First weeks in Lithuania – as seen by: Great Britain

27 11 2012

Our english friend Zach made a nice video from the pictures of the first three weeks (Language Course) – enjoy :-)





Short Trip to Vilnius

3 11 2012

As we have been invited by the austrian embassador in Lithuania, we did a short trip (2 nights) to Lithuania’s capital Vilnius. The reason for this special invitation was Austria’s National Holiday. Bernd and I decided to visit Vilnius not like usual tourists but a bit like adventurers :-) Let’s make a picture story out of it:

Once upon a time there were two awesome austrian guys on their way to Vilnius, collecting data for OpenCoverageMap while travelling.

OpenCoverageMap

Their british friend (who looks OBVIOUSLY british), who studies in Vilnius, showed them some great places you must have seen! Of course, we are talking about Clubs and Bars; they had to find their hostel and the embassy with good old Google Maps...

Following the invitation to the embassy, they had the possibility to drink austrian wine, ...

... meet other Austrian Erasmus-Students and also the embassador (the Gentleman in behind, who is speaking with passion) ...

... and eat - small, but still - a Schnitzel and other food, that was at least claimed to be traditional austrian. :-)

It a little bit awoke the patriots in them, there - in the embassy. But our heroes' journey wasn't over yet!

After a long night with the british guide, we met before, it was probably not the best thing to happen to lose the guy, who knows the area and walk randomly in some direction

But our heroes know how to make a virtue of necessity, and so a new kind of Sight-Seeing was born: Night-Seeing :-D

The next day they decided to walk around in Vilnius without any plan to see things maybe no other tourist saw before! One highlight was a church, that was either renovated or even just built :-)

THIS IIIIS a bus stop and a taxi meeting point.

By the way, this day was National Holiday of Austria, so they celebrated the evening going to a German Restaurant (closest to Austrian cuisine)

FYI: They have been invited to the embassy on Oct 25 due to a 20-year-anniversary of lithuanian freedom and these events were combined.

There was traditional music of the wider area of Austria and the South of Germany.

So your question might be: "What do you need more than a wheat beer and Bernd in romantic candle light?"

Of course! A REAL Wiener Schnitzel! (Veal!)

Mentioning it, because in the embassy the Schnitzel was pork…

Next Scene: A bar called "Pogo". A menu, but a special menu! For two minutes our heroes have been the luckiest knights all over Vilnius' old-town, reading STIEGL is sold there!

Jonas ┼Żemaitis ("Vytautas") was one of the leaders of armed resistance against the Soviet occupation; Posthum acknowledged as President of Lithuania

Next to his statue, an oath to fight for Lithuania's freedom, liberty and reconstruction

Exploring small alleys, no tourist guide would lead you through, they found a nice quaint pub. This barrel says "Highland Breweries" I want to add a short reminder here, that that the maximum elevation of Lithuania is 294 meters...

So this is the end of our story.

After quick postcard purchases they went their way again...

...because their Kingdom was still waiting for them - and still is.

And if they didn't die, they lived happily ever after, posting their adventures on a great blog!

the End





Quotes

17 10 2012

After two and a half month in Lithuania, we already had lots of interesting situations and talks. Despite all the nice things we are told usually, there are also other experiences – some of them have been quite funny:

(talking about me) “That kangaroo-guy?”

“You really look like a lithuanian!” – “Is that a compliment?” – “Let’s say it’s 50% compliment and 50% not good”

“Why is there no austrian language? Doesn’t it bother you that you don’t even
have your own language?”

(Asks a few basic words I know in lithuanian language) “You know eeeverything”

“Why did you choose Lithuania?” – “Because it’s a beautiful country ;-)” – “No, it’s not!”

(starts talking to me in lithuanian language) “Do you speak english?” – “Yes, but why should we speak english? We don’t have to.” – “What do you mean ‘we don’t have to’?” – “Because we are Lithuanians”

“This is drinking vodka the lithuanian way” (was everytime different when I heard that sentence, but everytime with the result of partial memory loss)

“They don’t speak real german” ..translates ‘milk': ‘Milsch’ and doesn’t know why that could in any case be wrong…

“Austria – so you are from Vienna?” – “No.” – “So where are you from?” (doesn’t know any place except Vienna..)

“So, is it your first time in europe?” – “Aahm.. I’m from Austria..”

“Na daun kima eh a bissl deitsch redn :)” – “Ich hab jetzt kein Wort verstanden.”

To add even more fun to this post, here is a commercial video from a lithuanian mineral water:





International Dinner

24 09 2012

The International Dinner was a great event, where we’ve been able to taste the best meals from all over the world.



