We spent a few nights at the Kirkdale Hotel in Croydon. We chose this hotel mainly because everywhere else in the local area was fully booked.
1. There was free off road parking, although there were only a few spaces.
1. Over priced. At half the price it would still be too expensive what what you get.
2. Shabby. Lots of falling apart of broken items, including the hanging rail in our room, which was literally hanging to the wall – on one side only, as the screws had fallen out of the wall on the other side.
3. Dirty. Our room was cleaned, but the carpet was so dirty our feet stuck to it. Nasty!
4. No Wifi in the room, even though it stated there was on the booking form. Very bad!
5. Unfriendly welcome. Rude service.
6. Breakfast was included in our room rate, (which it should be for the price!) but it was extremely low quality. We only ate breakfast one morning. We asked for the full-English which was small, not that we wanted more food as it wasn’t nice. The bacon and sausages were obviously cheap, as we’re the baked beans, and crappy white bread etc.
Never before have we regretted not making our hotel reservation sooner, because if we had, we would never have ended up at the Kirkdale Hotel in Croydon. I can think of nothing to recommend this place.
22 St. Peter’s Road,
We spent one night at this hotel, mainly because it was reasonably priced, and a convenient location for us.
This hotel is predominantly used by guests who are travelling to and from Continental Europe, as the ferry port is just along the road.
1. Price. Our double room, complete with breakfast, cost under £25.
2. Location. The hotel is literally right next to the sea, overlooking the harbour.
3. Free car park.
4. Spacious room, ours had a wonderful view over the harbour and out to sea.
5. Comfortable bed, plump pillows, and nice thick quilt.
6. Clean. Our room was clean, although it had slight signs of wear and tear.
7. Friendly, and helpful staff.
8. Free toiletries, shampoo, shower gel, and body lotion.
9. Breakfast was included in our room rate, but we never had it so I can’t comment. Having said that, even if it was just a cup of tea or coffee, it would be good, as the room was so reasonably priced.
10. The hotel had a bar and restaurant, which looked busy. We didn’t use it, so once again can’t comment. The drinks are reportedly reasonably priced compared to the local pubs.
1. No WiFi in our room, only in public areas. Some rooms do have free WiFi, I think this applies to rooms on the lowest floor.
2. There were several lifts but they were always incredibly busy and always full, mainly with staff moving huge crates of bed linen, towels etc.
We never used the lifts, the stairs were always much quicker.
NB: During our stay there were signs informing customers that one of the lifts (that served all floors in the hotel) was out of action, meaning guests staying on the upper floors had to use a lift for half the levels, and walk up the rest. Thankfully we were staying on the four floor so we had a lift all the way.
We thoroughly enjoyed our one night at the Britannia Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone, Kent, and would definitely stay there again.
Britannia Grand Burstin Hotel
Britannia Grand Burstin Hotel
Harbour Approach Rd
Kent CT20 1TX
Tel: 0871 222 0048
We arrived in Parnu by bus from Tallinn. It was a SeBe bus, a little cramped and uncomfortable, but it did have free WiFi and it was only a two hour journey, so not the worst bus journey we have done on or travels by far.
Once we got off the bus in Parnu, we went into the small ticket office, which also doubled as a left luggage office and cargo shipping centre, where we purchased oir onward tickets to Riga, Latvia.
Supping beer in Parnu Veerev Olu Citi Pubi
Eating out in Parnu
Ruutlihoov, Ruutli 29
While this is billed as a pub, it is more of a restaurant bar in my opinion, and there is nothing wrong with that. We stopped by one lunch time to refuel. Happy to eat anything other than pork (which is all we seem to have eaten for weeks due to its popularity in the Baltics) I had chicken in an orange sauce, Mrs.R had chicken Kiev, my chicken was served with vegetables and chips, Mrs.R’s came with salad. Both meals were pretty decent, but nothing fancy. Service was good, and it was good value for money. Ruutlihoov is set in a courtyard just off of Ruutli Street, there is a lot of outside seating, which would be nice in the Summer. Inside the walls are adorned with stuffed animals and the like, and it feels more like a formal dining room with large tables and comfortable seating.
