One thing to remember, if you are planning a visit to Vilnius Cathedral Bell Tower, is NOT to wear spiky heeled boots.
You might think your high heels are like an extension of your legs and you cannot go anywhere on flats, but trust me on this, bring your ugly pair of runners or any other footwear that does not include pointed, high ends, because….
… it’s a vertical experience….
As you start with the first flight of stairs to reach the reception area, you might think it’s fine, nothing to worry about.
The next flight of winding narrow stairs seem somewhat less comfortable, but still, nothing you have not seen in the old towns across Europe before – uneven stone steps, winding up a narrow tube with tiny windows and massive stone walls.
But then you come to a point (oh, I don’t know, somewhere between 30 and 40 meters high) where you see this in front of you ….
…harrowingly steep, crooked and well worn wooden staircase….apparently parts of it surviving from the 19th century (oh why did it have to last that long?)…
It might be the first time ever that, for a moment, you’ll contemplate abandoning your expedition to see Vilnius from this newly opened vantage point, just because it all seems a small bit too iffy…
But if you overcome your sudden pang of fear and climb up, even if your knees feel somewhat shaky, you’ll be rewarded with this…
The views from the belfry are truly picturesque – you can look down on the Cathedral statues…
(Did you know that the two statues on the sides are actually placed in the wrong positions? Their arms have to stretch towards the middle statue, not away from it… and the city never corrected the mistake…why?).
See the colour of Vilnius rooftops – it turns out it’s a really colourful experience from up here!
And up and up you can go right to the very top (almost – the belfry is 57 meters high and visitors can go up as high as 50 meters) on those wooden stairs that look less and less safe with every step….
Curiosity, however, and a chance of snapping another inspiring, original and intriguing shot of the bell tower can take you right to the very top.
Finally, with the goal reached and camera full of ‘unseen before’ shots, you will have to overcome one more hurdle – going DOWN….
…down the harrowingly steep, crooked, and well worn staircase, which seems to never end.
…and that’s when you truly realise that it was a bad bad BAD idea to go there all alone, on a weekday morning on those favourite spiky heels…
..when no-one is there to try and catch you if you nose-dive down those steep, rickety stairs with your ‘unseen before footage’ straight down to Cathedral Square to amuse busy weekday traffic.
So if you are going to visit Vilnius Cathedral Bell Tower, do yourself a favour, wear something appropriate.
If you are afraid of heights though (or have a friend who does), this might be one place to give a wide berth to as it is slightly unnerving even to those of us, who normally do not complain of acrophobia.
…and maybe it did have something to do with the element of unexpected uncertainty, and even sudden fear, induced by those spiky heels trying to take me down the squeaking wooden staircase...