Once again, the handsome and awesome austrian guys in Lederhosen have been the attraction #1!




But of course, there have been only nice people ­čśë Also, there was lots of tasty food…













There was also an “International Dinner Award”. And quess what: The winner was AUSTRIA! Kaiserschmarrn, Manner Wafferl and Mozartkugeln ftw! :) Our price was a sweet lithuanian dish.








Kaunas – So it begins…

18 09 2012

Gert driving us to Kaunas. I told you I will put that pic on my blog...

After a great last party time in Klaip─Śda we moved out of the dormitory the next day, got our last lunch in the small mall “Studlendas” and started our trip to Kaunas with Gert – our friend from Germany. At first we didn’t know whether even the doors can be closed anymore, because we had a lot of things to carry, but finally it worked out.

Here we are


Arrived in Kaunas we immediately found our dormitory, where we took the first advantage of the Language Course, because the receptionist spoke only lithuanian and russian… When we finally managed to get to our rooms we’ve been a little disappointed not to get single rooms. Still in a good mood we went there to see that the rooms are really small, the beds are in fact couches and the very small bathroom had to be shared with another double room. At least I tried to keep my good mood and Bernd and Gert have been at least willingly to get in a better mood again, so we went out for a beer.




We knew soon, that we have to move to a flat to have some private space and freedom to have guests at any time, and drink beer in a kitchen without a camera, and don’t have to wake up someone when we get home at 3 a.m. so we can get into the building, and … yeah I think you get the idea… After more than two weeks we moved to a flat, but that’s another story.

At the university, especially at the International Office, everybody is really nice, but also some prejudices regarding Lithuanians have been confirmed again. Nevertheless, we will take all the courses we signed up for, take the advanced beginners lithuanian language course and we had some fine first days in Kaunas.

In Kaunas there are pretty much churches, chapels and stuff like that, but the highlight of “old buildings” is the Kaunas Castle (Kauno pilis), which is next to a river and on sunny days a great place to be – often with events. Ambling through Laisv─Śs al─Śja, the main road of the city center including restaurants, shops, clubs and more, is really nice. Old Town also has a nice flair with a square, which we didn’t see crowded yet, but I guess there will be some events in the future!

=)

Laisv─Śs al─Śja

Another great lithuanian dish: Chicken with rice and carrots, baked with cheese.

Big Pizza!

Church in the city center

Church in Oldtown

Cake Castle

Kaunas Castle (Kauno Pilis)

Kaunas Castle (Kauno Pilis)

View from Kaunas Castle - Family Event and Erasmus-Picknick





Iki pasimatymo, Klaip─Śda

4 09 2012

As there was a long time without posting, I will sum up the last week in Klaip─Śda now. We had a really great time here, without any doubt. There are so much stories and anekdotes, that I can’t tell you all of them, but I think everyone who knows Bernd and/or me can be sure that we had lots of fun!

One of the last highlights was the Cultural Evening, where every country of the participants had to be presented in a creative way – no PowerPoint or Videos or something like that allowed. So this is what we saw:

Turkey

Turkey: The big turkish group showed us partly what they are doing during stag night.
Germany: They presented a poem in german with original slang of Berlin and a german song was sung.
Slovakia: The two of them had made some pictures and talked about Slovakia with some funny anekdotes.
Poland: A poem; first in polish, then translated into english, afterwards they showed (with help of the Turks) us a Polka, ending with the song “I’m sexy and I know it” – really funny.

UK

United Kingdom: Our friend from England presented his country in a very self-ironic and humorous way. In the background he had some music that sounded like a royal announcement was made.
Latvia: The girl from Latvia wrote a open-hearted story about herself and her country.
Denmark: Self-drawn images of a fairy tale, we heard in danish language, made it possible for us to follow the story at least a little bit, but it was funny all the way.

Slovakia

Estonia: Nothing :( The girl from Estonia left a day before.
AUSTRIA: First of all we told some quick facts about our beautiful country in our well known funny way, described what we were wearing (Lederhose – we’ve been the only ones with traditional clothes, later on some girls even wanted to take photos with us…) and then we told them that Austrians also sing from time to time – so we teached them the chorus and sang Gstanzl :-)

Here are the verses we sang:


Mit de lustigen Gstanzl
do faung ma jetzt au
a jeder derf singa
waunas hoid kau

Zwischn Steyr und Garsten,
jo do is a tun├Â,

Austria

foast eini wirds finsta,
foast aussi wirds h├Â.

