All posts by Silvija Travel Tips

Ambassador Hall’s Remarks at Press Conference for the Samuel Bak Museum Opening – Silvija Travel T

Ambassador Hall’s Remarks at Press Conference for the Samuel Bak Museum Opening on the 15 November 2017.

lt is a great privilege for me to be here today.  The opening of the Samuel Bak Museum in Lithuania is a historic milestone for U.S.-Lithuanian friendship.  We are enormously grateful to the Vilna Gaon Jewish Museum and the Pucker Gallery in the United States for their phenomenal efforts in making this event happen, and many others who have supported this project over many years, including many U.S.  Ambassadors before me – and, most importantly, the artist himself, Samuel Bak.  There is nothing more gratifying for me than to see years of vision and hard work come to fruition.  I am honored to be among such esteemed company.

The Samuel Bak museum showcases the work and life of a truly extraordinary American Litvak artist, and one of the world’s greatest living artists.  We are immensely indebted to Mr. Bak for his life’s work, for his deep connection to Vilnius, for his genius, and for the sheer humanity that he expresses so eloquently through his work.

Sam Bak, we are so proud that you are an American, and that you treasure your connection to Vilnius so strongly that you are entrusting this community with many precious pieces of your life’s work.  You truly represent what is best about both our countries, and you are  making our world a more compassionate and wiser place to live.  We are proud to share you with Lithuania and will celebrate with you later today when you are made an honorary citizen of Vilnius.

It is a great honor and privilege for the U.S. Embassy to have played a role in the creation of this museum.  On both sides of the Atlantic, in the U.S. and in Lithuania, there have always been ardent supporters of Mr. Bak’s work.  They appreciate not only its significant artistic merits, but the artist’s amazing power to communicate the human experience of tragedy and hope.  It is deeply meaningful that his work now has a home here in Vilnius.

We are indebted to the efforts of the Lithuanian government, its cultural and educational institutions, as they embrace and commemorate the Jewish history and culture of this country.  We also commend the people of Lithuania as they discover and reconnect with the voices of their past that have been lost, erased, or blurred.  The permanent display of Samuel Bak’s work in Vilnius is an important step in our joint effort to appreciate the vibrant life that thrived here once and continues to live through his amazing art.

Thank you, Mr. Bak, for sharing your incredible vision with us.  Thanks to you, generations of Lithuanians and Americans will be inspired by it.

Source:    | 15 November, 2017

Vilnius City Council approved the introduction of the Tourist Tax – Silvija Travel Tips

The Vilnius City Council approved the introduction of the so-called tourist tax by the majority of its votes (15 December 2017). Calculations have been made that having introduced this tax, the budget of the capital city should increase by about 2 million euros per year starting from 2019, while the collected funds would be allocated to increase international competitiveness of the city and to improve tourism infrastructure.

A tax of one euro will be introduced as from 1 July 2018. Considering the dynamics of the growth of the number of tourists in Vilnius, the plan is to have the tourist tax contribute an additional EUR 2.28 million to the budget of Vilnius in 2019.

Tourist tax funds are planned to be used to develop tourism infrastructure in Vilnius and to attract tourists to the city. The Council approved specific areas of use of the toll: to increase the awareness of the city, to improve international accessibility of the city (for example, flight development programme), to promote conference tourism and to increase touristic appeal of Vilnius.

According to Inga Romanovskienė, the Head of Vilnius Tourism and Business Development Agency “Go Vilnius”, considering the growing interest in the city of Vilnius and the continuously increasing number of business and recreational tourists, the need for active and consistent international tourism marketing in the city, which would help to effectively expand flight routes and improve the Vilnius city tourism infrastructure thus promoting the international competitiveness of Vilnius, has been increasing.

“The tourist tax will allow the city to implement significant projects enhancing the competitiveness of the city in the region, increasing the attractiveness of Vilnius and improving the tourism infrastructure as well as the emergence of new direct flights to Vilnius”, – said I. Romanovskienė.

Such practice is already used in many European and five Lithuanian cities. A tourist tax is collected in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome and many other cities in 17 European countries. In some cities this tax is up to EUR 7. In Lithuania, the tax for lodging in hotels is currently collected in five cities: Druskininkai (EUR 1), Palanga (EUR 1), Birštonas (EUR 1), Trakai (EUR 1) and Kaunas (EUR 0.5, which will be EUR 1 as from 2019)). Tallinn is currently considering a similar tax.

The Vilnius City Council agreed with the calculation of the tax on the number of overnight stays in the city. The proposed tax amount per person for a single night stay is EUR 1 as from July of 2018. In the first year, tourist groups ordering at least 10 rooms will be exempted from the tax; benefits will also apply to patients, children under the age of 18 and older students, the disabled and those who plan to stay in Vilnius for a month or longer.

The local tax is calculated on the number of overnight stays of the accommodation service recipient. In the six months of this year, almost 0.5 million tourists stayed in Vilnius accommodation establishments, spending almost 930 000 nights in the city.

Based on the dynamics of growth of the number of tourists in Vilnius in 2013-2016 and the trends of increase of the number of nights spent in Vilnius, the plan is to have about 1.27 million tourists, who will spend 2.28 million nights in 2019. According to expectations, having introduced a tourist tax of 1 EUR per night, about EUR 2.28 million will be collected in 2019.

Silvija Travel Tips  www.silvijatraveltips.com

Lithuanian-American Innovation Award €10.000 – Silvija Travel Tips

U.S. Ambassador in Lithuania Anne Hal invites interested parties to apply for Lithuanian-American Innovation Award

U.S. Ambassador in Lithuania Anne Hall announces the new round of applications for the annual Lithuanian-American Innovation Award worth of €10.000. Launched in 2016 by the Baltic American Freedom Foundation (BAFF), the American-Lithuanian Business Council (ALBC), and the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, the Award highlights and promotes innovative cooperation between the United States and Lithuania.

“Innovation is critically important to our national economies and a tie that connects Lithuania and the United States,” said Ambassador Hall. “In this centennial year, we are particularly excited to celebrate what we can accomplish when we work together.”

The Innovation Award will be granted to a Lithuanian individual, organization, university, or firm that has developed an innovation in collaboration with a U.S. partner. The Award seeks to recognize creative solutions and developments broadly across business and commerce, academic and scientific research, medicine and health, the environment, energy, and education. Last year’s awardees demonstrated innovation in the genetic editing (Dr. Linas Mazutis and scientists from Harvard University), genome sequencing (Virginijus Siksnys, PhD, et al and DuPont Pioneer), and smart building sectors (Mr. Rimas Gulbinas & Maalka Commercial Building Sustainability Platform).

Any innovative project that demonstrates a clear Lithuania-American link is eligible to win the Innovation Award. The core requirements are an impact or clear potential impact of the innovation, and the clear demonstration of collaboration with a U.S. individual or entity. The deadline to submit application is January 22, 2018.

Two awardees will be announced in late February 2018. First prize will be €10.000 and the runner-up will receive €5.000.

To learn more about the award, and to download an application, visit http://www.amlithbc.org/Award

Note: Information provided by U.S. Embassy in Lithuania – December 13, 2017

Silvija Travel Tips  www.silvijatraveltips.com

Photo: 2016 Lithuanian-American Innovation Awards

Lietuvos ir Ukrainos bendradarbiavimas – naujos galimybės verslui – Silvija Travel Tips

Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidentė Dalia Grybauskaitė kartu su Ukrainos Respublikos Prezidentu Petro Porošenka atidarė Lietuvos ir Ukrainos ekonomikos forumą.

Tai jau trečią kartą vykstantis tokio aukšto lygio renginys, į jį atvyko daugiau nei 100 Lietuvos ir Ukrainos verslo atstovų. Jo tikslas – dar labiau sustiprinti dvišalius verslo ir ekonomikos ryšius.

Prezidentė paragino abiejų šalių verslininkus pasinaudoti galimybėmis, kurias atveria glaudi Lietuvos ir Ukrainos draugystė bei politinis bendradarbiavimas. Įsigaliojus ES ir Ukrainos laisvosios prekybos sutarčiai prekybos apimtys didėja, auga abipusis verslo pasitikėjimas.

