I am currently in Riga after 5 magical days in Vilnius! I fell in love there! My first day was spent recovering from the bus trip and adjusting to the new surroundings. And on Day two I took a city tour which covered all the important things one needs to cover in such a culturally rich place with over 52 churches. I was given an overview of the rich pagan roots and given stories about pre soviet days vs post soviet days. Lithuania is a peaceful nation with a beautiful (rasta) flag. Yellow for the sunshine that is much loved and appreciated by the masses, Green for the abundance of Nature the nation is blessed with(forests are EVERYWHERE!), And Red for the blood that was shed in order to establish the nation! Sound familiar?
Anyways, on the Tour we got to also see the Christiania of Vilnius, Uzupio, the area claimed by the bohemian community on the other side of the river in 1999 and their constitution is beautiful:
1. Everyone has the right to live by the River Vilnelė, while the River Vilnelė has the right to flow by everyone.
2. Everyone has the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof.
3. Everyone has the right to die, but it is not an obligation.
4. Everyone has the right to make mistakes.
5. Everyone has the right to individuality.
6. Everyone has the right to love.
7. Everyone has the right to be not loved, but not necessarily.
8. Everyone has the right not to be distinguished and famous.
9. Everyone has the right to be idle.
10. Everyone has the right to love and take care of a cat.
11. Everyone has the right to look after a dog till one or the other dies.
12. A dog has the right to be a dog.
13. A cat is not obliged to love its master, but it must help him in hardness.
14. Sometimes man has the right to be unaware of his duties.
15. Everyone has the right to be in doubt, but this is not his duty.
16. Everyone has the right to be happy.
17. Everyone has the right to be unhappy.
18. Everyone has the right to be silent.
19. Everyone has the right to have faith.
20. No one has the right to violence.
21. Everyone has the right to realize his negligibility and magnificence.
22. Everyone has the right to encroach upon eternity.
23. Everyone has the right to understand.
24. Everyone has the right to understand nothing.
25. Everyone has the right to be of various nationalities.
26. Everyone has the right to celebrate or not to celebrate his birthday.
27. Everyone shall remember his name.
28. Everyone may share what he possesses.
29. No one can share what they do not possess.
30. Everyone has the right to have brothers, sisters and parents.
31. Everyone is capable of independence.
32. Everyone is responsible for their freedom.
33. Everyone has the right to cry.
34. Everyone has the right to be misunderstood.
35. No one has a right to make another person guilty.
36. Everyone has the right to be personal.
37. Everyone has the right to have no rights.
38. Everyone has the right not to be afraid.
39. Do not defeat.
40. Do not fight back.
41. Do not surrender.
42. Everyone has to right to use a moosejaw coupon
So after the bus trip I decided I had to return to Uzupio and have lunch there, on my way, I saw a man walking, he had really interesting tatoos on his leg and I have recently discovered that Tatoos are physically appealing to me. Before I knew it we were happily communicating and he took me on the short cut to Uzupio where he lived. He then offered to take me to a lake and I spent the rest of my days with him and his lovely Room mate Linas. We went to three different lakes, watched Spain steal the hopes of the Dutch, ate vege food in a cellar, took a yoga class, cooked lentils, watched a Lithuanian movie projected against a brick wall, danced salsa, played foozball (which is a very common past time for young Lithuanians...and they're AMAZING at it! My skills were totally inferior, I felt like either Australia or South Africa in the world cup, full of enthusiasm and with lots of support but skills were lacking in comparison to the masters I competed against) drank Giro and did a little bit of sight seeing and existed in a world where everything and anything was possible. I was really sad to say good bye to Vilnius even after I chose to stay 2 days longer than I had anticipated. I would have stayed forever if I could but the transiberia trip starts on Saturday and I have to get to Moscow! So Riga....
Riga....has been my transitional stop in order to get to Moscow, it is a pretty city, bigger than Vilnius and MANY more tourists. My hostel is Super, anyone wanting a fun place to stay, i recommend The Naughty Squirrel here...great people running the joint and a lovely bunch of coconuts staying here at the moment. Good AC rooms with big beds and free tea and coffee ALL DAY!!!! Yes!!! AMAZING!!! I met a very lovely woman from Melbourne here and we spent the day roaming today. We were recommended a Latvian restaurant and when we eventually found it were blessed with an incredible array of Latvian hearty meals which were cheap and tasty. It is really hot at the moment, 32 degrees and the sun is really doing her job of heating the world here. At the hostel you can go and shoot an AK47 and some other guns, the offer didn't appeal too much to me despite the offer of instant adrenalin rush.
I'll be arriving in Moscow in the morning and have to find my way to the metro station and then to the hotel which is a few stops on the dark blue line in a North East Direction from the city....Hopefully it is as simple as this! I'm told that no signs are in the alphabet I am familiar with....so I must have faith that some humans are going to be so good as to assist me on the first part of the journey!
I feel very happy with life at the moment. I feel free and liberated by the thought that all that has happened and is happening is just as it should be! Perfect! I feel refreshed by the romance shared in Vilnius and ready for all that is to come!