Ridiculous questions and answers
The most ridiculous question is: where are Lithuania?
A lot of people from foreign countries don't know about it. Sometimes they ask: "What is mean Lithuania?"
When one my friend have been in France, he asked passer-by: "Where are Lithuania".
Passer-by smiled and said: "Somethere in Africa".
Bad knowledge in geography can cause smiling, due to this I have put a map.
English will not help you!
In many places- even in Vilnius speaking English will not help you. Not many people speak English, and in many museums (especially outside Vilnius) the information is only in Lithuanian so you can only WATCH the exhibits.
Europa Park - a major ripoff
At almost 20 Litas per person, we considered it a major rip-off for an open air sculpture exhibition. Driving from "Centre of Europe" to "Europe Park" is a nightmare as the road is in very poor condition and the directions are very poorly marked.
Definitely not recommended at this price. There's even extra charge for car parking (unguarded) there.
Unique Suggestions: Go from Vilnius, instead of from the "Centre of Europe" site
Fun Alternatives: Ignore Europa Park and do not support their greedy attitude. Lithuania is full of nice sculptures accessible free throughout the country. There's a sculpture park in Klaipeda and Grutas Park near Druskinikai is much cheaper.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Theme Park Trips
Since high antiquity Lithuania is called 'The Land of Amber'. In ancient times amber was worth its weight in gold, and special caravans were carrying amber to Rome from the Baltic region.
There are two serious hypothesis how amber appeared in the Baltic sea:
1st - Perkunas (King of Thunder) destroyed Amber Palace of Jurate (Princess of the Sea) because she felt in love with simple fisherman Kastytis.
2nd - Amber has formed itself from a pine resin through million years.
Amber is not just beautiful, it is useful as well: it cleans the environment in which it rests. When wearing, it brings purification of mind, body, and spirit. Amber activates unconditional love in mankind, stimulates the intellect, It is also a symbol of renewed marriage vows.
You can buy amber in Pilies and other streets of Vilnius, Klaipeda, Palanga, and other unpredictable places.
Unique Suggestions: Beware of cheats! Sometimes the amber sold is false: a piece of plastic. Look carefully at too clear, green and burned amber.
How to check if the amber that you?ve bought is real?
It?s easy: just heat up it on the open fire (if you want it:). False amber will simply fuse in your hands.
Fun Alternatives: If you are romantic (or distrustful), you can get up at dawn and pick little pieces of amber in the seaside.
HILL OF CROSSES
There are more than 100 000 crosses on the hill. You can only add your cross but not to take one for the memmory:)
HILL OF CROSSES - the place important to every Lithuanian. It is a spontaneous, slightly primitive creativeness, expressing the mysteries of our legends, traditions and pre-Christian symbols.
The Hill of Crosses is a Lithuanian Golgota. Again our memory goes back to the period of bolshevik occupation. Lithuanian emigrants and deportees, dispersed in the West and in the East, with tears in their eyes, great pain in their hearts took with them their songs, customs and handiwork, the traces of which can be found in many places of the world. Some of them were deported, tortured and persecuted for their firm beliefs of the Christian church. Carrying Christian crosses on their shoulders and putting them on the Hill of Crosses was a spontaneous form of spiritual resistance. But the miracle came true: Rebirth, Freedom and Independence were the Lord's grace.
Unique Suggestions: Drive 12 km from Siauliai to Joniskis direction until you notice the sign "Kryziu kalnas, 2km" and turn right.
Fun Alternatives: There is no more alternatives around:)Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
The centre of Europe
No matter how hard they insist, I cannot help to think of the countries that used to be behind the iron curtain as East. Not to mention the former Soviet Union!! After all, I grew up in the cold war era and these mind sttings are difficult to change at my age...
And now, the French Geographical Institute comes and says that the geographical centre of Europe is exactly 25 Kilometer North of Vilnius!!
But how on earth??
Believe or not, this supposed geographical center of a continent whose limits are not even clearly defined is a modest place that will not impress you. the hit is marked with a rather unassuming stone in the middle of a typical Lithuanian farming landscape.
soon will be more info:)
Unique Suggestions: Local Currency
Lithuanian litas (Lt) come in denominations of 10Lt, 20Lt, 50Lt, 100Lt, 200Lt and 500Lt notes; 1, 2 and 5 litas coins, plus a number of weightless centai that are worth very little and generally annoy.
Since 1994 the litas has been pegged to the US$ at a rate of 4Lt to US$1. In line with Lithuania's progression towards EU membership pegging switched to the euro on February 2, 2002 at the rate of 3,4528Lt to €1.
Most places of any note in Vilnius and some other cities now happily accept major credit cards, and ATMs joyfully spew out money to any foreigner with money (or not) in their account.
However, if you're planning on spending any time in the countryside take plenty of cash as things can still be a little backward in rural areas.
By the way, take a close look at a banknote of 10 litas – a cash memorial for two of the most famous Lithuanian pilots, Steponas Darius and Stasys Girënas.
Here is a list of daily 'necessities', depending on the kind of day you're having:
1kg beef -- 16.50Lt
1kg potatoes -- 1.00Lt
10 eggs -- 3.00Lt
Mars bar -- 1.80Lt
McDonald's Big Mac -- 6.20Lt
Loaf of white bread -- 2Lt
Litre of vodka -- 20Lt
Bottle of local beer (½ litre) -- 3Lt)
20 Marlboros -- 4Lt
100km by train (2nd class) -- 10.00Lt
Public transport ticket -- 0.80Lt
Fun Alternatives: Do not bring scottish money to Lithuania- no one will exchange them for you.If you are not sure about the currency you bring, better check this in internet befour you bring it here.
Some Useful Words in Lithuanian Language
OPEN - dirba / atidaryta
CLOSED - nedirba / uzdaryta
ROUND THE CLOCK - visa para
LOUNCHBREAK - pietu pertrauka
GROCERIES - maisto prekes
STOREPHARMACY - parduotuve
CAFE - kavine
SNACKBAR - uzkandine
CANTEEN - valgykla
CURRENCY EXCHANGE - valiutos keitykla
HAIRDRESSER/BARBER - kirpykla
REPAIR - taisykla
NEWSPAPER - laikrastis
TICKET -bilietas/ talonelis(if local bus or troleibus)
STAMP - pasto zenklas
ENVELOPE - vokas
MAP - zemelapis
HELLO/ HI - labas /sveikas (if plural then -sveiki )
GOODMORNING - labas rytas
GOODDAY - laba diena
GOODEVENING - labas vakaras
GOODNIGHT - labos nakties
GOOD-BYE/BYE - sudiev / viso gero/ iki/ iki pasimatymo/ ate
YES - taip
NO - ne
WHAT / WHO? - kas? (for person or thing the same)
WHERE? - kur?
WHEN? - kada?
WHY? - kodel?
CHEERS! - i sveikata!
THANX - aciu
YOU ARE WELCOME- prasom / nera uz ka
Unique Suggestions: 0 nulis
31 trisdesimt vienas
200 du simtai
300 trys simtai
MONDAY - pirmadienis (pirma-first,diena-day)
TUESDAY - antradienis
WEDNESDAY - treciadienis
THURSDAY - ketvirtadienis
FRIDAY - penktadienis
SATURDAY - sestadienis
SUNDAY - sekmadienis
JANUARY - sausis
FEBRUARY - vasaris
APRIL - balandis
MAY - geguze
JUNE - birzelis
JULY - liepa
AUGUST - rugpjutis
SEPTEMBER - rugsejis
OCTOBER - spalis
NOVEMBER - lapkritis
DECEMBER - gruodis
DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH / GERMAN / FRENCH? - ar kalbate angliskai / vokiskai / prancuziskai?
YES.I SPEAK ENGLISH.....- taip,as kalbu angliskai,....
NO, I DON'T SPEAK- ne, as nekalbu...
DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME? - ar suprantate mane?
WERE IS THE TOILET?- kur yra tuoletas?
FIRE! - gaisras!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? - kiek kainuoja?
BILL,PLEASE - prasyciau saskaita
Fun Alternatives: Some More Info About Lithuanian Language Itself
Lithuanian, Old Prussian, and the Latvian Language principally constitute the Baltic languages, a principal subdivision of the Indo-European languages. Lithuanian appears in two main dialect groups, Low Lithuanian (along the Baltic coast) and High Lithuanian, with further dialect subdivisions. It is considered notably pure in its retention of archaic Indo-European forms. Although a literary language had existed since the 16th century, three literary dialects competed for acceptance in the 19th century; modern Standard Lithuanian (based on the West High Lithuanian dialect) did not develop fully until just before the first period of Lithuanian political independence (1918-40), when it became the country's official language. Especially since World War II, Russian has been a major influence on Lithuanian.
Lithuanian is highly inflected. In standard Lithuanian, nouns have seven cases (some dialects have eight or more). Gender is masculine and feminine, although some traces of the old neuter survive. Number is singular and plural; some dialects also have a dual number (for two items). The article is not used. Four simple verb tenses (present, preterite, frequentive past, and future) and several compounds exist in the indicative mood; imperative, subjunctive, reflexive, infinitive, and participial forms are also clearly defined.
