Sunday, February 27, 2011

Prices in Lithuania

In this blog post I will give you some information about prices in Lithuania. I hope this information will help you to plan how much money you need if you are coming to Lithuania.

Prices in Lithuania probably won’t scare you if you live in mega city of the Western Europe. But still Lithuania is not so cheap as you could expect for Eastern Europe.

What is relatively cheap in Lithuania (compared to cities of Western Europe)? Public transportation, food in restaurants and cafes… I can’t think of anything else.

What is expensive in Lithuania? Food in supermarkets, clothes and shoes, electronic products, books, utilities (especially heating). Most of these goods and services in Lithuania cost the same or even more than in London, Berlin, Paris… For example, my family in winter pays about 400-500 LTL every month for heating (we live in a flat of 3 rooms). But our wages are really different from residents of the Western Europe.

Before I give you information about prices, I want to introduce you what are wages and pensions in Lithuania. You have to understand that we, Lithuanians, have reasons to whine how hard life in Lithuania is…

1 LTL = 0,29 EUR = 0,40 USD

Minimal monthly wage in Lithuania: 670 LTL (net)
Average monthly wage in Lithuania: 1500-1600 LTL (net)
Maximal monthly unemployment benefit paid by government (maximal period of payment is 6 months): 650 LTL
Average monthly retirement pension: 750 LTL

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cheap flights to Lithuania

For a few years situation with cheap flights to Lithuania was really bad. At the moment we don’t have any cheap flights to the capital of Lithuania – Vilnius. Two Lithuanian companies flying from Vilnius airport bankrupted in recent years. Cheap flights company Ryanair flies only to Kaunas (second biggest city of Lithuania, about 100 kilometers from Vilnius). But this situation will finally change! This spring new cheap flights company Wizzair comes to Lithuania and will be flying to Vilnius. Ryanair got scared of the competition and soon will also start flights to Vilnius. It’s great news for Lithuania! Finally Vilnius will be easy reachable by plane.

In this blog post I will give you information about cheap flights to Lithuania: from which cities you can fly cheap to Lithuania and how much it costs (one way).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Myth about Lithuanian girls: you can buy any girl you want

Lithuanian girls have really bad image. That’s sad… Most of foreigners who come to Lithuania think that here they can buy any girl they want. And they are honestly surprised when they realize that it’s myth…

Why do Lithuanian girls have such bad image? Maybe because many prostitutes from Eastern Europe work abroad… Maybe because foreigners hear rumors from their friends how easy is to find a woman for one night in Lithuania… I can explain you where those rumors come from.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Independence Day in Lithuania or how politicians were buying votes for sausages

February 16 in Lithuania is the Independence Day. 92 years ago Lithuania was declared an independent country. So we celebrated… Did we..? I have to confess I didn’t… (I’m not proud of it) Most of my friends didn’t celebrate too. It was just a day when you don’t need to go to work and can watch stupid films on TV all day long… Why are we so passive?

The answer is obvious. We are stressed and tired to live in Lithuania today. We are not proud to be Lithuanians most of the time… Unemployment, rising prices and corruption do not make Lithuania the best country to live in. So not much to celebrate…

But some people really tried to make this day special for Lithuanians. When I looked through the window on the morning of February 16, I saw the preparation for the festival. It was unusual. My district is on the outskirts of Vilnius, so usually nothing is going on here.

In the afternoon the festival started. Loud music, huge fires and grilled sausages for everyone! Although it was very cold, many people living in the neighbourhood came to celebrate.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Palanga in winter

Today I will tell you about famous Lithuanian resort Palanga. It is a town near the Baltic Sea. In summer it is crowded! I don’t like it in summer… Crowded beaches, cold water in the sea and Russian music… If you love to party you probably will like Palanga in summer. If you look for quiet relaxation, you should visit Palanga in winter.

I was in Palanga a few times in winter. It was great! Of course it is cold. Very cold sometimes… But if the days are sunny and the wind is not too strong, the weather is quite pleasant. The town in winter seams asleep. Many cafes and restaurants are closed, you probably won’t find much to do in evenings.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lithuania is the best country because...

