Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, is a mixture of the old and new. Slow paced life, happy people and the Baltic country's beautiful Baroque architecture draws a lot of tourists. It's a cheap country and gives your backpacking in Europe alone itinerary a must-visit stopover.Getting around in VilniusIt's easiest to walk in the Old Town area on it's cobblestone streets, gazing at old churches and soaking in the atmosphere. When venturing outside, use the trolley buses which ply back and forth all across the city. Buy a ticket from the driver and then punch in to validate it. Unlike many Eastern European countries, the euro is used in Lithuania.
Gdańsk has a very long history…Its over 1000 years old, and for most of it’s life has been a free city. It didn’t actually become a part of Poland until 1945. Being the largest seaport in the area, and not being a part of Poland is what brought about the development of Gdynia. In 1920, Poland no longer wanted to face the expense of having all the imports and exports going through a free city, so they built up Gdynia as a large seaport. We also went to the the site of the start of WWII. On September 1st, 1939, Gdańsk was attacked from the sea.
From Zakopane, I continued north to Gdynia to stay with a friend of a friend. While there, my friends/hosts/tourguides Krzyzstof and Bart showed me around Gdynia, Sopot, and Gdańsk…tricities on the sea. I had a couple days there to get shown around the area with good food, good beer, and great riding through the city, which makes riding around a city in the US feel like kindergarden.