Antidotes and Observations
One of the first things I noticed about Parnu, was that is was a hell of a lot cheaper than Tallinn, apart from accommodation that is, so what you gain with one hand, you lose with the other.
The centre of Parnu was quite pleasant. Very compact, but full of bars and restaurants. There are also a few large covered shopping centres/malls, so there is somewhere to escape to when the heavens open up.
Life is a beach. The beach at Parnu is massive. Long and wide with sand and the strangest colour sea we’ve seen, it has a rusty reddish brown hue.
We walked along the beach a couple of times during our stay in Parnu. The weather was a real mix of everything, one time it was warm with clear blue sky and sunshine, another it was dull, cold, and windy, not particularly to our liking, but the kite-surfers seemed to be having a blast.
This is not one of the best blog posts we’ve ever written, obviously. We went to Parnu to do nothing, we did nothing. Mission accomplished.
Reason for wanting to, and for doing, nothing, we’re nearing the end of our current travels and have all but run out of steam.
We liked Parnu it’s a nice and very friendly little town.
We rested, wandered round town a little, enjoyed the sun, the sea, and most importantly ate lots of good food cooked by me in our rental accommodation.
We spent four days in Tallinn, and did very little. This was in part due to the fact I felt ‘out of salts’, and also because the weather was dull, and cold.
We bused into Tallinn from Riga, Latvia. It was a pleasant enough journey. The seats on the coach were comfortable with lots of leg room, and better still there was free WiFi on the bus.
When we arrived at the bus station we thought about walking to our accommodation in the old town about a kilometre away, but it was raining, so we waited for a local bus. We didn’t have to wait long, and the journey to the old town was quite quick too.
We found the office for the rental agency, signed some paperwork, and went to our apartment to dump our stuff. I would say unpack, but as we’ve got so little luggage, thanks to the airport in Italy losing most of it, there really wasn’t any unpacking required.
Stuff dumped, we went out to find somewhere for a late lunch, and a supermarket to buy some coffee, food etc. for our stay in Tallinn.
We ended up at Beer Housefor lunch, quiet by accident, which was mad as we were intending to go there at some point during our stay because it had been recommended to us. Lunch scoffed, supplies purchased we returned to our apartment for the rest of the evening.
We supped a few beers at Beer House
Photos of Tallinn
Video of Tallinn
Instagram photos of Tallinn
Antidotes and Observation ~
McDonald’s almost barred us!
McDonalds tried to rip us off.
Our second day in Tallinn started with fast food. By fast food, I mean incredibly slow food, it took ages.
We went to McDonald’s for breakfast. Tallinn is expensive and McDonald’s is pretty cheap compared to most other places, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. Not that I have to justify my eating junk food, although admitting I eat McD’s does make me feel somewhat ashamed.
Anyway, when we went in there was no one else waiting to be served. This did not mean we were instantly served though. A guy walked towards the counter, heard us speaking English en about turned and tried to get a colleague to serve us. She said no! He came back over to us, we ordered a couple of egg and bacon McMuffins and two coffees. We paid, and stood waiting for our ‘fast food’. But this time a few more customers had come in and were either ordering or queuing. So we stood, waiting, and waiting. It was then that Laura said, ‘that’s not right is it?” I asked want wasn’t right, and she said we’d paid too much for our breakfast. Then she checked the ‘menu’ and confirmed we’d been charged too much. We called the guy who’d served us over and told him he’d overcharged us. He disagreed. So we helped him add up what we’d ordered, and eventually he realised his mistake. He didn’t know how to refund the money we’d been overcharged, so called for help. A lady appeared, he told her that we’d been overcharged. She didn’t agree. She added up what we’d ordered, was told want we’d paid, and eventually after much chatting with the guy who’d originally served us she finally agreed that we we owed money. This lady also did not know how to refund us, so she called another McDonald’s employee over. The third person to try and deal with us troublemakers. Eventually after lots of chatting amongst the three of them, and fiddling with the cash register, we were handed the 3€ that we’d been overcharged. No apology, no free hash brown;) nothing.
