World By Shotglass

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011


World By  Shotglass
Chapter 9 :

§                              Location :  Europe (Baltic Region)
§                              Capital: Vilnius
§                              Language: Lithuanian
§                              Population: 3.24 million
§                              Total Area: 65,200 km2
§                              Currency: Litas
§                              Annual average liquor consumption per capita: 11.2 liters per year
§                              Annual Beer Consumption Per Capita: 76 liters per year
§                              The Most Popular Drink: Beer (Utenos,  Kalnapilis), midus, gira, kveisas

Lithuania Flag

Lithuania Map

  • The country
Date of formation of Lithuania is considered to have been in the 13th century A.D.  In the Middle Ages, Lithuania was one of the biggest countries in Europe and in 1569 joined a union with Poland.  It was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1795, regained its independence in 1918 but was re-occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940 and by Germany from 1941-1944.  Lithuania was later the first Soviet republic to declare its independence again as an independent nation on March 11, 1990.  Outside of a turbulent history, Lithuania is also the Geographical Centre of Europe.  It was marked by The National Institute of Geography of France in 1989, is 26 km to the North of Vilnius (located at 54°54′N 25°19′E). This fact is registered in Guinness records book.

  • The People
Lithuanians have the lowest male life expectancy in the EU (66 years old) and one of the highest suicide rates in the world.  It is then not surprising that Vilnius is the only city in the world that has a statue honoring a great musician (and a mad scientist according to some), Frank Zappa.
  • Theme Park
If you are into extreme travel experiences, make sure to check out Social project “1984. Survival drama” .  It is possibly the strangest European theme park.  It recreate life (3 hour experience) under Soviet rule.  It takes place in KGB bunkers (15 miles from Vilnius).  These tunnels, 15 feet underground, that were dug in 1983 and used to house emergency TV and radio studios in case of Nato attack, now has become a tourist attraction.
  • Eating

Lithuanian cuisine offers a great choice of dishes and freshly baked breads.  Additionally, any café will offer a large variety of food if potatoes are not your favorite.  For those looking for a taste of authentic, cepelinai is worth trying.  It is an oval shaped grated potato dumpling filled with ground meat.  It’s interesting that this dish got its name from the zeppelin or dirigible, which was manufactured by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin.  The aircraft was named after the inventor, while the form resembled Lithuanian cepelinai. 

  • Drinking

In Lithuania, beer is very popular and beer sales represent over half of alcohol sold in the country.  Connoisseurs say it is of very high quality and judges agree.   Lithuanian brewers have won more than one international prize.  I have tried a few of various flavors and strength but could not pin point my favorite as after a few, they all tasted the same.

Story By Marina Balzac
©2011 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved

Special Thanks to Irina Lapteva (Dublin, Ireland) for her contribution to this project.

Lithuania Kaunas (courtesy: Irina Lapteva)

Lithuania Vilnius (courtesy: Irina Lapteva)


Lithuania Druskininkai

Lithuania Kaunas

Lithuania Klaipeda Curanian Split

Lithuania Trakai Castle

Lithuania Vilnius Cathedral Of Vilnius

Lithuania Vilnius Church of the Apparition of the Holy Mother of God

Lithuania Vilnius Back Street

Lithuania Vilnius Geographical Center Of Europe

Lithuania Vilnius Panorama

Lithuania Vilnius St.Anne's Church, St.Francis' and Bernadine

Lithuania Vilnius Street

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