Nuo šių metų pradžios Lietuvos ir Ukrainos prekyba išaugo beveik 25 procentais. Per 3 šių metų ketvirčius Lietuvos eksporto į Ukrainą mastas siekė pusę milijardo eurų.

Šalies vadovė pabrėžė, kad Lietuva tvirtai remia antikorupcines reformas Ukrainoje, nuo kurių sėkmės priklauso ir Lietuvos verslo noras bei pasiryžimas investuoti šioje šalyje. Verslo aplinkos gerinimas yra bendras Europos Sąjungos, Tarptautinio valiutos fondo raginimas Ukrainai, kuris  svarbus ir pačios šalies gerovei. Ukraina Pasaulio banko sudarytame „Doing Business“ indekse per trejus metus pakilo 20-ia pakopų ir užima 76 vietą. Lietuva šiame sąraše yra 16-a.

Prezidentės teigimu, Lietuva ir Ukraina yra pasirengusios pasirašyti tarpvalstybinį susitarimą, kuris neleistų nesąžiningam verslui diskriminuoti trečiųjų šalių darbuotojų ir užtikrintų jų socialinę apsaugą. Tai aktualu ir Ukrainoje dirbantiems žmonėms iš Lietuvos, ir Ukrainos darbuotojams Lietuvoje.

Jau yra nemažai sėkmingo Lietuvos ir Ukrainos verslo bendradarbiavimo pavyzdžių. Į Ukrainą eksportuojami lietuviški maisto, chemijos pramonės, popieriaus gaminiai, daug galimybių bendradarbiauti atveria ir IT, elektronikos, logistikos, atsinaujinančios energetikos sektoriai. Lietuvos įmonės taip pat prisideda prie Ukrainos šilumos ūkio modernizavimo, konsultuoja Ukrainos valstybines institucijas, savivaldybių įmones.

Prezidentės spaudos tarnyba  Penktadienis, gruodžio 8 d. (Vilnius).
Silvija Travel Tips  www.silvijatraveltips.com

Antras „Brexit“ derybų raundas – sklandiems ateities santykiams – Silvija Travel Tips

Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidentė Dalia Grybauskaitė dalyvauja Europos Vadovų Tarybos susitikime, kur tvirtinami pirmojo „Brexit“ derybų etapo rezultatai. Šalių vadovai taip pat tariasi dėl svarbiausių prioritetų antrame derybų etape, kuriame bus kuriamas naujas Europos Sąjungos ir Jungtinės Karalystės ateities santykių modelis.

„Brexit“ derybose jau atsižvelgta į Lietuvai svarbiausius klausimus – Jungtinėje Karalystėje gyvenančių Lietuvos piliečių teisės bus apsaugotos, ši šalis laikysis prisiimtų finansinių įsipareigojimų.

Tačiau, pasak Prezidentės, sudėtingiausi darbai dar priešaky: sutarusios, kaip išsiskirti, ES ir Jungtinė Karalystė dar turės sukurti visiškai naują ateities santykių modelį. Lietuvai svarbiausia, kad jis būtų naudingas abiem pusėms ir užtikrintų glaudžius prekybos bei gynybos ryšius. Tai – ir mūsų nacionalinio saugumo bei ekonominis interesas.

Siekiant padėti Lietuvos, ES ir Jungtinės Karalystės žmonėms bei verslui prisitaikyti prie pokyčių po „Brexit“, EVT tariamasi dėl „pereinamųjų laikotarpių“. Jie padėtų išvengti teisinio vakuumo, iki kol bus galutinai sutarta dėl Jungtinės Karalystės ir ES ateities santykių.

Jungtinė Karalystė – reikšminga mūsų ekonominė partnerė. Lietuviškų prekių ir paslaugų eksportas į Jungtinę Karalystę siekia 1,3 mlrd. eurų, o dvišalė prekyba – beveik 1,6 mlrd. eurų. Ši šalis artima Lietuvos saugumo ir gynybos sąjungininkė. Jos kariai prisideda prie regiono saugumo užtikrinimo, bendra Lietuvos ir Jungtinės Karalystės iniciatyva įkurtos ES strateginės komunikacijos komandos kovai su propaganda visos ES mastu.

