Having a bad day ?

Bad day is under statement of what happened to me in Vilnius on my second day in the city. What do you do when you lost your wallet abroad? Wallet with all your bank cards and money for the whole travel. I didnt know how to describe what I felt, I was so numbed and keep praying that I will find the wallet. But reality has sunked in, I will never find the missing/stolen wallet.  I went back to my hostel then I told to the receptionist staff Ernesta what happened and she was very helpful, assisted me to call my bank back in UK to report the missing/stolen wallet and she also called the Vilnius Police, I was so grateful for the bank customer assistance with her helped and to the money transfer officer who assisted me to access my funds even without card, they automatically transmitted money to Western Union so I can pick it up straight away, unfortunately it’s Sunday the offices and banks are closed but still I’m so thankful that its all sorted. 
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Being a frequent traveller I am glad that I got Premier HSBC Account its very handy when travelling abroad especially in this kind of situation and Im glad all my bank cards were all cancelled instantly. To Eve hostel staff for the follow her up phone call for police report.

With the Vilnius Police Department they were also very helpful they came to the hostel to take me to the police station for my statement, and they  issued a police report and Kudos for providing an English translator.

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This incident has came to my realisation that  not just be careful, but be more extra careful and more vigilant every time. As I looked back at what happened, I just considered this as a trial. And part of travelling life theres always be mishaps that cant be avoided from happening, from missing flights, missing train/ bus connection, to missing luggage. What happened to me makes me more stronger person, and it didn’t stopped me to enjoy the rest of my trip and more future travels to come.

It’s been 3 months since the incident, I can now looked back and talk openly about it. My bank has also sorted my claims for the stolen wallet. This means I can sort out more of my travel plans hmmmm extra money funds for my coming up travels. Things happen and will knock you out but always remember they are just trials in life to test us, get up and stand up tall whatever happens.

A very stressfull experienced I dont want to happen again in my entire life. Have you got any misshaps or incident like this while travelling abroad? How did you cope and what did you do? Leave a comment below if you can relate to the incident.

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Free Things to do in Riga Latvia

Riga Latvia is a beautiful place tuck away in Baltic Region waiting to be explore. I have listed free things to do when visiting the area.

Free Alternative Walking Tour
Join the group just infront of St Peters Cathedral facilitated every day at 12 midday. The trails will be the hidden dark side of Riga. Going to the different district starts from the market, to the old warehouses, and wooded buildings districts.

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Free Cultural Art Walking Tour
The group will meet up at the Park just infront of the Statue of Renis Monument. It is held every day at 12 pm with different guides, its either an artist,architects, singer or painters and will stroll along the Art Nouveau area of Riga and disvover things through the guides persfectives.

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Self Made Old Town Walking Tour
Why not explore Riga’s Old Town through its winding cobbled streets with your map or guidebook at hand and just stumble upon those famous landmarks or disvover some quirky places to eat or cool café to try.

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Church Visit or Visita Iglesia
There are Chapels and Churches which are free to get in, some accepts voluntary donations. Church visit is my favourite thing to do when im in a new place. Admiring the Gothic, Art Nouveau architectures and not to mention the grandeur of the altars.

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If you enjoyed reading this article, follow me on my other blog post. If you can add more things that I have missed on the comment and I will happily update it.

Discover Riga’s Hidden Side Through Alternative Walking Tour

This walking tour is very different from ordinary kind, the tour guide with his old quirky beaten yellow luggage bag called Harry( so we can recognise him from the crowd). I wasn’t aware of Riga’s History but It was introduced through the tour, that its very common that there’s so called an organised crimes that has been a part of Riga’s history. This gave us a good background and its bad reputation from the past. The tour itself is unconventional it’s more about the hidden side of Riga that most of the tourist are being missed. Its quite an eye-opener kind of tour. The tour is free but they accept donations and it starts just infront of St Peters Cathedral.

We  walked away from the Old Town and headed to the Market Place. It has been a great representation of german contribution, the building structures are from the german materials that were left behind. The iconic 5 dome shapes that you’ll never missed just opposite the Bus Station. A very intersting place to visit, the biggest market I’ve ever seen so far.

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Then we continued our walk to the so called warehouse area, which was built for the purspose for shipping companies storages. But it was abandoned once, when the port was moved in different area. But now adays it been reconverted to a business area such as cafes, shops, galleries and restaurants.

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We also headed to the neighbouring area where most of the buildings are built with woods. A very impressive buildings around and theres this oldest Orthodox Church built in wood and still functioning as a church.

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A beautiful day of discovery of the hidden side of Riga. Have you ever done any unconventional walking tour that leaves you more impress about the place?

A Day Trip to Trakai Castle

A day trip to Trakai is a must when your in Lithuania. The quaint place is just fascinating, those original wooden house are so beautiful. From Vilnius train station is a 30 minutes journey, and about 15 minutes walked from the Trakai train station to the Trakai Castle but it took us 30 minutes or so, with every stop we made, when we see interesting place. The church visits as well as taking lots of photos along the way.

As soon as we got off the train we were greeted by this beautiful and peaceful view. I can easily imagine myself having a lazy relaxing day with this magnificent lake view.

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We continued the scenic route and we stumble into the quaint place. The wooden houses are just so mesmerising, its very original old wooden houses some are almost derelict but it adds character to the whole neighbourhood.

