The Milky Way, Museums & Balthazar – Vilnius, Lithuania

The next day, after sleeping like a log and having a nice lie in, we had tea and and a late breakfast.

I also discovered these little beauties…

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They come in a ridiculous amount of flavours. It’s basically a little bar of sweetened/flavoured cream cheese, covered in chocolate. They are SO good. These ones are poppy seed, but another favourite of mine was cherry.

If I could have brought them home with me, I would have.

After food and a nice hot shower (marvelling at N’s artwork) we got wrapped up and headed out.

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We hopped on a bus and made our way to the TV tower. It’s the tallest structure in Lithuania and occupied by the SC Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre.

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The shrines and statue outside are dedicated to civilians that lost their lives whilst trying to oppose the soviet seizure of the tower.

 

We got in an elevator that shot to the 19th floor, to the Paukščių Takas (the Milky Way) restaurant, that rotated above the city.

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We stepped on to the rotating platform and grabbed a booth. I ordered some coffee with maple syrup before anything else.

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Then we ordered beer and a snack platter (which of course had to include my new favourite thing ever, fried bread and cheese) and we chatted and watched out the window as we slowly rotated above the city and Dz pointed out various sites to me.

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Including Fairytale forest where he suggested we could take a walk to later if I wanted.

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“That’s sounds lovely!” I exclaimed; Dz nodded and then started to laugh.
“Well, it was, until there was that serial killer a few years ago.”
My face fell, and images of fluffy bunnies and  happy woodland creatures from Disney scenes fizzled out. Fairytale forest had suddenly became a whole lot less appealing to me.

Being used to cities like London and Brighton, I was quite surprised to see such vast patches of greenery and forest in Vilnius.

We sat and chatted and watched the slowly changing view for some time, stopping to take a cheeky selfie to send to our backpacking buddies.

The sky changed from clear and blue to darkened clouds, but the light that shone through was beautiful from our viewpoint. You could see the sunrays fall down from the clouds and over the city…

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We headed back down to grab our stuff from the lockers (no bags allowed upstairs) and I quickly perused the fetching souvenirs available.

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Then we headed back out into the city, and just as we started to walk to the bus station, fat chunks of soft snow interspersed with rain started flying into our faces.

By bus, we made our way to the KGB museum. The KGB museum of genocide victims, whilst it is a somewhat harrowing visit, is something I would definitely recommend.

I certainly learnt a lot about the country and it’s people and what they went through. Which I think is important when visiting somewhere new, to have a deeper understanding of it’s roots and events that have shaped it.

Dz could hear laughing and went to investigate, to find members of staff sitting and watching prank videos on their phones. Neither of us were particularly impressed with this and found it quite inappropriate given the context of the surroundings.

That being said, that was the only criticism I had. It wasn’t costly and I felt it was done quite well, informative and visual impacting.

After the museum we headed for some food before the gig we had decided to go to. We went to a vegetarian restaurant where we had large mugs of spicy chai tea and wonderful food.

I had an aubergine and panner tomatoes stew with pilau rice and salad, and Dz had paneer and spinach balls with the same sides.

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After food, we hopped on another bus and headed to the gig venue to get our tickets.

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“The loft.”

After purchasing these we headed down the road to see one of Dz’s friends, stopping at a beer shop en route.

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We got 3 litres of beer and snacks for just €4.50

So with these offerings, we turned up and we all sat down to chat and listen to music.
Dz’s friend grabbed some glasses for the beer, putting down two huge pints glasses and one small tumbler.
“Oh I wonder which one’s for me” I said sarcastically and rolled my eyes.
He grinned and said:
“This one obviously” and handed me a glass of beer bigger than my own head!

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Now that’s my kinda glass!

He decided to join us for the gig but we had spent so long chatting we had missed the opening acts, and got there just in time to watch Balthazar play their first song of the night.

We drank and danced. I can honestly say, dancing in snowboots is not an experience I would like to relive again in a hurry…I was absolutely roasting!

We had a fantastic time watching Balthazar play. I absolutely loved their quirky music style, catchy songs and unconventional lyrics. Some of my favourites from their set list were “Fifteen Floors” , “Sinking Ship” and “Blood Like Wine”.

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After the gig ended it was great to see the musicians mingling with the crowd, taking photos with people but also just having a drink and a chat.

We danced some more (first time I have ever heard Die Antwoord play in a club) before heading back to Dz’s friend’s apartment for a few more drinks.

By this time it was at least midnight, and as we walked down the road, he got out his mobile and called his friend.
“Hey, do you wanna come play Fußball? Yeah come on, ok see you in a bit.” was the entire conversation.

It was a Wednesday night and I found it absolutely brilliant that they love Fußball so much that it’s not a weird question to ask your friend at midnight in the middle of the week!

(Fußball is a pretty big in Lithuania and you get a table at a lot of bars and pubs the same as you would a pool table in England).

So, we stayed up until 3am, listening to music, drinking vodka and apple juice, and everyone trying to teach me how to play Fußball.

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Which can’t have really been the most amazing experience for them, because my hand eye coordination is bloody awful and I am a pretty sore loser!

We eventually got back at about 4am, I crawled into bed and was out like a light!

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Freelance writer who loves reading, cooking & travelling. Rarely spotted without red lipstick. Penchant for whiskey on the rocks.

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