Anyway, after about half an hour we had our ‘fast food’ and finally sat down to scoff our breakfast. Good job we weren’t in a hurry.
While sitting eating our McMuffins we saw two other customers complain that they’d been charged too much. I guess it was the them of the day at the Tallinn branch of McDonald’s.
Aside from the ‘excitement’ of McDonald’s we experienced little else in Tallinn worth mentioning. This was nothing to do with Tallinn itself, and all to do with us. We are exhausted, our current travels are coming to an end, and so we simply enjoyed chilling.
Having said that Tallinn is a nice town, although it was very expensive, no doubt because of the sheer number of ‘booze-cruisers’ visiting from Scandinavia.
I guess you can’t blame businesses in Tallinn for charging seriously high prices if they have numerous customers willing to pay them.
We spent 6 nights in a self-catering apartment at Green Villa in Parnu, Estonia.
The main reason I booked this accommodation was because it said it was a one-bedroom apartment, and free WiFi was available.
Unfortunately neither of these things were accurate.
Firstly, although our accommodation did have a bedroom there was no door, so all of the noises, cooking smells etc. were not kept out of the bedroom. It was little more than a studio apartment, which if it had said that on the booking form I would not have chosen to stay there.
Secondly, there was no WiFi. On our second day we were given a dongle for a laptop. A dongle is not WiFi. A dongle is only suitable for a laptop, and not for an iPhone or iPad. The dongle we were given did not work. So we were without Internet for 6 days. Six days during which we knew we’d need to go online which is why I’d booked accommodation which offered free WiFi. Once again if the booking form had said WiFi was not available I would never have booked to stay. Very bad.
Positive Points ~
1. Location. Within equal walking distance of the bus station, the beach, and the town centre.
2. The lady who greeted us when we checked-in was smiley and friendly.
Negative Points ~
1. The ‘one-bedroom apartment’ was not a proper apartment, more of a studio.
2. Small. Although the owners had clearly tried to make everything nice for their guests, it was just way too small. Only really suitable for one person, not a couple.
3. The hot water tank was positioned directly above the loo, banging my head was a daily occurrence.
4. The double bed was surround by walls on three sides, meaning we had to climb over each other to get in and out. Ridiculous, especially as it could have been turned round thus meaning we could each get in and out via the foot of the bed, and not have to climb over each other, which would have been a bit more comfortable.
5. The TV was in the bedroom, not the kitchen/living area which would have made more sense.
6. The TV frequently switched itself off after it had been on for any length of time. It would take a minute of two to get it to turn back on, and then it would continue to switch off approximately every few minutes or so. Irritating.
7. There were four bath towels in the wardrobe when we arrived, but the bed linen was not changed once during our entire 6 day/night stay. Nasty.
8. The extractor above the two ring electric hob in the kitchen did not work, meaning cooking aromas lingered everywhere, which was especially unpleasant in the bedroom.
Happy Days! When we arrived at Romeo Family Apartments to check-in, the receptionist told us that the studio apartments, of which we had booked one, had been overbooked and they’d upgraded us to a two bedroom apartment. This makes it a difficult review to write because we paid 175€ for 4 nights in a studio, and instead we stayed in a very large, and well equipped, 2 bedroom apartment.
Positive Points ~
1. Location. Only a couple of minutes walk from the main town Square.
2. Free Wifi which was fast.
3. Very well equipped kitchen, with a washing machine, dishwasher (although that was not working during our visit), microwave oven etc.
4. Several English language TV channels.
5. Nice and clean.
Negative Points ~
1. The double bed was in a large room which also doubled up as the living room with TV and sofa etc. so we didn’t use this room as a bedroom, because it wasn’t practical as we keep different hours.
2. We slept in the bedroom that had two small single beds. Both of the beds were very noisy, making really loud creaking and cracking noise every time we moved. They were also quite uncomfortable.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Romeo Family Apartments in Tallinn, all the more so for being upgraded to a lovely apartment. Thank you!
We spent four nights at Designapartments, J?kaba iela 26/28 in Riga, Latvia.