Es gibt halt koan Streit
und ois gibt a Ruah
wenn oana nix sagt
und de aundan hean zua

Mei Voda hot gsogt,
i solls Hei obatrong,
Hob nan foisch vastaundn,
hobs Kaibl daschlongn

is Beirin recht Dick
und an da sau is nix dro
don hot se da baua
beim Fuadan vado

Wons Švyturys rengt
und Brotwiaschtl schneibt,
don bitt ma in Herrgot
das Wetta so bleibt.

For some english text

Latvia


now is the time
you can sing what you want
it just has to rhyme :)

Mes mylime lietuva,
m─Śgstame Al┼│.
Tris savaites ─»domus,
sakome A─Źiu!

Also, the complete Erasmus-group sang a lithuanian song. We learned that song during the course and it’s called “Svirplys”.

The evening ended with traditional lithuanian dances, some international food (we provided Manner Schnitten) and some songs of the different parts of lithuania.

On the last day (August 24) we had our final exams, got a certificate for participation and we packed. In the evening there was the unofficial closing with a nice dinner at the sea. Afterwards we lighted some flying away lamps (I don’t know how to describe them better).
In the end we went to a club in the city. Bernd and I went there in Lederhose. Some of our Erasmus coaches preventively told the bouncer that this is our national costume so we could for sure get in. :-)


Poland

Germany

Denmark





Essen (f├╝r Papa auf deutsch)

23 08 2012

Die heimische Kost der Litauer war bisher ausgezeichnet! Aber auch so manch andere Kost, die man auch in ├ľsterreich bekommt, ist ziemlich gut. Mit wenigen Ausnahmen (vielleicht ist “knusprig” im China Restaurant einfach nur ein ├ťbersetzungsfehler…) wurden unsere Erwartungen zumeist erf├╝llt, aber auch schon ├╝bertroffen.

Ein sehr popul├Ąrer Snack hier ist Kepta Duona: gebackenes Brot in K├Ąse-Mayonnaise-Sauce. Ist besser als es sich anh├Ârt (und vor allem besser als es auf den Fotos aussieht). Eine gem├╝tliche Runde mit lustigen Leuten, Bier und Kepta Duona ist jedenfalls was sehr feines ­čśë

Aber da ein Bild ja mehr als tausend Worte sagt – hier bitte, mehr als 30.000 Worte:

Suppen

Von den Suppen waren wir bisher noch nie entt├Ąuscht, die sind immer gut.

China Restaurant: Entensuppe - ja, wir gehen in Litauen zum Chinesen!

Die Entensuppe war wirklich k├Âstlich, gut gew├╝rzt, aber nicht zu viel.

China Restaurant: Huhn-Shrimps-Suppe - schaut auf den ersten Blick eher komisch aus...

...ist aber einer der besten Suppen, die ich jemals gegessen habe! Zumindest wenn man sich etwas an der Soja-Sauce bedient.

┼áaltibar┼í─Źiai su Bulv─Śmis = Rote R├╝ben Suppe mit Kartoffeln: ein litauisches Nationalgericht, kalt, mit einem Ei drin, und meiner Meinung nach sehr gut.

k├Âstliche Gem├╝sesuppe in einem Restaurant, "das kein Restaurant ist" (wurde uns so vorgestellt)

Sultinukas su Kold┼źnais - (Suppe mit) Fleischkn├Âderl und Gem├╝se



Hauptspeisen

Beginnen wir mit dem Essen, dessen litauischen Namen ich nicht kenne :)


China Restaurant: Huhn & Shrimps mit Sojasauce

China Restaurant: "knuspriges" Rind - war nicht knusprig und etwas zu stark gew├╝rzt - eine der wenigen Mahlzeiten, die mich nicht wirklich ├╝berzeugt haben

Fisch - und wenn man hier Fisch ist, macht man normalerweise keinen Fehler

Fisch mit Kartoffeln (irgendwas R├Âsti-├Ąhnliches) - hat da Bernd gegessen, war aber glaub ich ganz gut...

