I went to Vilnius. It is, of course, a gorgeous city. Most capitals in this part of the world are gorgeous.
Sometimes, while walking around cities like this, I realize that the architecture no longer excites me in the same way it did when I first started traveling in this part of the world. I don't know where that awe went?
Then, sometimes, I turn the corner and find something like this:
And I remember why I love traveling.
There are some weird parts that set Vilnius apart from other cities. Užupis is one of those parts. Unfortunately, I picked November 1st to go exploring and most of the shops were closed due to a holiday.
Couples engrave their initials on the locks and lock them onto the bridge.
In 1997, the area declared itself independent. Their constitution is pretty great.
My favorite part is "Everyone has the right to love and take care of the cat." and "A cat is not obliged to love its owner, but must help in time of need."
The area has a lot of art in random places. I approve of this.
Vilnius also has a lot of graffiti. I kind of dig the juxtaposition of the graffiti and the old architecture. Since I don't speak Lithuanian, if any of the following tags are offensive, my apologies.
I love the mermaid in this shot. This was along the river at the border of Užupis.
My hotel, Downtown Market, was pretty good. The shower was a bit dodgy, but the price and location were right and it wasn't a hostel. They provided a pretty good breakfast each morning in my room.
I'll leave you with my favorite shot. The tree is is covered with knitted sleeves. It does get chilly in Vilnius, so I'm glad the tree will be warm.
Next week is Kyiv. I'm stoked! And I'm very glad that I'll get the election results surrounded by Americans.
This post is brought to you by Missy Higgins' song "Hidden Ones."
She's holding a torch in her hand
Pointing towards Heaven
And on the streets below her, people living out of trashcans
Are trying to believe she's got a plan
We dug a hole under the sea
But nobody knows how to stop the bleed
There's 999 channels on my TV
And I still have no idea what to believe
There is a choice
Follow the leader
Or use your voice
Cause this will just keep up
Until we make a loud noise
And the hidden ones speak up
Over the water to the east
Two million in a square refuse to sleep
Till every pleading voice is heard
And all the world has seen
Revolution pull king down to his knees
Because they made a choice
Not to follow their leader
But to use one voice
Showed ordinary people
Can make a really loud noise
When the hidden ones speak up