Lithuania is awesome. That’s your starting point. Now you want to try the local food, meet the people, learn the history, cross the border into the Republic of Uzupis and be the only backpacker in Siauliai. Well you can, and quite comfortably. Lithuania asks for nothing from you, but leaves you with it’s soul.
“I’ll sell my soul, what is it worth?” – Tim Wheeler.
So the lights faded on Vilnius and Lithuania’s capital city had me still daydreaming of Iain Dowie winners in days gone ridiculously by. However I was staying in the Litinterp Guesthouse and handy enough, round the corner is Forto Dvaras. It may be a hyped and cliched Lithuanian restaurant but it lived up to the hype and you should eat there too.
Inside you can stay upstairs or choose to eat in the cellar. I went downstairs for a cosy meal in the cellar. Blessed with English, Lithuanian and Russian speaking waitresses, this place has three languages on the menu, so we’re at home instantly. A night on the tiles in Kaunas touring the bars meant the non alcoholic drink option so I opted for Gira.
Gira is a bread based drink, it’s non alcoholic, it’s sour, has an unusual taste and is memorable. Personally I find the drink rather average though and would never drink more than one on the trot.
Food wise I opted for Cepelini, and the traditional meat one, which literally translated into English-German means “Zeppelin” due to the shape of these potato like bites. I went for the traditional Cepelini which has pork and spice inside. It comes with a creamy sauce which I mixed in with it. The food was delicious.
I also tried the restaurant Cili Pica (Chilli Pizza) in Vilnius and will write about that it time permits – though it wasn’t authentically Lithuanian I was glad I had eaten the Lithuanian dish here in Forto Dvaras.
In terms of getting there, I used Ryanair to fly from Dublin to Kaunas and planned things from there. You can get a guided bus tour of Vilnius and visit the Kryziu Kalnas on your own. One thing is for sure – Lithuania is one of Europe’s best kept secrets!
Here is a video of me trying Cepelini and Gira in Forto Dvaras, Vilnius, Lithuania: