So, thanks to our Šiauliai University driver and van, we are back in Vilnius, where our adventure began in January, and where we will try to decompress for our flight home on Monday, June 23.
We really loved Šiauliai, but it is not as cosmopolitan as Vilnius, and so we now have a welcome opportunity to indulge in a few earthly pleasures, which began today with chicken quesadillas and flautas at Tres Mexicanos (see photo, above), and ended with chicken tikka masala and curry, with cucumber raita and naan (and gin and tonics) at Sue’s Indian Raja, which is ideally situated across the street from Vilnius Cathedral (see the selfie of Ken taken on Sue’s patio, below). As for the curious name of this establishment, it helps to learn (which we did from the menu last night) that Sue was an Indian woman, a Chaudhary, whose husband keeps her name on the marque out of devotion to her memory.
We squeezed in a few other activities yesterday.
We paid our respects to King Mindaugas, in front of the Lithuanian National Museum and underneath Gediminas’s Tower, all of which are shown in the photo, above. Then we took the funicular railroad (or incline, for yinz Pittsburghers out there), up to the top of the castle for a spectacular view of the city (see photos, below).
Today (a dreary one, 46 degrees Fahrenheit--see raindrops on hotel room window, below) we will check in with our friends in the U.S. Embassy.
Later, Wednesday, June 18: Lunch at Plieno Paukste with Rasa Baukuviene (far right in the photo below) and her colleague, Sarah J. Talalay (far left). Sarah is the new cultural attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius.