Lithuania Travelogue


After reluctantly leaving the inspiring country of Iceland the 4th of May, we boarded a plane for one of our favorite European city’s, Amsterdam and an 8 day visit with our old friend John, owner of the Luxury Apartments on Reestraat St. I have always enjoyed my time spent with the friendly, educated and attractively fit people of this city and looked forward to our short stay. Dakota and I wandered the streets both day and night taking in the best sights and sounds, and the endless string of side-walk cafes, a must for refreshing the palette during our immensely long walks. The parks and canals were always a treat, but personally, I liked eyeing the crowds of window shoppers in the famous Red Light district as what seemed like an endless string of sparsely clad girls waved from the large windows of their rooms. While there were many fairly attractive women, most were fat, gross and extremely ugly, but even they appeared to have many foreign men lined up for a few minutes of quite expensive entertainment. 50 + Euros for 15 minutes of physical manipulation on a human assembly line with an unemotional female robot was not for this cowboy…but to each their own…

During our stay I did notice the slight increase in the price of dining, beverages and most especially lodging. John had provided us with one of his finest apartments for 8 days, but was booked with other guests afterwards, and so on our 9th morning we sought lodging elsewhere. After calling, searching the web and strolling the streets for several hours the day before we could not find a hotel providing even the barest of basics, under 100 Euros a night. Running out of options we finally settled on a poorly ran back-packers hotel near the train station. The hotel seemed to cater to wayward groups of drunks and in that regard their rooms were hastily thrown together with nothing more than a few small, stiff beds in the smallest of spaces. Not much for $90 a night. The day of our arrival they didn’t have any double rooms so we had to pay for a 4 person room with no other furniture other than 4 small beds. The bathroom was down the hall and never had any toilet paper.

It was only mid May, but the weather was unexpectedly hot and of course the room had no air-conditioning or fans. Four long hot nights of sweating was inevitable, as the room had 2 windows, but only one opened and that was to the busy street 3 floors below. Our choices were simple…either open the window for some air and endless disruption of street noise or close the window and literally suffocate. I choose to stuff my ears with tissues and left the window partially opened. On the 16th of May we were more than glad to depart for our next destination, Vilnius, Lithuania. We had never visited this Balkan country, but had heard many good things…especially in regard to its immense population of gorgeous women. Ah’ the pleasures of the single-life!

Vilnius, Lithuania

Our flight landed in the capital city of Vilnius at 1: PM on the 16th of June. Grabbing our bags we quickly strolled through the relaxed immigration and hopped a taxi for the 15 minute ride to our pre-booked accommodation The Congress Hotel. It was listed as a 4 star hotel which was located on the Neris river that flowed throughout the city. We selected it as it was within walking distance of the old city center…the beating heart of Vilnius. It was a very hot morning and after checking in we decided to take a brief nap and flopped down in the inviting double beds. The hotel’s terrible location, directly facing the busiest street in the city, was barraged from the noise of an endless stream of cars, trucks and blasting horns. It was intolerable and as in most areas of this part of the world even the best hotels don’t have air-conditioning, or fans. We again faced the same dilemma….sweat or stuff our ears with toilet paper. We chose neither and went for a 4 hour stroll around the city.

Walking around the perimeter of the city center we were not impressed, as Vilnius seemed no different from other previously Soviet controlled regions. It simply lacked any real personality. It had been designed and rebuilt after world war two by the unimaginative architects of the communist regime. It was crowded with square buildings, large treeless squares and meandering streets that changed directions constantly, making it hard to navigate. This was our first concept of Vilnius, but would change once we discovered the old city center the next day. We endured the noise, the heat and the inflated price of the Congress for the first night, but quickly booked another, more central hotel the next morning. We took a taxi to The Senatorial Hotel & we were impressed with the quite large suite with a separate bedroom, living room and nice bathroom, but again, to my disappointed, but not surprise, the rooms were not air-conditioned. Sleeping in the cold night air of Iceland had definitely spoilt us. It was also built across the street from a massive and quite stunning Catholic Cathedral, but my appreciation of the church would soon change when early the next morning we soon realized the consequences when our sleep was shattered at 6: AM. I had no idea that it was Sunday and personally didn’t care. All I knew was we paid good money to sleep…undisturbed. That was not an option as the giant bells maintained a steady chorus of clashing “bongs” for hours…exactly why I prefer the deserts and jungles…no people…no noise! My most compelling thought was “When will some global entrepreneur buy the worlds churches and convert them to strip clubs?” Hey’ a man can dream can’t he?

