Vilnius in Lithuania was our last halt in the long Scandinavia and eastern Europe round trip in the winter of 2015-16. We had begun in Copenhagen around 12 days ago, with the
ambient temperature of around +5 degree Celsius. In this trip, cold is what tired us the most. We were closing to the mainland Europe one city at a time, and also closing to the coldest days of the season. On our day in Vilnius, we took out to tour the city, and guess what: -21 degree Celsius outside temperature, with wind! Allow me to not take the guarantee of the accuracy of the reported value of the temperature. It was the coldest cold we had ever come across, or at least felt like the one. No, we did not go back, we headed forth. Battling the strong and icy wind, paving our way through (like) a meter of snow. Through the main sights on the way, we reached a s*xy little micro-nation called The Republic of Užupis. Across the frozen Vilnia river, in the middle of the capital of Lithuania, is another “country”, with its own president and a serious constitution, spelled out word to word on a roadside wall. Who would not like such an excitement on a day which has been pretty gloomy till now, right? We were crazed up. Roads were slippery and littered. The nation was still to get up from new years’ party, I guess. But, we went in. Crossed the border, skipped the passport control, and headed straight to the constitution wall. I loved reading it, while Panchi was shivering of cold. “Do not defeat. Do not fight back. Do not surrender.”
We were freezing, so, we needed to go back. But no, this was our one and the only time in this place. So, we decided, let’s fight a bit more. We bagged some stuffs as souvenir from the mini market in this new country we discovered. Once we landed back in the line of sights of Vilnius, we could not hold the cold and the hunger. Hands freezing, my D90’s lens blocked out due to fog, ice stuck on eyebrows, we (kind of) gave up. While we struggled another 30 minutes to find a decent place to sit and eat, we were amazed to find Balti Drambilai. This was a nice and cozy, underground restaurant and bar which someone had recommended. We were really not so excited about it. But the ambiance was simply awesome. This is no review for the place, but their food (I guess, we had Daal and Samosa, apart from other stuffs) brought back all the excitement which we started off with, in Copenhagen. This was sort of closure to our long trip, so worth to bookmark it.