Saturday, May 12, 2012

Touristing all the day long

Ode to the schedule of an ILP teacher

8am - Breakfast
8:30 - Morning break
1pm - Lunch
1:30pm - Inservice workshop meetings
2:15pm - Lesson Prep
3:15pm - Kids start arriving
3:30pm - Opening (songs, weather,etc.)
3:45-5:20pm - First round of class
5:20-5:30 - Break
5:30pm - Opening (songs, weather, etc.)
5:40-7:20pm - Class
7:20-7:45pm - Clean up
7:45 - Dinner
8:15pm - Evening Break

Since our normal day schedules are pretty full up after 1pm, we don't really have much time to do glorious touristy stuff, except for in the mornings.  Since this is the case, Saturday's are our only full day to explore, and we went ALL out today!!
Started off the day by taking a bus at 9am to head into Old Town

Bailey, Janese and I while wandering the streets in Old Town
We headed into Gustos!!! Aside from the Ratatouille reference, it's a delicious blini restaurant in Lithuania Old Town. 
I loved this restaurant!! Such yummy food, and such a cozy feel :)
The girls while we wait for our delicious food

Ceiling decorations in Gustos

So.  Bailey ordered hot chocolate, expecting a delicious and cozy drink. What she actually got was a literal bowl of melted dark chocolate.  Oh, Lithuania. You and your sweet tooth.
 Can I just stick in a plug for Lithuanian dairy?  My goodness, but it's amazing.  They don't pasteurize and process their dairy the same way we do in America, and therefore it can be treated and used completely differently.  For example, leaving a container of milk on the counter isn't bad at all, and therefore milk is rarely served cold here.  Everything from yoghurt to cottage cheese is thicker, contains probably 30% more cream/fat, and is delicious.  I ordered a cream cheese and strawberry blini, and was surprised at what I got - a cream cheese texture, but whipped cream taste. Interesting combination, though admittedly not my favorite.  Just put it this way - between the delicious dairy and chocolate here, it's a good thing we go running pretty frequently :)

After we finished eating, we ended up exploring a new section of Lithuania Old Town since we had a while to kill before our appointment.
Another one of the many churches in Old Town - though the only pinkish hued one I've seen :)

A square in the middle of the Town

Every once in a while, you'll happen upon something like this - just some cute tables and chairs set up in the middle of a square so people can sit down and talk/eat.

This was a beautiful fountain in the square as well.

Someone had left some wild white roses on the edge of the fountain. I'm not certain if it's supposed to mean something or be symbolic (do you know Amanda?), but it looked so beautiful.

The ceiling decorations of one of the shops we wandered into - it's an upside down herb or flower or some kind.

A beautiful bit of green, poking it's way into the sun :)

This was the stairway going down into an old records shop we found in the middle of a windy road - very steep, but beautiful stone and light.

Tower of a cathedral steeple

Cobblestone street! One of my favorite parts of Old Town :)

These Mary-Poppins-esque street posts are everywhere in Old Town.  

Eventually, our indirect wandering led us to the Presidential Palace of Lithuania, where we had a tour schedule.  Unfortunately, the tour was all in Lithuanian, so I don't have much historical wisdom to share. Pictures weren't allowed in the tour, but I got a couple shots of the rooms we were allowed to photograph -
Outside of the Presidential Palace.  Well, about 1/2 of it - beautiful, HUGE building!

Lobby room

The rest of the day was honestly kind of a blur - we got some lunch, and headed over to Akropolis to watch this glory:
Can I just stick a plug in here for how great this movie is?  Super clean, and overall great movie! (Plus, whoever thought of putting Captain America and Thor in the same movie are definitely among my top 10 favorite people right now.  Just saying.)
Elise and I at the movie thetre. Which is ridiculously comfy and spacious, by the way.  Hurrah for being in a country of tall people! It makes my life so much easier :)
Eventually, we headed over to Dima's house for dinner! Him and his sweet wife invited us over for some delicious Russian food.  Before we got to his house though, Dima took a slight detour to show us this beautiful lake -

Oh look. A swan. Just chilling on the shore of this lake :)

Sure, the rain may not have been so great, but the clouds today were beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. I have no idea about those roses. But, really, it seemed there was a commemorative celebration every other week in Lithuania, (and really all of the Baltics), and we never knew what they were for. :) I will probably say this every few days...but I'm loving the pics! Even if the individual places aren't familiar--it's the feel of a place that I love! I'm so glad you're having good experiences.

    So, I have kind of a scavenger hunt-type challenge for you: find the angel statue in old town and go to the artists' district. There used to be one day each year they would stamp your passport as you went in and out of the artists' district--as if you were going to another country. I can't remember if it's during the spring or summer, but I think that would be so cool! :)