Hendl mit P├╝ree - traditionell litauisch: war sehr gut, aber leider etwas wenig :(

Hendl mit K├╝mmel - hat Bernd gegessen - der wusste nicht, dass da K├╝mmel drauf sein w├╝rde ­čśÇ Aber es hat ihm trotzdem geschmeckt und er hat auch ganz brav zamgessn

Paprika-Irgendwas - stand f├╝r die Vegetarier zur Auswahl - wir ham halt auch ein Foto gemacht... War was ich mitbekommen habe auch nicht wirklich gut - da waren Hendl und Fisch wohl die bessere Wahl

Schwein mit Reis und Salat - witziges Detail: das hat einer der T├╝rken gegessen :)


Bei den folgenden Gerichten wei├č ich entweder wie sie hei├čen, oder ich war zumindest so schlau den Namen zu notieren. Kommt mir mittlerweile garnicht mehr komisch vor, mit dem Handy etwas aus der Karte zu fotografieren, bevor ich bestelle…


Aludario Vai┼í─Śs - ├╝bersetzt Braumeisters Spezialit├Ąt - Ger├Ąucherte Wirschtl, Bohnen mit Tomatensauce und Kartofferl, so ├Ąhnlich wie Potato Wedges

Cepelinai su grietine ir spirgu─Źiais - Cepelinai mit Schmand und gebratenem Speck - Cepelinai sind Kn├Âdel mit fettem Schweinefleisch - DAS litauische Nationalgericht

Gruzdukai - gebratene Fleischkn├Âdel mit Schinken-K├Ąse-Sauce ├╝berbacken - oh ja, das schmeckt genauso gut wie es sich anh├Ârt!

Laum─Śs Blyneliai - Cr├¬pes mit Hendl und Gem├╝se, dazu Tomaten und Sour Cream Sauce - das hatte ein Freund aus der Slowakei

Snacks und Nachspeisen
…weil man auch zwischendurch mal was essen will und Nachspeisen das Leben vers├╝├čen :)


Hier in Meeresgegend sind Fischprodukte denkbar g├╝nstig und so kommt es, dass wir uns des ├ľfteren ein paar Lachsbr├Âtchen g├Ânnen :)

Kepta Duona ist der Snack schlechthin - Gebackenes Brot, normalerweise mit K├Ąse-Mayonnaise-Sauce - es gibt aber verschiedene Versionen davon

Das hier sieht zwar auch aus wie Kepta Duona, ist aber h├Ąrter, ohne Sauce, und mit relativ viel Knoblauch - schmeckt nicht schlecht, hatten wir beim Keltenfest, wor├╝ber ich auch noch schreiben werde ;-)

Chips und ein Snack, den ich nur so beschreiben kann: wie weiche Smacks :-)

Einmal bekamen wir K├Ąse als Appetitanreger. Was soll ich sagen, man muss die entsprechende K├Ąsesorte halt m├Âgen, den rechten fand ich gut.

Roullade :)

Blyneliai su S┼źriu - Palatschinken mit K├Ąse: ziemlich geil

Tetul─Śs Blyneliai - Tantchens Cr├¬pes (bessere ├ťbersetzung ist mir nicht eingefallen) - Topfenpalatschinken mit Sour Cream und Erdbeersauce

Austri┼íkas Pyragas su Var┼íke = ├ľsterreichischer Kuchen mit Topfen - TOPFENSTRUDEL mit Vanillesauce <3

...und gut war er obendrein!





Trip to Nida

16 08 2012

On Saturday (August 11) we went to Nida by bus. A small part of the route the bus went by ship :). Although some of us had, for unknown reasons, a little headache in the morning, it was a great and interesting trip.

Witches’ forrest: Here we saw wooden statues standing for some fairy tales and witches and devils.

Sand Dunes: I liked the dunes. They are like beach-hills with an awesome view to the sea.

A wood, that’s almost destroyed by ravens’ poo…

We had lunch at a very traditional family business restaurant, there we also got to know a lithuanian birthday tradition: a few strong men have to push up the person, who has birthday, on a chair. They have to do that as many times as years the person got old. The bastard turned 27… But actually it was fun, I think we will have to introduce that in Austria too, as soon as we arrive! :-)

Amber Museum: We heard some interesting facts about amber. Sure, I remembered all of them, I just don’t want to write them down… Bernd and I bought something special there, but details will follow in another post.


Thomas Mann’s leisure residence:
Lots of pictures and stuff to read. You could enjoy a beautiful view to the sea (or was it the lagoon?) from there, as Thomas Mann did in the past. Rather small but nice house. I could imagine having such a leisure residence in Nida for myself, too.

Beach’n’Sea: ­čśë


No, I'm not sleeping. Just sitting very comfortable.

On the ship on our way to Nida

"Raganu Kalnas" means "which mountain" - Whiches' forrest is better. We would maybe call that a hill...

Devil's Chair

Devil Alcohol ...

...after too much: everything is upside down :)

"You have to exercise for your lunch. Who was up there gets lunch!" Guess who was first up there ;)

Fun at the lagoon

..but here Bernd looks even happier ;)

This wood was destroyed by ravens' poo ...true story

arrived at the dunes

Watch out, we've got a badass over here

SMILE!

