I decided to fly from Finland to Sweden, and it couldn’t go without an adventure. The lane was low cost, and my backpack didn’t fit into hand baggage at all
“You need to pay 50 euro for the baggage to the ticket office, and then come back for the ticket,” the airport clerk told me happily.
“What dimensions must the hand baggage have?”
“It must fit into this box.”
There was a compact plastic box in front of me.
After deciding that I need all the money I have, I went to dress up. I took my sleeping bag out of the backpack and folded it down into a separate bag, then I put on my voluminous fleece coat and run my fingers through the rest of my belongings. I drew the straps tighter and pressed the top lid closer to the backpack. It turned out not bad at all.
Several times, I came across promotional leaflets with photos of private schools. Clean wide corridors, spacious classrooms, large windows, new whiteboards, good furniture, pleasant colors and neat interiors…
This is how the public school for deaf children in Vilnius looks. It is the biggest educational center in Lithuania, and almost the only school for deaf children. The center comprises a kindergarten (for children from 3 to 7) and a school (for children from 7 to 18).
Children in Lithuanian general education schools study for 12 years (like in Latvia), while deaf
children in special schools study for 13 years. And the school that I visited is a dream school.=)
There’s a unique district of Užupis in Vilnius. It sounds a bit weird, yes.:) It’s a district of local Bohemia… Here, there live artists, musicians, sculptors… This city district has its own constitution (!) and its own population, different from others. I read about this place as long ago as at school, and I’ve wanted to visit it for a long time. So, having reached Vilnius, I went there first of all. The district is connected to the city by small bridges, the walls are painted everywhere, and the center is decorated with a statue of the Užupis angel. There is a wall here with dozens of constitution copies in various languages.
Here again, I got assured that travelers are lucky. After deciding that I needed at least something to eat, I bought some food in a supermarket and went to look for a garden to sit in. A rain started, and I had to take cover in one of the courtyards not to get completely wet. I had hardly started my meal before a door of one of the nearest buildings opened and a man said to me in pure Russian: “Why are you sitting here? A tourist? You’ll get cold. Come in.” The man turned out to be a Lithuanian called Vitaliy. He served in the army in Russia, so he knows Russian well. Vitaliy treated me to wild rose tea and talked for several hours about Lithuania, Vilnius, Užupis and his life to the day we met.
I’ve already been in a new country for several days, and haven’t sent any news! Not good.
I don’t even know where to start! It’s the second time that I’ve been in Vilnius, in Lithuania. But my adventures in this city in the last two days can’t be compared with a guided tour: “Look right. Now look left.” To say the truth, my meeting with the city started with a disappointment… My expectations to have a warm trip were disappointed by +8°C in the morning and a hat pulled over my frozen ears. The awakening city welcomed me with ice-cold wind and Saint-Petersburg-like architecture. At a certain moment, I felt like I hadn’t left Russia: there were people speaking Russian everywhere, typical five-storey blocks on the outskirts and dumpy plastered buildings in the city center. However, the difference feels in the atmosphere. Everything is somehow… simpler. You don’t see preoccupied people in a hurry, grim cashiers and peevish drivers. The mood is steady, calm and moderately amiable.