I had hoped to travel over New Year’s weekend, but my attempts to plan a trip all fell through. And given the airport closures and flight cancellations across Europe in the last week, it’s probably a good thing that I hadn’t bought a plane ticket. Instead I celebrated New Year’s Eve in Vilnius — and since this is my first time to do so, I decided to really celebrate. Here’s how I said goodbye to 2010 and welcomed 2011.
8:00 p.m. – Light supper and champagne at the home of a Lithuanian friend out in the suburbs
10:25 p.m. – Last bus before midnight back to the city center
11:00 p.m. – Drop by a party at the home of a fellow Fulbright student; drink water only
11:45 p.m. – Walk to Cathedral Square to watch fireworks
12 MIDNIGHT – FIREWORKS!!
Note: Lithuania apparently does not have regulations about the type of fireworks that can be sold or against setting off fireworks in public places, which meant that — in addition to the official fireworks — there were extensive fireworks being set off by people on the square. It was quite startling to have fireworks exploding right beside me and, to be honest, felt a bit unsafe.
1:00 a.m. — Drop by party hosted by other Americans, drink champagne cocktails and eat quiche
2:30 a.m. — Walk home through the still crowded city center, greeted along the way with “Su naujais metais!” and even a couple of “Happy New Year’s!”
3:00 a.m. — Collapse into bed
6:00 a.m. — Curse whoever decided to set off fireworks right outside my building at this early hour and wake me up; fortunately fall back to sleep