Monday, January 31, 2011

Public transport in Vilnius

Today I will give you some information about public transport in Vilnius: schedules, prices, routes.
There are three kinds of public transport in Vilnius:



Tickets and schedules of buses and trolleybuses
Tickets for buses and trolleybuses are the same. You can buy them at kiosks. One ticket can be used for one ride and it costs 2 Litas (the price does not depend on route or time of your ride). You can also buy tickets from drivers, but they cost more – 2,5 Litas.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lithuania and emigration

Sad news in Lithuania… In 2010 population of Lithuania decreased by 84,500. It’s a very big number for our small nation. In the beginning of 2011 only 3,245,000 people lived in Lithuania. If the rates of emigration won’t decrease, in 3 years population will be less than 3 million… Sad. Very sad.
Who will create GDP? Who will pay taxes? Who will make money to pay pensions for increasing army of retired? Many questions, no answers… You probably want to ask me why government is not trying to stop emigration… I have no answers. In Lithuania politicians talk a lot, but they do nothing…

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Is Lithuania a safe country to travel?

Yes, Lithuania is relatively safe. Such crimes as pick-pocketing, thefts and robberies do happen, but if you stay watchful, you should be safe. If you don’t know anything about Lithuania and you think that it is a third world country where people are kidnapped in the streets, I can assure you that it’s not true!
Before I started writing this blog post I had checked what Wikitravel says about safety in Lithuania. Some advices made me laugh! So I want to give you some comments about Wikitravel tips:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lithuanian cuisine: dishes you must try!

Lithuanian cuisine is unique!  If you are from Southern Europe or from America, Lithuanian dishes will be very unusual for you. You either love or hate Lithuanian cuisine, but you won’t be indifferent. You won’t find many light dishes or salads in traditional Lithuanian cuisine. Lithuanian dishes are rich and fat. People in Lithuania used to work hard and had to eat high-calorie food to stay strong during our cold winters. Most of our dishes are made from potatoes. Here are a few examples of traditional Lithuanian cuisine you must try:
Cepelinai (zeppelins)
Cepelinai or didzkukuliai are potatoes dumplings with meat inside. They are usually served with spirguciai (fried fat pork meat), fried onions and sour cream. We love this dish! It is good! But if you are used to eat light food, don’t eat too much, because it is not easy digestible food and you may have stomach problems.
Vegetarians can try version of cepelinai with curd inside.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weather in Lithuania

I don’t like climate in Lithuania. Good thing is that we don’t have tsunamis, tornados or earthquakes. So we can feel safe knowing that powers of nature won’t destroy our homes and probably won’t kill us. The bad things are extremes of air temperature (it can be 30°C (86°F) in summer and -30°C (-22°F) in winter), a lot of rain and lack of sun. Average rainfall in Lithuania is 600-800 millimeters a year. In London, famous for its rainy weather, it is about 740 millimeters. Sun shines about 1673 hours a year in Vilnius (Los Angeles – 3200, New York – 2680, London – 1500, Florence (Italy) – 2500, Madrid – 2500 sunny hours).
Climate in Lithuania is more maritime in the west (near the Baltic Sea, the biggest city here is Klaipeda) and more continental in the east (in the capital of Lithuania – Vilnius). So in Klaipeda it rains more than in Vilnius. Summers are warmer and winters are colder in Vilnius than in the western part of the country.
You can check weather forecast here.
When is the best time to visit Lithuania? I think it is April-September.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lithuanian national character: hardworking nation

What are your first thoughts when you hear the word “Lithuanians”? I am really interested, so please post comment about this. I can guess that you think that we are poor , harsh and dangerous people who ride horse-drawn vehicles in bumpy roads of Lithuania. It’s not true! But foreign media often creates such image of Lithuanians. Mel Gibson once said something about sharp teeth Lithuanians armed with baseball bats, Stephen Colbert made fun of our country saying that “you smell like Lithuanian” is a huge compliment to a woman. The media in European countries, which are popular among Lithuanian emigrants, sometimes publish news about someone killed or robbed by Lithuanians. So it’s not strange that we have really bad image in the world.
But the truth is different.  Media does not talk about thousands of hardworking Lithuanian emigrants, just about a few criminals…
Yes, we are hardworking people. It’s our national feature. Especially in older generation of Lithuanians. People work hard because wages are low in Lithuania, so they have to work overtime to earn extra money. But the truth is that most people do not get overtime pay. They are afraid to say “no” because it’s very easy to lose job in Lithuania and very hard to find a new one… Do you think Lithuanians have free time on weekends? Usually they don’t, because it is still popular even among those who live in the cities to have a parcel of land somewhere in the country and to grow vegetables. And of course they must help relatives, who live in the country, to plant potatoes, weed potatoes, dig potatoes etc.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sightseeing in Vilnius (II)

In my previous blog post I started writing about sights in Vilnius you must see. Now I will tell you about some more places worth visiting in the capital of Lithuania.

The Gates of Dawn
The Gates of Dawn was one of the gates of the city wall back in 16th century. The defensive city wall of Vilnius later was destroyed and now only some remains are left. The gates of Dawn are in a very beautiful part of the old town, so it is worth to go there to see not only this famous sight, but also the surrounding buildings.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sightseeing in Vilnius (I)

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania. I was born in Vilnius and I have lived here all my life. So I know it very well and I can give you advice what sights are really worth seeing.
Vilnius is a beautiful city with a cozy small old town. The population of Vilnius is only about 0.5 million, so Vilnius is very different from megacities. Foreigners who come to Vilnius say that it is very clean and very green. There are many parks and green areas in Vilnius, even in the center of the city. Vilnius is also surrounded by woods. I live in the outskirts of Vilnius, so in a few minutes I can reach a forest. I am really very happy that it’s so easy in Vilnius to get away from noise and rush of the city.
Here is a photo of Vilnius for you to see how green is the capital of Lithuania:

Now I will tell you about the places in Vilnius which you must see. All sights described in this blog and in Sightseeing in Vilnius (II) are in the center and in the old town of Vilnius so you can easily reach all of them by foot in a day.

Friday, January 21, 2011


So today I am starting a new blog. The reason why I decided to write about my home country is simple: I want to tell the world the truth about Lithuania and Lithuanians. It seems that nobody knows about us! Phrase “Lithuania is in what country” is searched 14,800 times a month in google! We are the country! And we are not Russians! In fact, we are proud members of European Union.

If you want to find Lithuania on the map, look for a small country near the Baltic Sea. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are often confused with each other by the foreigners, but they are three different countries with unique people, languages and customs. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia used to be called the Baltic Tiger because of the fast growing economy. Used to be… before the crisis.