Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Travelling around

One of the main reasons to decide to participate in the EVS programme was the opportunity to meet new interesting people and to travel around and so I did. Unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to see all parks in Lithuania, but I visited some of the places of interest. But it was great that I had the chance to visit some of the countries nearby as well. As a child of the South it was really interesting for me to visit Scandinavia and the other Baltic lands. 

I started with a short visit to Estonia and Finland. I had a friend in Tallinn who was doing her EVS there and we decided to make the visit during Bulgarian Easter so we could keep the traditions together but due to the bad weather we postponed it with one week. Well, we still had some traditional egg fight. I spent 4 days in Tallinn and my friend showed me all best sights of the city - the old town, the President Palace, the park, the beach. Oh, God, the water was so cold, I could barely stand for1 minute for a picture but there was a couple of swans that didn't mind the low temperatures. Vyara (my friend) and I enjoyed a lot of delicious meals in Soviet-styled small restaurants and despite it was not summer yet, we drank some ciders :)

The weekend we spent in Helsinki, where there wasn't much to see but we spent some time sunbathing on the stairs of the Helsinki Cathedral and eating the best ice-cream I have ever tasted! Before leaving we went to a small peninsula which represented traditional wooden houses and other buildings from the past. There we met a very friendly squirrel and a duck which we fed with peanuts. After that we drank coffee and ate traditional apple pie in a Soviet-styled cafe on the shore.

Soon after coming back from this trip summer came, and we were busier in the park as there were a lot of tourists coming and many events taking place, so I couldn't travel a lot or if I did so - it was around Lithuania. But at the end of the season we made another journey to Riga with Marion, Olesya and Giovanni. At the beginning we wanted to rent a car and travel along the coast and visit more places but finally we went only to Riga by train. We had great weather so we enjoyed long walks around the city. It was overcrowded with tourists so it was quite difficult to go around, especially when we tried to make a video for a presentation which Marion wanted to use to apply for a job. But finally we managed and we even had an audience which applauded us in the end of our dance. In the evening we went to the beach which was 13 km away from the city, but there was a celebration with bonfire, music and poem reading to send the last day of the summer. It was really nice, pagan and very magic especially with the rain which started in the middle of the festival. 




After visitting all three capitals of the Baltic countries, even though everybody says that Tallinn is the best one, I like Vilnius the most. Maybe because it has the biggest old town, or maybe because it is not that crowded with tourists, or maybe just because I have a weird taste as my fellow volunteers say :)

I really wanted to visit all Scandinavian countries, but unfortunaltely I couldn't. But I did go to Norway, which I can say was the best place I have ever been to. Even though I am more into more exotic nature, warm temperatures, beaches, sea, Mediterranean cuisine, etc., I can frankly say that I just LOVE Norway! It is an amazing place - the nature is so beautiful, so pure, so spectacular! The fjords, the mountains, the waterfalls, the colors, the houses, the cities and the villages, everything is so beautiful. The people are very nice and calm and relaxed. I am definitely going back - there are just so many places to visit and to see - all those strange rocks, all these fjords, all the islands with all interesting animals...and not to forget the Northern lights! Norway is really an amazing land! At least I went to Preikestolen! The view from there is breath-taking, especially after all the hiking, when you get on top and you see how the fjord cuts through the mountain, you feel like you have no worries, you feel so light and all you want to do is to keep this moment and make it last forever - just to stay there and contemplate, merge into one with the view. One tip - bring a beer into your backpack because you would like to celebrate once you are on top :) I will leave you with the pictures. Unfortunately, as it was the end of October, the weather was getting bad so it was a bit foggy, but still we were lucky and we could see the fjord!

And so I saw my 25 birthday in Bergen, Norway, with two very special friends - what a good start, ha! :) My birthday wish is to travel around as much as possible, share the emotions with good friends and make great memories, which will warm my soul when I feel down or when I get old. I am definitely going back to Norway because there are just so many interesting and beautiful places to see there, I also have to visit Sweden as it is the only one I didn't manage to go to and maybe some more travelling around Finland as I visited only Helsinki.

Here I would like to thank to Vyara - my friend, who was so nice to show me Tallinn and to spend her time with me, to the guy who hosted us in Latvia on our way to Riga, to our CS hosts and our "driver" in Norway - Anette, Asmund, Ernestas and Georgi, without whom our stay there would be impossible and for all the great moments they gave us. I also want to thank to Olesya, Marion and Giovanni, Silvia and Malte, for being so patient with me during our travels(I know I could be a pain in the ass sometimes) and for all the fun we had together! Wish you all the best, guys, and hope to meet you anywhere in the world :)