Whilst I admittedly found Vilnius to be less fascinating than the other 2 Baltic cities I arrived from (Tallinn and Riga), it is a beautiful city in its own right. Its beauty extends to its lovely people I met…
I arrived at my hostel, aptly named ‘Come to Vilnius’, a mere 5 minutes walk from the central bus station. When accepting my cash for the night’s stay of LTL 40, the owner brushed off the LTL 0.50 which I owed. “Return me when you have the change”, she said with a huge grin on her face.
We chat. About travels. And about how she quit her day job to join a partner to run this hostel. We talked about the type of travelers she accept in the hostel. “Hopefully not the drunken group kinds.” She smiled, while toasting me more pancakes during breakfast. “Nothing wrong with wanting to having fun in Vilnius and get yourselves drunk, but many people who stay with us spend most of the day exploring the city. We would like them to have a homely and quite stay with us at night.” Homely indeed, this was a rather special hostel.
Vilnius is pretty; easily the most understated kind, and if hostel owner is any indication, its very people too. I remembered the beautiful old town, the views from the top of castle hill, and the pearl white Vilnius Cathedral which I probably spent too much time snapping pictures away. I recalled Trakai for its incredibly picturesque island castle, a small village located a short distance away, but also miles apart.
My time in Lithuania was made most special because of the people I met. Whilst handing over the keys to the owner, I reached my pockets for the LTL 0.50 specially tucked away the previous night. “I remembered!”, I smiled, before making my way out.