Positive Points ~
1. Price. Very budget friendly.
2. Location. Situated in the old town, there were a couple of cafes and a small supermarket on the same block.
4. Washing machine. There was a washing machine but as the apartment was so cold we couldn’t use it as we’d never have been able to get our clothes dry.
5. Iron and ironing board.
6. Large flatscreen TV with a couple of English language channels, Diva Universal, National Geographic, Outdoor Channel, Cartoon Network and TCM.
Negative Points ~
1. Freezing. There were radiators in the apartment, but they were turned off.
2. The bedroom was small, the double bed was pushed up against three of the walls with no room around it which meant we had to climb over each other to get in and out.
3. Kitchen lacking in cooking items. There were only two pans, one small frying pan, and one saucepan which was unusable as it was thick with grease and who knows what else. Nasty!
There was only one soup/cereal bowl.
4. No WiFi/Internet.
5. Dirty. The whole apartment could do with a thorough clean, the kitchen was very dirty.
Designapartments, J?kaba iela 26/28, Riga
Palasta iela 10 (Office Address),
Centra rajons Riga,
We were so close to returning to the UK. We intended to get a ferry from the Netherlands back to Blighty, but things didn’t turn out the way we’d planned. Laura mentioned that we should have gone to Latvia. And so we did an about turn, and via Lithuania, here we are in Riga. We’re in Latvia!
Once I’d booked our accommodation, and sorted out our travel arrangements, I told Laura we were going to go to Riga, Latvia. She was not overly impressed, she said that when she’d mentioned Latvia she’d just meant we could have gone because we were in the neighbourhood, not that we should go. Apparently she’d read an article listing 50 places in the World that you thought you couldn’t visit on a budget, and Riga, Latvia was one of them. Laura also said that I never listen to her. This time I listened and she assumed I hadn’t heard her, hence her surprise at not returning to England quite yet. My darling wife also said that men absolutely do not understand women. She got the right!
Anyway, said as an random comment or not, here we were in Riga, Latvia.
It was goodbye Vilnius, Lithuaniaand hello Riga. Although it wasn’t quite that quick, it took a 4.5 hour bus journey to get from Vilnius to Riga.
It was a comfortable journey that started well in Vilnius. At Vilnius bus station, we grabbed a coffee and a cake, cake seems to be our latest obsession; a daily sugar boost is needed to get our exhausted bodies moving from one place to the next. Cake and coffee enjoyed, we changed up the last of our Lithuanian bank notes, and spent our small change on sweets. Yep, more sugar for the bus ride.
The only fly in the ointment was an annoying beggar who pestered for a minute or two while we were standing in front of the station soaking up the morning sun.
When we had first arrived at Vilnius bus station we had seen a lot of old buses, many of which looked that they were held together with dirt, rust, and duck tape.
We let out a big sigh of relief when we saw the bus that was going to be our ride from Vilnius to Riga. It was modern and looked to be in good condition. It was operated by Simple Express, our tickets cost 38 LTL per person from Vilnius to Riga.
Once on the bus we were even happier. The seats were comfortable and there was lots of leg room, which made a change from the majority of coaches we’ve used during our travels which have so little leg room a child would struggle to get comfortable. Decent leg room wasn’t the only good thing, there was even a working toilet onboard. I can’t remember that last time we caught a coach that had an onboard loo, let alone one that was working. How very civilised.
To make the time go faster, I fired up the iPad and listed to music, while Laura closed her eyes and tried to nap. She’s an insomniac, so she didn’t actually nod off, but at least she rested.
The bus only stopped once, after 4 hours of being on the road, at Riga Airport for about 10 minutes. All of us smokers on the bus, flew off, like our trousers were on fire, sparking up as soon as we were on terra firma. Nicotine levels topped up, it was back onboard for the remaining 30 minute ride into central Riga.
The bus pulled into the Riga Bus Station, we got off and wandered into the terminal building where we found a tourist information office and picked up a free city map.
A mere 15 minute walk later we arrived at the office of the agent whom we had rented an apartment from. Money handed over, and bits of paper signed, the agent walked us to the apartment. She said it was not far, but it felt like a trek to the North Pole. Once we arrived, it was no surprise to us that the apartment was on the top floor. It seems to be a theme lately, every apartment we’ve rented has been on the top floor of a building without a lift.
