was not really planned; we just overheard young people the previous night talking about it. We got curious, so we decided on going for it. We first bought casual fishing rods from a nearby store which was luckily cheaper than we thought. You should not be an expert to fish in this river. Neris River is abundant with a few selections of fishes: perch, Jackfish and catfish. We were lucky to get a few catfish for lunch. We set up a little campfire so we can grill the fishes caught. Al this felt like we are just at home and camping outside our house. It was very delicious as the fishes were freshly caught compared to the frozen ones in the grocery store market.
After we had eaten our sumptuous lunch, we decided to take a dip and freshen ourselves in the river. The water was cool under the heat of the sun. The view was breathtaking from where we are swimming! Aside from people swimming, there are also people kayaking enjoyably. I think it would be best to try kayaking too, but the kids preferred to swim and play around. As the sun sets, the street lights were up, and you can see a very romantic view of the city. We lingered around for a few minutes to take in the magnificent view of Vilnius city at night.
As we had an eventful day previously, we decided to discover and explore the history and culture of the place. We visited the infamous Vilnius Cathedral. It is a nice place to stay and a chance to mingle with the locals. A lot of tourists can also be seen as this is one of the tourist attractions of the place. It is also a good place to take pictures especially the 57 meter tall belfry. The Cathedral is classic styled; it is impressively huge and bright due to its white color.
Next stop was Gediminas Castle. We took the circular route around the hill instead of the cable in going up to the castle. You should be careful in taking this route as the path is slippery. I suggest you wear comfortable rubber shoes compared to flip flops. The view while we walk was so calming and spectacular as you are able to see the Old Town and New Town from the top. The church spires and the landmarks are good subjects when taking pictures. The view is worth every cent of your entrance fee.
The last stop was the Gate of Dawn. This is popularly known for the miracle painting of Mary. When entering the gate, you will find an impressive gold painted a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This place gives you an unusual and mystic feel on it. It is worth the visit.
After the visit, these 3 historical landmarks, we got tired and went back to our hotel for the needed rest.
We booked for a hot air balloon flight over Vilnius. We wake up early around 6am and went to balloon site just near the hotel we are staying. We were so excited to start the flight as the beautiful sun has just risen. We got a bird’s eye view of the whole amazing city. It was the best sightseeing ever as it was stress free and comforting. It was beautifully peaceful. Even if it was a little windy up in the air, we rarely could feel the movement of the balloon, strangely it did not even scare me a bit. I am a little bit afraid of heights; if not for the kids I will not surely do this. It was not a bumpy ride as others would describe. We never forgot to bring with us our camera as the view was so picture perfect. It was worth posting on any social media websites and brag to our friends. This is also our greatest souvenir ever because we would never know when we can go back to this wonderful city again.
This day was spent on shopping and buying souvenirs for our friends and relatives back home. We also bought some books on their Book Sale. Their book sale is the largest book sale in the Baltics. This is the most celebrated book sale which i remember going to with thousands of books to select from, and many thousands of people which visit it making it so popular. We just lazed around the hotel lobby and prepared our baggage for our departure the next day. You could say this is the least eventful day our trip.
Airport bound; said our last goodbyes to the city that gave us lots of memories to cherish. Our travel to Vilnius was the most memorable trip ever. Aside from learning their culture and history, we were able to experience things like the locals do like fishing, swimming on their river and attending their festivals. It would be really nice to come back and explore the other placed the city has.