One of our favorite perks of working as an international team is getting to travel and visit each other. On the 27th of June, Amy, Tamlyn and I headed to Vilnius, Lithuania to visit and spend time with our two ultra-talented and wonderful coders – Tom and Domas.
They both are Lithuanian and live in Vilnius, the capital city. The TLD team highly values the time we spend together in person, so we made sure that our Vilnius trip was the perfect balance of work, fun, and sightseeing.
Our trip to Vilnius surpassed our expectations. The first words that come to us when we’re asked to describe the city are:
Vilnius is most well known for having the largest baroque and medieval old town in all of central and eastern Europe. The city is famous for the incredible architecture of Old Town, with buildings varying between Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. The city is adorned with frescoes, street art, cobblestone alleys, courtyards, cafes, churches, and more. Currently, Vilnius is home to about 550,000 residents.
I made a list of the things that we enjoyed most, and also asked Tamlyn and Amy to confirm. Luckily they had the same things on our lists:
The team dynamic: Tom had booked for us to work in an office in the wonderful Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, which is the main Lithuanian research library open to the public, and also performing the functions of a parliamentary library. Apart from all that, it was truly a sight to behold with it’s glorious massive pillars, and clean, stylish interior. We were very lucky to spend our working time there.
The Republic of Užupis: Tom took us to a very bohemian republic within Vilnius called The Republic of Užupis. The republic, which was just a short walking distance from our Airbnb, has its own constitution, flag, currency, and president. It has around 7,000 inhabitants, nearly 1,000 being artists. The republic’s 148 acres are covered in galleries, shops, coffee places, a supermarket and a bookstore where 10c for every purchase goes to the cat.
Climbing hill to Three Crosses: Another highlight was walking through Kalnai Park and up the hill to Three Crosses, one of the country’s monuments. From the top of the hill, we could see a spectacular view of the entire town. We were also lucky enough to see a large group of people rehearsing for the Lithuanian Song Festival on our way down.
Cat Café: With a few cat lovers on our team, Tom had the genius idea to all go to the Cat Café after work one day. The café is the home to 15 cats from local shelters, who roam the café as you sit and drink your coffee and tea.
Lithuanian Food: Lithuanian food is delicious and diverse. Meals usually consist of a lot of meat and potatoes but done in a creative way. Given several members of our team are on the 12 Week Plan with our clients Revolution Personal Training Studio, we tried our best to make healthy choices. My personal favorite was the beetroot soup.
Street Art: As designers, we’re always interested in the art and design of the new cities we go to. In Vilnius, Tom took us on a tour of street art. They even had a map with numbers representing the different installations and murals throughout the city!
Overall, the TLD team enjoyed our time in Eastern Europe, many thanks to our wonderful tour guides Tom and Domas. We can’t wait to go back in just a little over a month for our trip to Bulgaria!