I visited the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius in May, 2016
Several guides to Vilnius had mentioned the Gate of Dawn, it clearly was one of those places one have to see when visiting the city. I am always sceptical of those places, but one morning during my stay there I set off in search of the gate.
The Gate of Dawn was a bit disappointing I have to say. There was a wall, and a gate to let you pass the wall. Not a big gate, not really beautiful. More like a hole in the wall. I was not impressed.
Outside the gate there was a small market, a few stands where old women sold souvenirs and other trinkets. I got a souvenir shot glass for my collection, snapped a few pictures of the gate. Passed through it.
I started walking through the old city, the plan was to go to Uzupio, when only about a hundred meters from the gate I noticed a small music store in the basement of a building on my left. I went inside. When travelling I always try to pick up some souvenirs. I have a shot glass collection with shot glasses from all places I visit, and I always try to buy some books from the country or city I visit. In the last few years I have also started buying LP records with local music, preferably rock. It is not always easy to find, so if I spot a music shop on my travels, I have to have a look inside.
The store was in a sort of cellar. You walked down a set of stairs outside, then another flight of stairs inside. Make sure to duck your head, the roof is very low. Inside was a small room, could easily have been an old dungeon or store room, Now filled with music. Mostly vinyl, but also some CDs. I looked around for a while, but was uncertain what to buy.
The old man working there proved to be very helpful. I asked him if he had some local rock, preferably prog, and he started quizzing me about my taste in music. Then he quickly found three albums he though I might like. I bought all of them, unable to listen to them until I got home.
Back in Norway I could finally put my records on, listen to them. I was not disappointed. Two old albums, one classic hard rock and one prog rock, and a newer album, a bit more industrial rock. Certainly music I can listen to many times, and it always remind me of Vilnius. Turns out my trip to the Gate of Dawn wasn’t a complete waste anyway.