Once in the apartment I asked the agent to show us our location on the map. This wasted a painful 5 minutes. How could she not know where the rental apartment, we were standing is, was? Anyone would have thought it was her first time in Riga. Next she showed us how the television worked. More pain. We asked her where the nearest supermarket was. She struggled to think, then said it was back near the railway station. We said it didn’t need to be a big supermarket, just a little local shop that sold coffee, drinks, and basic food etc. She said there weren’t any close to the apartment, she didn’t know where they were, we’d just have to look out as we walked round town.
I’m sure all three of us were happy when she beat a hasty retreat back to her office.
It was mid-afternoon by now and as we hadn’t eaten since breakfast we headed out to find a late lunch. Just a few doors along from the entrance to the apartment building we spotted a small supermarket. Yep, a small local supermarket on the same block as the rental apartment, in the area where the agent had said there were none.
Deciding to put off the supermarket until later, we headed into the very centre of town stopping for lunch at Egle, a massive open air bar/restaurant.
After getting in my beer order and a mineral water for ‘the lady’, I ordered roast leg of duck served with wild forest berries, Laura ordered half a roast chicken. We also shared a baked potato and a mixed salad. The food was very good and restored our vigour. It was sunny and warm when we started eating, but by the time Laura had finished (she eats incredibly slowly) the sky was clouding over and we were freezing.
We walked back ‘home’ via the supermarket where we stocked up on vegetables to make a vegetable soupy stew, and also various drinks; mineral water, coke, and beer.
Laura got to making the vegetable stew while I took a late and very long siesta. It was almost 11pm by the time I got up from my afternoon nap. I haven’t enjoyed a good nap like that for ages. Laura had eaten by the time I got up, not surprisingly, so I ate once I’d had time to wake up properly. The soupy stew, or stoup as we like to call it, was seriously delicious.
Laura made us breakfast. Eggs. Start the day with an egg.
The previous day when we arrived in Riga, it had been bright and sunny, but we didn’t take any photos or video. So it was no surprise when we ventured out on day two, to find the skies a metallic grey with intermittent rain to keep us company. We walked to Riga Castle, then along the Daugava River. It was then, when there was no shelter that it really started to rain. We quickened our pace and eventually made it to the Central Market (Centraltrigus).
The Central Market was very impressive, both in its size, and the wares on offer. Under the covered hangers was everything to make your mouth water. There was fresh fish, and smoked fish, cured meats, cheese, dried fruits, and mountains of picked goods. The pickled foods ranged from the standard cabbage and gherkins all the way to pickled garlic, and even apples. It seemed that nothing was safe from the pickling jar.
Outside of the main hangers were market stalls selling clothes and household items. And even a section that looked like a flea market. It was one of the most impressive markets we have visited in Europe, and Mrs. R was even so bold as to suggest it was the best market in the World. I reminded her if the wonderful markets we’d wandered round in Asia. She agreed saying that maybe Riga market looked so good to her because she was hungry.
After all the walking we had done we retired back to the ‘Old Town’ where we stopped for a rest, and a beer, at Irlbacher Pub. Then it was a quick visit to Mego supermarket to buy some chicken, mushrooms, and a bottle of white wine. Then back ‘home’ to rustle up chicken in a white wine and mushroom sauce.
In the evening we went out for a short stroll, but only because I needed cigarettes. Then it was back ‘home’ once again to watch the last two episodes of Homeland season one. Riveting viewing. Damian Lewis and Claire Danes are excellent actors.
The sun was up and out, so we got up and went out. We strolled round the centre of the old town, me taking photos and Mrs.R shooting video. It was a very relaxing morning.
Whilst walking through the Doma square we saw a bloke walking up and down holding a MacBook Air in his hands. Then he started chatting. He’d obviously been looking for free WiFi so he could Skype. Then we spotted a couple of tourists sitting on the kerb using their smartphones. So we thought when in Rome, or Riga. So we also used the free WiFi to check emails before continuing our walk.