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Me and Andrea leisurely strolled along the mainroad when an old Lithuanian lady showed us the scenic route to the castle. As soon as we took the turn we were greeted by the lake and on the far left we can see the stunning castle seated on the middle of an island surrounded by water
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The dramatic entrace completed by crossing the bridge as the grandeur of the castle welcomes you. Let’s stroll along the magical kingdom of Trakai Castle through my lenses.

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After walking around the castle we decided to looked for a café and we found this quiet café with a nice view overlooking the castle.

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Especial Thanks to Andrea my Trakai travelling buddy who I just met on the train station and coincidentally going to Trakai too. A good day out with the company of an amazing person.

Vilnius The City of Churches

Discovering some of spiritual side of travelling. I grew up in a Roman Catholic devoted country and my faith and devotions are very strong. Living in Europe I came to realised that having faith is important. But whatever your religion, you practice it or preach it. In regards to travelling and meeting different people walks of life, you are more open and respects each others individuality. Religion is very sensitive topic that in most circumstances at any given time. Travelling around gives you more opportunity to see places of worship and believers. When im travelling Visita Iglesia is always on my agenda. The beautiful architectural buildings of Churches, Chapels, Mosques always fascinates me. The adoration of people who have faith is immensely important to me. I have been to different worship places, my heart lifts up when I visit, the solemnity gives you peace of your inner self.
I couldnt agree more about the fact that Vilnius is the City of Churches. This is like a place for pilgrimage, every corner in every street, in small alleyways theres always a church or chapel you will stumbled upon one for sure. I have loss count already, but through the photo essay let me take you for a day to roamed around Vilnius Visita Iglesia or Church visit.

Vilnius Cathedral

The neoclassical Cathedral is the main Roman Catholic Cathedral and considered the heart of the catholic spiritual life in Lithuania. It is centrally located in Vilnius Old Town.
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Saint Nicolas Church
The church is built in the Old Town of Vilnius. It is regarded as the oldest surviving church in Lithuania.
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Franciscan Church
It is also called the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It had a original gothic style that it has suffered several fires and was then reconstructed in baroque style.

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Choral Synagogue
It was built in 1903 by architect D. Rosenhaus, its almost square plan and cubic volume shaped crowned in traditional dome. It is the only remaining of the more than 100 synagogue in Vilnius.  Vilnius was once regarded as the Jerusalem of Lithuania.

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Church of All Saints
A baroque and classical altar designed by M. Knackfuss in 1778

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Gate of Dawn and Miraculous Mary

The chapel of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn. It is housed of the Miraculous painting of Virgin Mary.
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St. Theresa Church
Is one of the earliest baroque style in Lithuania. Its high altar is one of the most amazing impressive in Lithuania.
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Russian Orthodox Church of Holy Trinity
It is where the relics of the three St Vilnius Martyr Anthony, Jihn and Eustathios. You will find the relics of the saints rest in the shrine located at the center of the church. The only Baroque Orthodox Sanctuary in Lithuania.

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Basilian Gate
An example of Vilnius Roco architecture designed by J.K Glaubiltz and was built in 1761.

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Church of Holy Trinity
A gothic Architecture church built in 1514 Byzantine style.

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St Casimir Church
One of the first baroque churches in Vilnius.

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Shrine of Divine Mercy.
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Vilnius Lithuania at Night

Setting off early to catch up my flight from Stansted to Vilnius Lithuania. The UK Autumn air feels chilly, my cashmere cardigan and wooly scarf is just handy. The plane landed in Vilnius Airport at 9:30pm. The weather feels milder. I quickly went through customs and immigration and exited swiftly. Then went to look for my airport express bus to city center. From the station I took a taxi to Fabrika Hostel and Gallery, im staying here for couple of nights. The place was funky and the staff are friendly. After I checked-in and dropped my bag to my room and I was so excited to go for a stroll around old town. It was only 10 minutes walk from my accommodation. Let me impress you with through my Vilnius night photography stroll.

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Vilnius is so beautiful I easily get lost around and admiring the Old Town, very photogenic and has so much history to offer. Have you ever been to Vilnius? I knew its not the typical European destination but I highly recommend this place. Its only 2 hours flight from UK. What are you waiting for pack your bag and enjoy your travel.

My Baltic’s Autumn Itinerary

Autumn is my favourite season of the year, the colours of the leaves changing, weather gets cooler and good time for long autumn walks.  I just love everything about it. I was thinking wheres the best place to spend a week holiday. The Baltics came to my mind straight away. I’ve been wanting to travel around the Baltic Region. As soon as I have arranged my holiday off work. I was so excited to book my flights and accommodation for
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Yes three different countries to explore I just cant wait. Thanks to Kami and the rest of the World for providing me her blog about Tallin http://www.mywanderlust.pl. and her tips what to see there.

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        Photo Courtesy by My wanderlust Vilnius

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Photo Courtesy by My wanderlust Tallinn

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Photo from Google Riga

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Photo from Google Vilnius

Reading those blog inspires me more and Im already fascinated about the place even just reading things about it. I have been also chatting to the locals in Tallin through couchsurfing.com and they seems so friendly and I will be meeting them and will show me around. What a fantastic opportunity to meet locals. Whats more authentic than that. I only planned this travel and book it all last week and im so excited what Baltic will offer.

My research online has satisfied me with those magnificent views, buildings and looking forward for the local cuisine, Baltic Herring anyone? My countdown starts now, I will be spending my weekend in Vilnius Lithuania then moving on to Riga Latvia and Tallinn Estonia.

Luggage is packed, camera and passport are all ready.  Bring it on Saturday .Photo Essay surely will be uploaded here soon.