Saturday, April 13, 2019

One day in Vilnius

I got an email from the hotel where I usually stay in Vilnius, offering me a room for “up to 40% off.” Clicking through, the deal indeed looked good and I booked a room for one night. It's an easy trip from Minsk to this city I like very much.

I took the early train, and got to the hotel around 10:30. They told me that I’d ordered a “freedom” room, and they didn't have one ready for me yet. Knowing I’d ordered the cheapest possible room, I tried to get an upgrade by offering to take whatever else might already be prepared. They cheerfully declined, but I had anticipated this and asked to be admitted to the fitness center in the meanwhile. This suited us all. I like working out there because it's on a high floor with great views. Even before I finished my workout, the front desk manager came up to tell me my room was ready and I could let myself in whenever I wanted.

Guys, they put me in a corner room in the fancy section at the top of the building. I had four windows, all with spectacular views; a bathrobe; slippers; all that stuff. I don't know how it happened, but it was great.

I wandered off from the hotel looking for lunch, and noticed an Indian place, Sues Indian Raja. This turned out to be a great choice, as my Google review describes. Both my waitress and the restaurant manager took excellent care of me, stopped to chat, and generally made me glad I came. They finished by recommending that I visit the modern art museum, so I headed that way after lunch.

But, along the way I attended to another of my goals for this trip by stopping at Theo Bromine Chocolates. I didn't really need any more sweets after finishing my lunch with ice cream, but I wanted to affirm that I still liked this place so I tried four different chocolates. They were good, but not as thrilling as I remembered. Planning to bring chocolates back to Minsk, I decided to check out some other options before buying more.

I enjoyed the museum, especially a film told from the point of view of Water. Water considered himself not of the earth, but of the cosmos, and commented on his ability to take on any shape. Somehow it all seemed very deep at the time, but I don't remember this sweet character in any great detail because I fell asleep in the beanbag chair from which I attempted to watch.

Upon leaving the museum, I continued my effort to buy some good chocolate.  Setting out with Google maps and no plan, I wandered far and ate a lot of chocolate. Finally, my head spinning, I found my way into Aj Sokoladas. Heroically, I are three more candies and decided this was my place. I'd be back in the morning.

Dinner was uneventful. I ate beaver stew and went back to my room to read and, finally, get to bed early.

Today I went out for a long aimless walk in old town. I thought maybe I'd find a supermarket with something exotic, but that didn't happen. But the sun warmed the streets and I enjoyed a great walk. I didn't have to hurry because the folks at the hotel allowed me a late check-out, and I finally left at two, returning for lunch at the Indian restaurant. This time I liked my meal even better, choosing to order two of my waitress’s favorite dishes. I'll get the prawns again.

As I write this, I am returning home with a lot of chocolate, some Lithuanian yogurt, and a full belly. I had a great outing.

In closing, here are three photos from my wanderings in old town this morning.

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