So, continuing my epic battle against Jet Lag... I'm still on the losing side. After another late start to the day, I went out exploring, heading into a new direction. I thought I had a long walk ahead of me, but ended up actually very close by - which is great, because it meant I could check out more things than I thought was possible.
My walk today took me to the north/northeast from where my BnB is. I walked past Vilnius University (though did not explore too deeply), and then saw the Lithuanian Presidential Palace:
From the same point where I took the above photo, I came across the Lithuanian National Cathedral, which is a beautiful building that blends classic Western styles with a little bit of Eastern flair. In front of that: a classic, typical European lookout/defense tower. Across the street from the Cathedral was a beautiful hotel, still decked out for Christmas. To one side of the Cathedral was one of the national museums, and behind it is the "Palace of the Grand Dukes," which is now another national museum.
My next stop was a neighborhood called Užupio - which, technically, is actually the independent Užupio Respublika - a republic, separate from Lithuania. It's sort of like an artist colony, founded on the principles of everyone having the freedom to be who they want to be, regardless of their neighbors' choices and preferences.
Below is a gallery of photos from walking around the area. There's a long wall down the center of the area with their constitution printed in several different languages - I made a video (to allow for close-up) of the English language version of the constitution. Rules 10-14 really stand out among the rest.
After leaving Užupio, I circled back around and stumbled on my neighborhood and familiarity. Then I discovered that the "Holy Donut" was open. So I stopped and purchased a "Casablanca" donut. It was holy delicious.
After dinner, around 10:45, I was walking back to my BnB and was struck just *how many* people were still out, walking around Vilnius. The city was really quite awake - and people (adults and children, along with their dogs) were walking all over sidewalks and streets. It was really a wonderful sense of community and immensely safe - nothing felt out of sorts or uneasy.
All in all, really fantastic day today - more adventures tomorrow! Stay tuned!