The language is rich in the use of diphthongs and, like Latvian, in rising and falling intonations. Lithuanian is written in the Latin alphabet, with additional diacritical marks.
Be careful with Bielarus and Russia borders
If you are a western person and are travelling in Lithuania by train or bus, be careful with the route. There are a lot of passenger transports that its routes cross the Belarus or Russian territory. For these cases you NEED A VISA just for the country you are crossing the territory, if not, you would get problems.
Most of people in Lithuania (including the ticket collectors) doesn’t know about this, so they can’t advise you.
For example, many train routes departing from Vilnius to Poland, are crossing Belarus, that is normal for the lithuanian people as they don’t need a Visa, but a western person needs it.
Remember again: the Lithuanians never advise you about this point as normally they don’t know about this political distinction.
Telling Fake Amber
There are a couple of tricks I've learned over the years to tell fake amber. Amber can come in several different colors, ranging from amber-colored, to white and green. It all depends on the conditions under which it petrified (amber is petrified pre-historic tree sap). I believe the green kind is the rarest.
The most common and easiest to fake is amber-colored amber. A lot of times, what you're actually buying is glass or plastic. One way to tell that it is plastic is if there are bubbles in the amber. Real amber doesn't have any...although if it has little bugs or leaves in it, you know it's real.
If your amber is set in a metal, make sure on the back that it is open. Closed-back jewelry is most likely fake. I have nothing to help you with telling whether the metal is real though. : (
As for pricing, you shouldn't pay more than something like 25% of US prices for amber.
GRUTAS park. A park, dedicated...
GRUTAS park. A park, dedicated to Soviet time sculptures, there you can find Lenin, Stalin, Dzerzinski and some other russian and lithunian famous people. These sculptures were moved from places they stayed after the Lithuania became free were and started to destroy. One man took them all to one place, to the park. This park is near Druskininkai, 110 km to South from Vilnius.
Druskininkai is also nice town, you should spend some time to walk there around !
With mould and lichen overgrown,
Behold, revered Trakai!
Its great lords lie in graves unknown,
The castle though stands high
Yet from time’s fury unprotected
The walls are crumbling, long neglected.
This poem was written in the XIX century. The castle was restored and today it houses the Museum of Ethnography. You can visit it. A rich museum is established here showing the struggle of Lithuanians against the Teutonic Order and the history of Trakai and its surroundings from ancient times to the present day.
Taxis are very cheap...if you...
Taxis are very cheap...if you do not take a taxi! I mean, in front of a taxi station, it is worthwhile to enter a bar ('kavine') have a drink and ask the attendant to call a taxi. That's the way it works and the call is free. Then you are sure to have the counter working and no surprise. Be aware that 5 Litas (1,25 USD) is anyway the compulsory minimum.
For a rest with noise,...
For a rest with noise, volleyball, beaches, biking, pine woods, bars, discos, fun, beautiful botanical park and amber museum housing the biggest collection of incluses, my favorite seaside resort - Palanga. (check travelogue)
Seaside: Palanga, Sventoji (similar to Palanga, just considered to be 'calmer ' place , but recently is catching up with Palanga) they are 15 minutes away by minivan anyway. When you're there take a chance to visit Kretinga - by minivan or bus from the bus station 15 minutes - you'll find a small beautiful city near the river, personally for me one of the most beautiful benedictian monasteries, Count Tiskevicius estate with a museum and amazing winter garden inside - go through the museum , wander into winter garden, there's a cafe inside the garden, it's a popular place for weddings to come for photo shooting as it's a very beautiful place. Also there's usual another exhibition in the first floor (about ancient Balts ). At the same city you will find Lourdes. Be ready for a nice day with lots of walking :). There're news that have reached my ears they are going to put there also a sun clock , very original one.
From Palanga you can easily reach Klaipeda, Kurshiu Nerija, take some time to explore this region, you won't regret!
Klaipeda - 3d biggest city, great old town, night clubs, great Sea fiesta and Jazz festival in summer, Sea museum with delphinarium (you'll have to go with ferry to another shore) Lithuanian Sea Museum (Klaipeda) or my Klaipeda page
The Radisson Sas is one very nice hotel here in the old city. Good location where you can walk to...more
New modern hotel. Now name Reval hotel Neris. I work in Reval hotel so i know how everything is...more
This hotel is located on a side street several blocks north of the old town but only a short...more
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