Pirmame „Brexit“ derybų etape pasiektas susitarimas su Jungtine Karalyste, kad joje gyvenantys Lietuvos ir kitų ES šalių piliečiai nebūtų diskriminuojami įsidarbinant, siekiant išsilavinimo, socialinės, sveikatos apsaugos klausimais. Jungtinė Karalystė taip pat įsipareigojo laikytis prisiimtų susitarimų dabartinėje ES finansinėje perspektyvoje. Lietuvai tai reiškia, kad finansinė ES parama, kurią esame užsitikrinę iki 2020 m., dėl „Brexit“ nesumažės. Taip pat pasiektas susitarimas, padėsiantis išvengti naujos sienos tarp Šiaurės Airijos ir Airijos Respublikos.

Prezidentės spaudos tarnyba Penktadienis, gruodžio 15 d. (Briuselis).
Silvija Travel Tips  www.silvijatraveltips.com

Holiday World Show launches largest ever Home Holiday Pavilion for 2018 – Silvija Travel Tips

Minister of State for Tourism in Ireland launches pavilion for show in RDS Dublin, 26-28 January 2018

Discover a variety of breathtaking Irish holiday destinations at Holiday World Show, taking place in the RDS Simmonscourt from Friday 26th January to Sunday 28th January 2018. The show’s largest ever Home Holiday Pavilion was launched in Dublin (15 December 2017) by Brendan Griffin, T.D. Minister of State for Tourism in Ireland.

Holiday World Show’s Home Holiday Pavilion will showcase hundreds of destinations and holiday experiences from all across the beautiful island of Ireland. From stunning coastal towns to cosmopolitan cities and unforgettable landscapes, there is so much to discover right on our doorstep!

Speaking at the photocall, Minister Griffin commented, “Ireland offers endless opportunities for new travel experiences.  With accommodation ranging from luxury castles to country cottages, diverse activities such as exploring our new Greenways on foot or by bike, world class cultural attractions and breathtaking beaches, why not make 2018 the year you explore Ireland.”

He added, “The continued growth of Holiday World Show and its Home Holiday Pavilion is evidence of the increasing appetite of Irish consumers for holidays at home, as well as the wealth of products on offer by Irish tourism providers.”

Maureen Ledwith, Organiser of the Holiday World Show, said, “Holiday World Show offers visitors the opportunity to meet with over 1,000 travel experts from across Ireland and the globe, book fantastic breaks and avail of special show-only offers. This year’s Home Holiday Pavilion is the biggest one yet, with a new Northern Ireland Tourism Village and Donegal Tourism, voted ‘the coolest place on the planet in 2017’ by the National Geographic, hosting the largest stand.”

Holiday World Show 2018 will also include the largest ever ‘Visit USA Pavilion’, a new French Camping Pavilion, the Irish holiday favourites Spain and Italy, as well as an array of other destinations, cruise companies and airlines. International award winning travel journalist Eoghan Corry will once again take to the stage and present his newly formatted series of talks called ‘Let’s Talk Travel with Eoghan Corry’. Eoghan will interview leading industry experts from around the world and answer visitors’ questions on topics such as Holiday Trends, Africa, Solo Holidays, Visas and Passports, Irish Attractions, Cruises and Adventure Holidays.

For further information on the Holiday WoNew rld Show 2018 visit www.holidayworldshow.com.

Silvija Travel Tips. www.silvijatraveltips.com

Silvija Zalepugiene, Silvija Travel Tips with New York Team at the Holiday World Show 2016

Postojna Cave Christmas Celebrations, Slovenia – Silvija Travel Tips

Nativity scenes, which are held in Slovenia around Christmas, are one of the country’s most popular symbols of Christmas celebrations. Postojna Cave has held one of the biggest Christmas festive events, featuring Live Nativity Scenes and a Christmas market already for 28 years. This year’s Living Nativity features 16 Biblical scenes with more than 150 amateur performers from the local community and top Slovenian musicians, who make the story even more special. Read further and find out why.

