Lithuania 2007



What's covered?

Combining a holiday with attending a conference.

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Why Lithuania?

Matthew and Georgette Ellison of Ellison Consulting organise the annual European Online Help Conference. In 2006 it was held in Manchester, England, and I was asked to assist Adobe by manning their stand with one of their people. When Matthew announced that the 2007 event would be in Vilnius, Lithuania, I rather hoped I would be invited to represent Adobe again and indeed I was. I spoke to my wife and we decided it made sense to extend the trip and combine it with a few days holiday. We had been to Estonia in 1999 while I was on a business trip to Finland so this was a great chance to visit another of The Baltic States.

The conference was held at Le Meridien, which is a combined conference centre and hotel. It has a good shuttle service into Vilnius but we decided we would stay in the Old Town for the five days prior to the event. We found the delightfully name Grotthus Hotel on the internet and it proved to be a good choice. It was small (21 rooms) but the service was impeccable. Happy to recommend it to anyone who wants to be convenient to the Old Town.

So that's the background to how we ended up here. Now take a look at the pictures. Click here for Don Barwick's Firedance videos.


The Cathedral


Around the Old Town



From our hotel room


From the Grotthus Hotel restaurant


The KGB Museum


The mushroom shape is about 18 inches (45cm) above the floor. People were made to stand on until the fell asleep exhausted. They fell into ice cold water and had to quickly get back on the stand. This was repeated until they were broken.

The outside of the building belies the interior.



Looking down from the museum to the cathedral.

Just a small section of the wall that now has memorial plaques to those who died here.

Back at the cathedral


The President's Palace

The University


The President's Back Yard!


The Gates of Dawn


Entering nearby Trakei to visit the castle



Inside a local restaurant for a local dish


The power station. "Don't worry, the nuclear power station is 100 kilometres away". Make that 1,000 and I might feel better!


From the TV tower where 14 unarmed civilians lost their lives and 700 were injured opposing the Soviet military seizure of the tower in 1991.

Back in Vilnius



The grounds of Le Meridien from our room.


After the conference dinner, ComponentOne sponsored a firedance. You can download and view the videos that Don Barwick has kindly sent me.

Clip 1 15.59mb

Clip 2 27.18mb

Clip 3 17.02mb

Clip 4 13.82mb

Clip 5 26.32mb

After the conference, one last day in Vilnius. This park was for teenagers. There was skateboarding, mountain biking, music and organised competitions. Plenty of free good fun.



The Museum

Looking up to the castle from the museum

Back in the main part of the old town. Saint Germain, a lovely bistro...



... with an unusual interior. Highly recommended though. Literatu is the street name.

Outside the theatre. The three women represent comedy, tragedy and drama. I always thought you only needed one woman for that!

More entertainment for younger children. Saturday afternoon so they just closed the main street in the city!

Sorry about the quality, shooting into the sky. At one point we counted nine balloons.