…we care how Germans maintain their cars. We know that 10 years later we will ride those cars.
…we get angry when plumber comes drunk, but we still pay him a bottle of vodka. 
…only in Lithuania on every Christmas for 15 years in a row “Home Alone” is on TV.
…we have epic past, shameful present and obscure future.
…when you are going by car at top allowable speed you are stopping the traffic.
…vacations in Palanga (resort near the Baltic Sea) are more expensive than in Turkey.
…it doesn’t matter how many passangers are in a minibus, there is always enough room for one more.
…tourists in Lithuania think Maxima X X X is a porn shop.
…Lithuania is a second country in the world by the level of corruption because we gave a bribe not to be first.
…we have many shaved head guys, who cares about your problems. Whenever they see you, they ask: “What's your problem???”
…in Lithuania you can buy a cell phone for 1 litas, pay 0 cents per minute for your calls and at the end of the month get three-figure bill.
…in Lithuania 2000 baseball bats and only 2 baseball gloves are sold in a year.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kernave Archeological site

Today I want to tell you about a very beautiful gem not far away from Vilnius (about 30 kilometers or 19 miles). This place is called Kernave. Last summer I got there by bike for one day and I had a wonderful time. And I made some nice pictures too.

When I was on my way to Kernave and back to Vilnius it surprised me that I haven’t seen any buses of tourists going to Kernave. I think this gem is wantonly forgotten. I hope this blog post will encourage you to visit Kernave.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lithuania has new basketball hymn for EuroBasket 2011

The festival of EuroBasket 2011 has started in Lithuania! On Sunday night we chose new basketball hymn of Lithuania! Do national teams in your country have hymns? Well, we win often, so we have to sing something when we celebrate…
On the live broadcast 10 contestants presented their songs. The commission and the viewers both voted for the song “Krepsinio himnas” (“Basketball hymn”). The authors and singers of this song are Marijus Mikutavicius, Mia and Mantas.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spring is coming to Lithuania!

The weather in Lithuania is really unpredictable! Yesterday it was raining like hell. The snow started to melt and it was impossible to keep feet dry walking outside.
And this morning when I woke up and opened curtains, I saw sun shining! Unbelievable! Today I heard the word “spring” mentioned at least 10 times. Yes… It smells like spring, it feels like spring…
The day was so beautiful that I went for a walk. It was not very pleasant outside: ice on pavements, cold wind blowing... But the sense of spring coming was there… People on the streets seemed happier than usually and I even heard birds singing.
But I’m trying not to get too excited, because it is really too early for spring to come to Lithuania. Real spring usually comes in the middle of March, so I will probably see some snow and cold this winter again…
I made some photos today.
This is my street. Boring district in the outskirts of Vilnius. The good thing about living there is that the forest is just a few minutes away from home, you can see it in the picture:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lithuania goes on Facebook

Lithuanian State Department of Tourism a few days ago announced that Lithuania is going to attracts tourists by getting on social network websites like Facebook. The Department now is looking for someone to create and implement the strategy of Lithuania’s introduction to social networking websites. The goal of this project is creating an attractive image of Lithuania.
Sounds nice, but… I don’t understand something… The representative of Lithuanian State Department of Tourism says that it is first time when Lithuania will be trying to attract tourists by getting on social networking websites. I did a little research on Facebook of my own. And I found page “Discover Lithuania” with more than 2000 fans. The contact information on this Facebook profile points to the website about tourism run by Lithuanian State Department of Tourism.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The beauty of Lithuania in video

I can tell you a lot about the beauty of Lithuanian cities, lakes and forests. But you will imagine my country better if you see some of its beauty yourself. So today I found some videos on youtube which really capture the best of Lithuania.

Next video is about Lithuania's coast near the Baltic Sea:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lithuania – the land of basketball

It is said that basketball in Lithuania is a religion. And I absolutely agree! We love basketball. And we are good at it! I am very proud about achievements of our Lithuanian national basketball team. We are the nation of 3 million and we are one of the best basketball players in the world.
Since 1937 Lithuanian national men basketball team three times won bronze medals in Olympic Games, once won bronze medals in World Championship, three times became the winner of European Championship, once won silver medals and once bronze medals in European Championship. Not bad for such a small country…
Olympic Games, World and European Basketball Championships are very important events in Lithuania. The victories are celebrated in the streets and in recent years it became popular to put flags on cars to show support for our national team.

Even homeless support Lithuanian team!