Two days and two hotels, but hopefully our suffrage would end as we were due to move into a truly private 2 bedroom apartment later that day. The fully equipped luxury apartment was provided by the Vilnius Apartment Rentals. This choice, as we soon discovered, would make our remaining stay in the city most enjoyable. Hotels here, as in most cities, just can’t compare to having your own apartment, and remarkably the company’s apartments were priced quite comparably. Privacy, lots of space and a full kitchen is an excellent alternate in saving money and for whipping up some of your own favorite beverages & dishes. For us it was mostly Corn Flakes and frozen Pizzas with lots of bottled juices and freshly brewed coffee & tea. We did dine out at least once a day during our long walks and the price of doing so was quite inexpensive and gave us amble opportunity to mingle and explore the city’s old town. Lithuania is in fact is one of the least expensive regions in E. Europe. A real bargain compared to Budapest or Prague. Also in it’s favor, Vilnius and the country of Lithuania are blazingly adorned with an endless supply of absolutely gorgeous and sexually attired women. Their English is limited so eye contact and personal charisma is crucial and having slightly longer hair is also beneficial, as all the local men appear to be cloned copies of each other with very short hair and overly tight clothes. Not appealing to say the least. Being casual and exhibiting a vividly carefree personality is a crucial asset in most things in life and especially in the pursuit of romance. Women do love to be entertained and simply adore a man with confidence, charisma and humor…so all you guys out there… lighten up!!!

Our time in the city center was spent enjoying the large parks, the sidewalk cafes, numerous street performers and the general hospitality of the locals. It was one of the most relaxing cities I had visited in a long time.

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Vilnius is the historic and charming capital of Lithuania.

Vilnius is the historic and charming capital of Lithuania.

Le Meridien Villon Resort

After spending 9 days directly in the old town center of Vilnius we chose to stay at a stunningly beautiful resort, Le Meridien Villon, which was graciously set between two small lakes around 20 km outside of town. The large hotel resort provided every possible amenity, tennis, spa, indoor pool, gym, basketball court, two restaurants, a pub, masseuses and an outdoor restaurant on the bigger of the two lakes. The luxury retreat is just one of many bearing the Le Meridien name throughout the world’s prime tourism locations and like the others provide the absolute finest in style and comfort. The resort easily meets and exceeds the expectations for a family retreat, a romantic getaway or a business convention. Their main restaurant serves a wide variety of excellently prepared cuisine and in the morning they serve a full gourmet breakfast in a large dining room with ample numbers of catering staff in making sure the meal is both fulfilling and an enjoyable start to the day. From the moment we entered their adorned lounge to when we walked into our stylish and quite large suite we knew we had made the right choice. After each day of leisure spent relaxing in their heated pool, an occasional full body massage, a variety of beverages and chef prepared dishes, we would stroll at sunset along the shores of the lake and savor some quiet time with a cold drink at their dock cafe. The days and nights spent at this excellent resort provided luxurious comfort and total physical rejuvenation.

We have nothing but good words to describe this resort and both Traveler’s Digest and I, personally, highly recommend this full service resort in the most beautiful and welcoming city of Vilnius, Lithuania.

La Meriden Villon Resort In Vilnius, Lithuania is selected as our Choice Hotel Resort and we welcome them to our global family of exquisite hotels.

On the 29th of June we left Lithuania and drove across the border into Latvia. We looked forward to our tour of their capital, Riga and in beginning yet another adventure on our global journeys..

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Michael Smith was the touring editor for Traveler’s Digest. His journeys took him across the world and on a series of unforgettable adventures!