Arrived in Vilnius around 1:30 PM. Cousin F had arranged for a driver to pick us up. He held a sign: “Elaine and Family”. As we drove into the city, his radio played “When You’re Gone” by The Cranberries.
We arrived outside our AirBNB, and though we didn’t have a key to the place, my cousin and her soon to be husband, M., were waiting there for us. I saw M. vaping on the balcony (see photo) and waved to him, introducing myself.
The apartment, though in an older looking building with a worn staircase, was quite modern inside. Mom and Aunt T wanted to rest, but cousin and M. wanted to show me old town Vilnius so I could get acquainted with the area.
We walked down narrow cobblestone sidewalks into old town which was not very far from the apartment. They pointed out notable landmarks: town hall, St. Casimir Church (which you could also see from the apartment), the supermarket where I could get groceries. The buildings were no taller than four stories, painted in neutrals and pastels with tiled roofs. Church spires poked out behind them in the distance. I later learned that there were some 35 churches in the city, and from wherever you were (if you weren’t between the narrow streets lined with apartment buildings), you can spot a spire or two in your periphery.
After the mini-tour, we went back to the apartment and met with more cousins and then headed out to dinner in old town at a restaurant specializing in fish. Food there was very cheap. I got a fancy fish dinner for 7 euros ($7.68) and we indulged in rosé. The jetlag hit us immediately after dinner, so we turned in and slept soundly to the falling rain.