Trakai! (Lithuania)

We did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING all day yesterday…and I don’t mean like the day we went to see Aerosmith and very little else…I’m talking about a whole day doing nothing

It was awesome. It make John wiggly and he eventually had to go for a walk, but it was an absolute luxury to me. John feels guilty about wasting a whole day when we are in a pretty interesting place we will probably never revisit…however, taking almost two days to lounge around doesn’t seem like a waste at all. If we were in Nashville, we would have wasted a whole weekend being slugs…but we are on a 91 day long weekend (with 42 days left to go) and it felt good to lie around in bed and watch Never Mind the Buzzcocks on youtube. There was some crocheting, some dancing, some steak-making, some GoT-ing…and that’s about it.

Today we finally managed to shake the lethargy and headed out of Vilnius on a day trip to Trakai! There are several words that I am unable to say without the addition of an ! at the end. For example, salsa! Trakai! is now added to the list.

Trakai! is 28km west of Vilnius, about 35 minutes by bus, so we definitely eased ourself back into action by picking this pretty, easy to reach, lake-side town for our day out. The bus to Trakai! was roasty hot, with no air movement. We thought we were hot as we plodded the 0.6 miles through the humidity to get to the bus station. We had no idea what hot was. We sat down, fiddled around with the air vents for a while, watched everyone else fiddle around with the air vents for a while and then, I watched everyone make the internal decision that our discomfort would end as soon as the bus driver got on the road. He would crank the air…you know, like they do on planes. With some good-natured grumbles, we all sat back patiently and waited for the torture to stop and our journey to begin.

We were soooo not right.. Did you know that there are approximately 3 trillion pores on the human body? For the next 35 minutes, we collectively sweated out of each and every pore…when you consider there were 25 other people on the bus, that’s a lot of pores working at maximum capacity. We smelled pretty great. Everyone took turns fiddling with their air vents about every 3 minutes or so, just in case something had changed on the air-conditioning front. I enjoyed the sense of community I felt with the 25 other people on the bus. We were all stuck in a greenhouse on wheels, with no escape, staring daggers into the back of the bus drivers head. He was sitting up front (as is their custom) next to his open window glugging down water, hair blowing in the breeze. Amazingly, none of the air that was blowing his impressive haircut around moved more than 2 inches into the main cabin before dissipating. We spent the next 20 damp minutes looking woefully at the trees along the side of the road, their branches blowing in the breeze. I used to think that I was the best at sleeping in any condition…I once fell asleep at a Nascar race…but John somehow managed to snooze on the oven-bus for 15 minutes. I had to document this achievement, as I have taken a picture every time he has fallen asleep on various transports throughout the trip. I am saving them all up for a special post…maybe a photomosaic.

We finally reached Trakai!, unglued our asses from the seats, peeled our arms off the armrests and stepped into a refreshing breeze. Trakai! is a lake-town, most of which sits on a 2km peninsular surrounded by Lake Luka and Lake Totoriškiu. The main attraction, after the breeze and the icecream, was the Island Castle.

20140523-200631.jpgThe original dates from around 1400 and has since been painstakingly restored…and, I’m sorry to say, ends up looking like a theme park replica. I mean, it’s very castle-ly, A+ for absolute castle-ness…some might say it was castle-riffic! It was all these things, but it didn’t really have the soul of some of the other castles we’ve been to recently. However, we hadn’t endured our bus journey just to turn right around and go home, so we gave Island Castle a good college try. For 36lt (approx $20 and by far the most expensive attraction in Lithuania) we climbed some wooden staircases, looked at some swords and got sucked into a French tour group. Amusingly, one of the Frenchmen tried to sit on the wooden thrones in the grand hall…which was not okay with the guard on duty. She only had one job to do…and, by god, today she did it well. The highlight of the castle visit was the brief lunch we had in the shade, watching the boats go by.

20140523-201445.jpgWe were moved to become mariners (to marinate?) and our wish was granted by one of the many pedalo proprietors that crowded the lake shore. For the bargain price of 20lts, we bought an hour of exercise disguised as leisure on the lake. Nothing says salty sea-dog than a dolphin-shaped pedalo boat.



20140523-202141.jpgOur asses and thighs may be complaining tomorrow, but our time on the lake was definitely the best part of the day. We day dreamed about lake-monsters and how much we would negotiate for the picture when we sold it to the media. We imagined how much Lincoln would enjoy splooshing about and how much Penny would hate it. We balanced floating around on the current with brief spurts of sheer power-pedaloing, just to remind all the layabouts on the other boats exactly who the boss was around these parts.

We were eventually Trakaied! out. Fortunately, the bus back to Vilnius had blessedly cool air pumping through the vents. In honor of Hayden Honeycutt, tonight is spaghetti night! This means John will be cooking up some Lithuanian mystery sausages and we will be chowing down on some noodles and tomato sauce pretty soon. Tomorrow is our last full day in Vilnius and we plan to catch a couple of remaining sights, including the ever popular Museum of Genocide. One review on Tripadvisor warned us not to do the Genocide Museum and the Holocaust Museum on the same day, advice we plan to heed.

Ahoy, land-lubbers!


Categories: Europe, Lithuania

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