The behind the scenes story is really amazing and offers a unique insight into the personal stories of the performers. The show is put together by a team of local amateurs, who live and breathe their roles and make the show one of the most anticipated events in the year.

The 68-year-old Milan K. who plays Zechariah and The Last Shave shaves his beard every Wednesday and Sunday morning. The first time he grew his beard was four years ago, to commemorate the time when his wife was in hospital recovering from surgery. At that time, he was also spotted for the role of Zechariah. Since then, his last shave before the show is on 6th October. “Oh, the itching in the first weeks is the hardest part of being bearded,” he says. After the performances end in December, the beard must go, as Mrs Kastelic does not approve it.

There are four scenes with Joseph in the show. Thus, four Josephs are needed for the Postojna Cave’s walking Living Nativity performance. Long hair, a long beard and acting skills are essential, but there is one who deserves special attention: Nik Č. He has played the lead role in the scene called The Birth, the most challenging and emotional scene for five years. He is religious, likes metal, plays the guitar and loves dogs. To perform in Postojna Cave, he takes five days annual leave and carefully hides all seven Metal Camps festival wristbands on his left hand.

Virgin Mary was played by a local Instagram star, who now lost the role of Virgin Mary since she dyed her hair blonde. Instead, she got the role of an angel in this year’s performance. The men who take on the roles of the Three Wise Men, come from three very different backgrounds. But thanks to nativity experience, they have become good friends. Anthony’s B. first week after moving to Postojna was during a devastating sleet storm, which paralyzed the town. He ended up making a new friend on that first day and got invited to the Living Nativity. Matej K. became a performer when he saw the devotion of his newly bearded father, and Marino S., a local artist joined the Nativity “just for fun,” he says.

Behind every successful show stands a devoted director and behind the Living Nativity at Postojna stands the 73-year-old Gabrijela B., whose professional career is far from theater. In fact, she has devoted her career to coaching. In Postojna, she is known as one of the strictest and talented basketball coaches. Her professional skills definitely help her with directing the show with more than 150 performers. She has done it already for 28 years now.

The 16-year-old Martina G. is studying to become a make-up artist. She spends her summer job wages on professional make up she “cannot afford” according to her sister! The busiest time of the year for her is the end of the school year, not just because it’s an exam period, but also because she is the local prom make-up artist.

Postojna Cave is one of Slovenia’s most breathtaking sights with a 200-year tradition in tourism. Every December, for five days, the cave transforms into a magical Christmas venue for the Living Nativity Scenes, which are set along the entire five-kilometre tourist route. During one of the most magnificent renditions of the biblical Christmas story featuring more than 150 performers a day, you even have a chance to ride a small cave train.

From 25 to 30 December, the 90-minute Christmas spectacle will take place several times a day. Check out the timetable here.

Silvija Travel Tips  www.silvijatraveltips.com

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser – Big Bus Tour in Washington D.C. for IPW Media – Silvija Travel Tips

“Big Bus Tours” yra didžiausias pasaulio atvirųjų autobusų ekskursijų organizatorius, teikiantis pažintines keliones 19 miestuose trijuose žemynuose.  Viešėdama Vašingtone, DC, kaip IPW 2017 dalyvė, pasirinkau kelionę ” Big Bus” autobusu pažinčiai su šiuo ypatingu miestu. Kadangi tai yra geriausias būdas pamatyti Vašingtoną, atsipalaidavusi ir dairydamasi į šalis stebėjau įžymias vietas, dėl kurių Amerikos sostinė tokia atpažįstama ir ypatinga. O išsamūs gido pasakojimai dar labiau praturtino mano pažintį su Vašingtonu. Ir man labai pasisekė! Susipažinus su miesto įžymybėmis ir autobusui stabtelėjus ties Vašingtono paminklu, kitą kelionės dalį kaip gidė pratęsė Vašingtono DC merė Muriel Bowser. Big Bus prisipildė apsaugos, daugybės kamerų, žurnalistų. Visi norėjome pamatyti ir pasiklausyti miesto merės pasakojimo. Prieš tapdama Vašington DC mere, Muriel Bowser buvo ekskursijų vadovė. Jos išsamūs pasakojimai apie Vašington DC, autobusu keliaujant per šio didžiojo miesto istoriją nepaliko abejingų.Pravažiavome pro Baltuosius rūmus, Vašingtono paminklą, Nacionalinį prekybos centrą, istorinį Džordžtauną, Arlingtono nacionalines kapines ir dar daugybę žymių vietų . Tikrai kelionė buvo ypatinga.