Givin' a coin to the poor turkishman :)

Just the dunes, the sea and a (ger)man

omg OMG there's a BEAR on it :D

at the beach

Do the wave!

An illusion: Christian isn't holding anything...

Christian got his birthday present: a tankard - and he got it filled with beer - of course, he had to drink it at once ;)

Preparing for a lithuanian birthday tradition

Lifting the birthday child 27 times....

Thomas Mann's leisure residence

Want to build a chair after Thomas Mann's original?

Pieces of amber. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the amber museum :(

Nomnom!

Hmm.. the sun clock is not working...





First week

14 08 2012

During our first week we’ve seen a lot. Most important thing was to get to know to Klaip─Śda. We are now proud owners of a bus ticket for 1 month (costs 27 Litai, that’s about 8 Euros) and a lithuanian SIM-Card. We’ve already watched a movie in the cinema (the new Betmenas) and have been to the biggest shopping center “Akropolis”.

We also did a small sight-seeing-tour and went to the castle museum. We’ve been to a club called “Kiwi Club”, which is really nice, and we are currently tasting the different beers here. :)

The language course is actually really hard work, but as we want to be able to talk to the people here, it is ok. We also already had our first exam – as I’m writing this post a little late I can already tell you that Bernd and me both had the grade “9”. They got grades from 0 (bad) to 10 (good) here. ­čśë


At the cinema - Expendables 2 Poster in lithuanian :)

Bernd feeling like home during a very interesting movie about lithuanian traditions

Whisper your wishes in the mouse's ear and they will come true

After marriage, lithuanian couples come to the bridge and put a lock with their names and the date on it, as a symbol of their love <3

Ghost of Klaip─Śda

Is Bernd the ghost of Klaip─Śda?

Some interesting stuff from our classes ;)






First Day, Sea Festival

9 08 2012

Do what you want 'cause a Prinzenrolle is free...

>On our first day in Klaip─Śda we went to the supermarket called “iki” (what means “bye” in lithuanian.. also it means “two” in turkish) with some of our new friends. For some products we had to guess what could be good and what not, some we already knew. For example they sell Milka chocolate and Felix Sauces (even with lables in german). By the way: Milka Kuhflecken are “Happy Cows” in english :). As we didn’t know what’s written there and we didn’t think that it’s very complicated to buy milk we bought some kind of sour milk, but to say it with Bernd’s words “with enough Frosties it also gets a little sweet”.

Toilet paper with a BEAR on it!

Back in the dorm we ate a little something and took a look around on the campus. At 6 p.m. we went out to see the Sea Festival. Klaip─Śda has an anniversary this year: 760 years! Also, there was something with 20 years of naval power, we didn’t understand that really well, but we figured out that this year’s Sea Festival was something special. There were lots of sales booths with lots of uninteresting things, but there have been also lots of possibilities to buy beer and food! Our favorite beer by now is ┼ávyturys. It’s also the most famous one here. Buying our first beer (except in the market) was quite a challenge. At first they seemed as they wouldn’t recognize us at all, and gotten into talk, they had to be able to speak english… We found out that we have to go to the younger people if we want to talk english. That day I ate some meat and Kraut, but I can’t tell you what that was ­čśÇ but it was good ;-).

The festival ended with a big concert, where it felt like all people of whole Klaip─Śda are present (population: 160k), and a really nice fire work – maybe the best I’ve ever seen. We went off the festival with the big crowd – into the center of Klaip─Śda. In front of the club “Memelis” (during the day also a restaurant) we met on of our Erasmus Assistants. One of the first things he told us was that it will be very good for us that we know him, so we thought we found the lithuanian version of me… but we figured out soon that I’m way better ­čśë

Karaoke in lithuanian :-)

In the disco part of the club, drinking is quite expensive. A well mixed cocktail costs OVER FOUR EUROS! As I don’t really like that disco stuff I went downstairs to karaoke, where I tried to sing lithuanian songs (not with the mic, just with the crowd). Everybody in there sang, so it wasn’t possible to hear me :-).

We went back to the dorm by foot, which is an experience I won’t make again. 45 minutes of walking, there are way better things one can do in that time ;-).

Lithuanian Money (Litas)

Somebody told us about long legs - we found them!

Indeed, a shell flower...

Three of our turkish friends, crazy hats & us

A beer with Bernd :-)

The Sea Fest during the day - unfortunately the night pictures are quite bad :-(