We stopped for a coffee and cake at Golden Cafe because we had skipped breakfast that morning, not that we need an excuse to eat cakes – as I said previously they’re our latest obsession. Mmm, cake! Actually I say cake, but what we ate with our coffee was listed on the menu as apple strudel, but was in fact a pancake rolled with apple and raisins served with a creamy vanilla ice-cream. Yum!
Whilst in Golden Cafe I uploaded a photo to IG (InstaGram). As I’d geo-located my photo, Riga, I thought I’d click the link to see what else had recently been uploaded from Riga. It’s definitely a small World because one of the first photos on the Riga feed was of the bloke we’d seen earlier in Doma square with his MacBook Air searching for WiFi. A fellow IGer had taken his photo from high above and uploaded it. The MacBook user looked tiny, a little blob, standing on the cobbles in the large square. Yep, it’s a small World.
The break also gave us time to scribble out some postcards for the folks back in England. Poor buggers, receiving the barely legible drivel we scrawl every time we visit somewhere new. No doubt they’d prefer presents, but whenever we think about sending our loved ones gifts, we can’t find anything suitable. We live in a World where pretty much everything is available everywhere. So it seems weird to send our family and friends something from ‘abroad’ that they could get at home. Well, that’s our excuse for being crap at gift buying, and we’re sticking to it.
After a little more exploring Riga on foot, we ended up at the Queens Pub for a swift beer before heading back home for lunch and a rest.
Our last full day in Riga was a minimalist day. We had a little wander round town, mainly to feed the ducks on Riga Canal and then have a gander at the Freedom Monument. Mrs.R also partook of a little shopping, purchasing a belt in TerraNova as she’s fee up with her jeans falling down.
The shopping experience was the highlight of the day, because of the attitude of the woman on the cash desk. During the transaction she did not speak to us, or even look up from the counter, but went about her duties with palpable disdain. We did not take this personally because she had been exactly the same with the lady who was served before us.
It was then back ‘home’ for the rest of the day.
Goodbye Riga and goodbye Latvia. We will be back soon.
Photos of Riga, Latvia
Video of Riga, Latvia Instagram photos of Riga, Latvia
We went to Vilnius, in Lithuania. Why? Because we could. And because it was on route to our next stop in Riga, Latvia.
We arrived in Vilnius by train from Kaunas.
Having been travelling for almost two years now we are exhausted, which is seriously affecting our brains and bodies. We can barely remember our names most days, or where in the World we are, let alone write interesting, or witty blog posts. So, this is yet more mundane rambling about how we spend our time. It may not entertain you, but it’ll help you sleep.
Our first day was spent doing as little as possible because as I said we’re exhausted. We walked along the river, then ate lunch at Alaus Namai, after lunch we walked back in to town and to our accommodation.
We wandered slowly up the winding hillside to the Gediminas Tower, to explore the one remaining tower of the castle. We paid about a quid each to walk up inside the tower to the top. The 360 degree view of Vilnius was worth the exhaustion of the stairs.
Then we took the funicular back down to see the Vilnius Cathedral.
We never need an excuse for a drink, so true to from we stopped off for a beer at Vilniaus Alus before heading to universiteto pub for lunch. The menu was limited, Laura chose chicken stroganoff, I had beef stroganoff, which resembled pork.
The food was uninspiring, and the beer selection poor.
In the evening we went to Snekutis, a decent pub not far from the guesthouse we were calling home. We only intended to stay for one beer, but the beer was so good we wanted to try some more, so we stayed for another. The place was busy with locals, and seats were filling up fast. We were sitting at a table for four. I’d popped outside for a ciggie, a couple asked Laura if they could share our table, she said yes. They stood hovering for a while, then they asked a guy on his own, who was also sitting at a table for four, if they could sit with him. He also said yes. The couple continued to stand chatting to each other before eventually sitting opposite Laura. I returned from my fag break, we introduced ourselves, and began chatting. The lady spoke English, but her partner didn’t, so she spent the evening translating for him. We’d been chatting away for quite a long time, all quite cordially. Then when I’d popped outside again, the couple asked Laura if she was married, she said yes, she was married – to me. They seemed really pleased to hear this. Laura asked them if they were married, they said no, and the atmosphere changed.