Breakfast Epiphanies. A exhibition of work by Duda – Silvija Travel Tips

Airijos ir Italijos kilmės dailininkas Davidas Uda ,kuris yra žinomas kaip Duda, dabar gyvena ir dirba tarp Dublino ir Niujorko.
Neseniai įvyko šio tarptautiniu mastu žinomo menininko individualus šou Airijos galerijoje “Sol Art Gallery” Dubline , Dawson gatveje.

Čia buvo pristatyti jo naujausi darbai. Į parodą susirinko daugybė Dudos meno gerbėjų , kolekcionierių, dailininkų , draugų ir šeimos narių. Duda JAV atstovauja “The World Trade Gallery” Niujorke, kur kartu su “Silverstein Properties” buvo pakviestas tapti vienu iš 33 tarptautiniu mastu pripažintų menininkų, dalyvaujančių 4-ame Pasaulio prekybos centre vykusiame įspūdingame projekte. Darbas buvo pradėtas šiais metais ir buvo plačiai paplitęs ir žinomas. Duda pagirtas už jo darbą. “In the Bloom” – tai Dudos duoklė rugsėjo 11 d. aukoms. 2606 baltos gėlytės žaliame fone simbolizuoja aukų skaičių . Dudos darbas buvo atliktas 69 aukšte, 5000 kvadratinių pėdų teritorijoje su vaizdu į Pasaulio prekybos centro memorialinę svetainę. Duda tarptautiniu mastu žiūri į kolekcininkų akis su savo unikaliu šiuolaikinio pop meno stiliumi, papildydamas vis didėjantį portfelį savo asmeninėmis kolekcijomis būsimoms parodoms ir
užsakymais savo darbų gerbėjams.

Link to art work:  solart.ie/Artist-Duda

Artist website:  www.duda.ie

 

 

 

Special Offer USA to Europe from $349 Round-Trip – Silvija Travel Tips

Fly non-stop to Europe from NYC, Boston, DC, and Chicago, and make travel your New Year’s resolution. Fares include gate-to-gate Wi-Fi access, personal in-flight entertainment, and all taxes & fees.

TRAVEL PERIOD: JANUARY 14th – MARCH 8th, 2018

ECONOMY LIGHT SPECIALS
Economy Light only includes hand luggage.

NEW YORK CITY BOSTON WASHINGTON DC CHICAGO
Copenhagen 349 349 479
Stockholm 349 379 499
Oslo 349 349 499 549
Helsinki 449 379 499
Glasgow 549 569 549 569
Amsterdam 399 449 399 449
London 449 449 549 579
Paris 499 449 449 449
Frankfurt 499 449 449

SALES PERIOD: December 14th – December 17th, 2017

Don´t forget to visit www.icelandair.us/flights and look out for specials.

What can you do during a STOPOVER in Iceland?

Wind-down with a few hours in the ethereal waters of the Blue Lagoon. Take a day tour to the famous Golden Circle, go whale watching or enjoy the Icelandic countryside under the midnight sun during the summer months or the northern lights beginning in mid-September, or simply explore Iceland’s bustling, yet cozy capital city of Reykjavik. There’s plenty of options to book with the tours & add-ons available from Icelandair. Plus, be sure to check out the hotel and car hire rates available throughout Iceland, from economy-size cars to vehicles with room for the whole family.

* Fares quoted are round-trip including all taxes and fees, based on availability, and on sale until supplies last.

Silvija Travel Tips  www.silvijatraveltips.com