Even though the Baltic states are just an hour flight away from home for me, I’ve never been to any of them – other than a transit but that doesn’t really count. After Prague with lovely visitors from home (mom, Nisse and my best friend) I set aim for the capital in Lithuania – or should I say; Lithuscandinavia.
Outside of Scandinavia, this is by far the place that reminded me the most of home when it comes to how it looked – both nature and architecture. There were also Swedish and some Norwegian brands and companies everywhere: Swedbank, SEB, Telia, Nordea, DNB, Narvesen and of course the obvious H&M, IKEA etc. so that also contributed to the home-feeling. I don’t know if it’s only me, actually don’t think so, but when we Scandinavians think of the Baltic states we often think of them as poor old “Soviet bloc” countries known for two things: cheap and ugly! Cheap it was, but far from ugly. Vilnius has a very cosy and good looking old town and city centre. I would say it’s a really good destination for a weekend getaway!
To be honest, there are not many things that I’ve missed at home (besides family and friends) – the only thing is probably the winter sports snowboarding and cross-country skiing. Besides those two activities, I don’t really fancy the winter. The summer in the nordic countries however, is the best in the world when the weather gods are on your side which unfortunately don’t happen too often. In Vilnius they were though, so I could enjoy some late summer nights with sunsets around 10.30 PM and that reminded me of the Swedish summers when you can be out all day (and night). Without even knowing it, I had for sure missed this. But since it’s been winter there hasn’t been much to miss in a way.
A good thing about traveling in Europe is that everything is so close and easy to get too. A couple of low-cost airlines in combination with buses and trains makes it easy, cheap and fast. Next up will be Riga, where I’m about to get my 4th visit from home on this trip. Excited? Indeed!