I returned to the table just as the man was holding Lauras left hand examining her wedding ring. He then motioned to me to see my wedding ring. Then he said something to his partner. She looked uncomfortable, and her cheeks were flushed. She said I don’t really want to, but I will tell you honestly what he said, looking directly at me, she said he’d asked if I was homosexual? Laura and I both burst out laughing. Incredulous! The man then went to the bar, and while he was away from the table the lady said sorry about his question, and that he’d had too much to drink. She also said he’s always aggressive when he’s had too much beer, and that he thought he was crazy. Great! Perfect drinking buddies! When he returned from the bar he wanted to know about the beads Laura was wearing. The beads in question was a large necklace that we’d bought in Hawaii. He said he didn’t like them. We told him that they were traditionally worn by men, for good luck. He was not impressed. The lady then started to try and get him to leave. He was obviously in the mood to stay and was reluctant. As their glasses were empty he asked for some of the bottled beer Laura and I were sharing. I poured him a taster in his glass. He picked it up, then slammed it down aggressively on the table. Asking for more. I said no. He then poured it out all over the food they’d been eating. What a numpty. The waiter was not impressed when he cleared away their food either, seeing beer slopped everywhere.
They left, and we finally got to sit and enjoy the good beer in peace. If we’d only stayed for one beer, as we initially intended, we’d never have met them, but it made for an interesting evening, and after they’d left we understood why people at the neighbouring tables had been watching us all night. It turned out this couple were well known in the bar – I can’t think why.
We ventured to Uzupis, an area of Vilnius, which is supposedly full of creative types. All we saw were lots of buildings being redeveloped, hipsters driving 4×4 BMW’s or new Mini’s, and the random bit of crap graffiti. We didn’t see anything of particular interest during our walk, but the sun graced us with its presence, and the exercise was pleasant.
We stopped for a coffee at Senoji Uzupio Picerija, a Hipster hangout. The coffee was ok, and we shared a pancake cooked in caramel with a fresh raspberry sauce. It was mildly amusing watching the locals trying to be cool. Shame it was so much effort for them. Who knew cool was such hard work.
Caffeine and sugar craving satisfied we retreated back to the ‘Old Town’ where we washed away the pretentious odour with a beer in Vilniaus Alus.
For lunch we went to Bambalyne, but instead of lunch ended up with just beer snacks. There were two Russian couples sitting next to us. One of the guys told his girlfriend to take our photo. She said no, so he took the camera from her, pointed at us, and took our picture. Funny fella!
Having seen enough of the Old Town we headed to the Southern outskirts. We stopped for a drink at Kablys, where yet again someone took our photo. This time it was a young Lithuanian lady. No idea why? Laura decided to take her photo, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Then we had lunch at a place in the bus station called Krido. The food was good, I had chicken curry with buckwheat, Laura had roast chicken with mashed potato, we shared a mixed salad.
We enjoyed our stay in Vilnius, it’s an interesting city with lots of thought provoking history.
We spent four nights at Downtown Market Guesthouse
The welcome was friendly, and we were checked-in early.
Positive Points ~
1. Location. A few minutes walk from the railway station. Directly opposite the hales, and close to a supermarket.
2. Breakfast was included in our room rate. Breakfast was served in our room, any time we wanted after 8am. We were given cheese, cold meat, cereal, and some days yogurt, others boiled egg. Slices of white and the bread, plus orange juice, and coffee, or tea.
Negative Points ~
1. The room was small, the single beds were very narrow, barely enough room to turn over comfortably.
2. The room was light and airy, but there were no proper blinds or curtains on the two large windows, just thin white curtains, which meant the room was always too light to get any decent sleep. We were woken every morning as soon as it got light, and at night we were disturbed by car lights.
3. Inadequate heating. Our room was freezing.
4. Noisy. The walls between the bedrooms were thin, we could hear everything in the neighbouring rooms.
Downtown Market Guesthouse
Pylimo Street 57,
TEL: +370 679 85 476