Monday, June 6
Art Hotel, Moon Garden, Vilnius, 13:50
Today was a series of firsts and surprises.
I got up at 7:10, had breakfast, hugged Irma goodbye, and set off to the bus stop with my suitcase. I got the 93K to Itäkeskus, the 54 to Rikimäki, and the I train to the airport. I took back everything I had said when the bus service from Itis to the airport was cancelled: this was faster, smoother, and more fun.
My flight was with airBaltic so I walked to the little-used Terminal 1. I sat and read for ninety minutes then went to board. At the gate I was given a piece of paper with 1A written on it in crayon. This was my new seat, and my official ticket. I had lots of legroom.
I changed planes in Riga, a pleasant little airport, and boarded a big plane with nineteen other passengers. I had a row to myself.
Driving into Vilnius I am amazed by how colourless it is. Everything is painted in uniformly washed-out colours, and it is difficult to tell which buildings are occupied and which are derelict. The taxi takes me to the hotel where the Nobanet conference is taking place. I meet Jarmo who shows me the hotel where I am staying.
Here I am in the Moon Garden art hotel. My room is overwhelmingly charming. It makes me smile. I wash, brush my teeth and walk back to the Domus Maria hotel to join the afternoon sessions.
In the evening we will go to the Steakhouse Hazienda, where I will eat herring, followed by beef entrecote, and creme brulee. I will be sitting in bed writing this by 22:00.