Feb 22, 2005
Feb 11, 2006
As far as sightseeing goes, it's been more of the same, the usual wandering the streets admiring the old buildings and churches. I went up to the viewing platform of St Peter's cathedral in Riga and was almost blown away (literally) by the wind. I visited another occupation museum again depicting the horrors of the Soviet and Nazi occupations of the last sixty odd years. It's just impossible to imagine what it would have been like living under those conditions, apparently in Riga, if you laid flowers at the base of the freedom monument you got a free trip to Siberia! Sightseeing here in Vilnius has been a little more difficult though as it has been noticeably colder here than when I was in Latvia and Estonia, I had the thermals out yesterday for the first time so far but I'll think they'll be getting more work in the coming days as the weather report is predicting snow and a maximum of 0 degrees for the next 5 days in Prague.
Anyway, that's pretty much me up to date again though I'll add one last thing. I've had another dose of small world syndrome, yesterday when I was just lying on my bed reading a guy walks into my dorm and says "I think I know you" and sure enough it was Steve, an aussie guy I met on a bus in Turkey 6 months ago!
Well, I'm steadily working my way through the stops on the last leg of my European journey with a couple of hours before I have to jump on yet another marathon bus trip, this time from Vilnius all the way to Prague, altogether about a 20/21 hour journey. Winter is certainly starting to sink in here as well which is kind of cool because as I think I mentioned in my last entry I am a bit masochistic when it comes to weather and for some reason love it when it's absolutely freezing. I was a bit excited when I got up yesterday and looked out the window to see what would qualify as snow but it was very light and ended being closer to rain but it was a good start. Anyway, enough about the weather. Since I last wrote I've spent a fun 3 nights in Riga and a couple of good days in Lithuania mainly experiencing the social scene. In Riga, especially at Frank's Hostel it is a little bit hard to avoid hitting the town as each night they had a night out planned at a few different local spots so I tagged along and ended up having a great time. The thing that I've enjoyed most here about going I have to say is the locals. I don't know if I've just been lucky or what but they seem a lot more open and friendly here than elsewhere I've been in Europe. Each night I've gone out I've ended up meeting and hanging out with locals more than the other backpackers which has been a cool change as most of the time when you're travelling through all this exotic countries, you just end up hanging out with Aussies and Brits. There was one major downside though to the Riga nightlife, on my last night there when I again got dragged out and introduced to some locals that Frank knew, I ended up having a ridiculously early morning which resulted in me sleeping through my alarm that I'd set so that I could up and watch Australia beet Uruguay in the world cup qualifiers which is up there with one of the worst things I've done all year. I'd been getting so excited about it, reading about all the build up and when I woke up and looked at my watch and realised the game was over I was devastated but the important thing is WE'RE IN!!!!!