Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another Lithuania Adventure, Part 3: A Successful Trip

Erik's short trip was quite productive. He and his colleague made significant progress on their project and he carved out a few opportunities to relax and enjoy the beautiful city.

Erik ran around 2-3 miles almost every morning, making different circuits around downtown. He ran along the Neris River, down Gedimino Street, by the National Cathedral (pictured above in a slightly distorted panoramic to give a full view of the cathedral and bell tower), and around the hill that houses the old castle of Gediminas. He planned to run the circuitous route up to the castle, but it was closed (apparently the path is closed overnight, and he ran early in the morning before it was open). With the temperature around 45 degrees in the morning, Erik provoked the babushki of Vilnius to cast nasty glances due to his short sleeves and shorts (one even said something to him in Lithuanian which he assumes was unflattering). It reminded him (fondly?) of the family visit to L'viv when the elderly women of Ukraine decided to "teach" Lea and Erik how to properly raise Carter by regularly scolding them on the street and in public transportation. One of their major transgressions was to not bundle up Carter adequately by local standards (i.e., full snowsuit, winter hat, and gloves in 60 degree weather).

On his final evening in Vilnius, Erik watched US beat Russia in the FIBA World Championship. The big game for all Lithuanians is the second one of the night - Lithuania vs. Argentina. Alaus Namai was filling up when he left (in fact, he couldn't stay because all tables were reserved for the Lithuania game). After rooting for Lithuania, it will be time for a few hours of sleep before the early departure back home!

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