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WHS Get-together 2016 - The planning

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Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 19 Mar 2016 01:48 | Edited by: elsslots 
Vilnius (Lithuania)

weekend of 27 and 28 August

Possible activities
Vilnius - Saturday
* Day trip to Kernave and Trakai Historical National park
* First drinks of the day at Stuve Geodetic Arc: BERESNÄKI Paliepiukai Nemežis, Eastern Lithuania, Lithuania.
* Night out in Vilnius

Vilnius - Sunday
* After breakfast: Guided Tour of city.

* Split: Who wants can continue to Curonian Split/Riga/Minsk.

Author kintante
#2 | Posted: 19 Mar 2016 08:42 
Me and my wife will participate. I just bought the plane tickets. For those travelling from Switzerland: the lowcoster Germania just opens a direct flight ZRH-VNO this summer with currently very low fares. We will fly in on Thursday and leave on Monday.

The program that was suggested sounds really good for me. Not sure if we need to hire a bus. I will hire a car and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Probably we could reach all destinations using a rental car pool.

Should we settle on a hotel?

Author elsslots
#3 | Posted: 19 Mar 2016 08:53 | Edited by: elsslots 
Should we settle on a hotel?

The experience with the meeting last year is that WH travellers are like butterflies - they flutter around in the wider region, until the timeslot of the programme begins.

I think it's best that everybody books the hotel that suits with his own budget & demands.
But there's no harm in sharing itineraries or places to stay I guess.
Here's mine:

I booked SAS from Amsterdam to Klaipeda, with a change in Copenhagen. Return is Minsk-Amsterdam directly with Belavia.

Hotel in Vilnius:
Hotel Rinno (midrange), from Friday - Monday.

Pre-meeting sidetrip:
I'll be in Klaipeda for Curonian Spit (Wed-Fri)

Post-meeting sidetrip:
I'll go to Minsk, probably by train, (Mon - Wed) for its 2 nearby WHS.

Author clyde
#4 | Posted: 3 Apr 2016 09:11 
I still haven't booked my flights and accommodation as there are several alternatives I have to consider before booking. Unfortunately because of leave issues and as most flights from Belgium depart on Saturdays I'll only be joining you for the Sunday city tour in Vilnius. After exploring Vilnius I plan to visit Kernave, Curonian Spit, Riga and end my road trip with Tallinn. Hopefully I'll be visiting some Struve locations too on the way which will be a great way to wind up the Baltic States.

Author elsslots
#5 | Posted: 3 Apr 2016 13:53 
joining you for the Sunday city tour

No worries, Clyde. There will still be people hanging around on Sunday in Vilnius.

Author clyde
#6 | Posted: 9 Apr 2016 05:14 
Flights confirmed :) Looking forward to meeting several fellow WHS travellers :)

Author nfmungard
#7 | Posted: 2 May 2016 09:11 
Flights confirmed. Flying into Pailinga on Wednesday night. And out of Vilnius on Sunday.

Author elsslots
#8 | Posted: 18 Jun 2016 12:01 
Is there anyone else planning to go on to Belarus?
I am looking around for a day trip to Mir / Nesvizh from Minsk on the 29th or 30th of August, but the quotes I get are very high.

Author MichaelN
#9 | Posted: 19 Jun 2016 19:22 

Els, I visited Belarus in August 2010 and organized a day trip from Minsk to both of those sites with Belarus Tour Service (http://www.belarustravel.by). I don't recall the price, but it wasn't outrageous.

Author Khuft
#10 | Posted: 21 Jun 2016 15:10 
Flights booked now to Tallinn on 20th August, leaving Vilnius on 28th. Will be joining the Saturday tour with my girlfriend, but not Sunday - only direct flight to Frankfurt leaves at 6 am, shockingly.

Author elsslots
#11 | Posted: 8 Jul 2016 13:55 | Edited by: elsslots 
Vilnius - Sunday* After breakfast: Guided Tour of city.

Can you help me look for a tour we can book for this section of the programme?
I did a superficial search on Google last week, but could not find anything that stood out.

- Do you have a guide book on Lithuania/Vilnius, and does that recommend a specific (private) tour?
- Have specific tours or companies been recommended to you by friends or others?
- Can you find a tour on the internet that does not cost 50 EUR per person?

I am thinking along the lines of a 2 hour guided (walking) tour of Vilnius, for a group of about 10 - 20 WH travellers.

Author Colvin
#12 | Posted: 8 Jul 2016 19:24 
I'm not attending, but if you're looking for tours of Vilnius, one of the places I sometimes use for research before travel is Tripadvisor. On the site, there are two free city tours that are in the top 10 recommended tours out of 44 in Vilnius. Those are:

#1 The Vilnius Free Tour through Vilnius with Locals

This tour departs at noon and lasts about two hours. The website also mentions they can arrange a 2.5 hour customized private city tour for groups, but you'd have to inquire for more information.

#7 The Vilnius Free Tour through VilniusFreeTour.LT

This tour departs at 10 in the morning and lasts about 2-2.5 hours. This company also has the option to arrange a customized private city tour for groups; the cost is 15 EUR per person for groups of 1-4 people, and 10 EUR per person for groups of 5 or more people

Author elsslots
#13 | Posted: 12 Jul 2016 10:27 
top 10 recommended tours

Thanks for the suggestions. I've sent the enquiries out already to these two and the Vilnius tourist information, both hinting at the 'special audience' that will attend.

Author elsslots
#14 | Posted: 16 Jul 2016 12:49 
I just sent the following mass e-mail out. If you haven't received an invitation by mail (maybe due to an out-of-date e-mail address), please consider this post as your invitation and reply to me at els@worldheritagesite.org:

With this e-mail I'd like to inventorize who will be coming, so I can make some bookings already based on the numbers.
If you plan to participate, please reply to this e-mail and answer the following 3 questions:
1. Will you attend the Saturday or Sunday part of the programme, or both?
2. Are you participating alone or will you bring a partner/friend?
3. Do you have the use of a (rented) vehicle in Lithuania
(I plan to rent a minibus + driver for the Saturday part, but if many participants have their own car using those might be more effective)

The outline programme again:
Saturday 27th Aug
Day tour as a private group along Trakai TWHS, Kernave WHS and one of the Lithuanian location of the Struve Geodetic Arc WHS
Entrance fees ca. 10 EUR p.p., Transport costs t.b.d.

Sunday 28th Aug
Guided private tour of the Historic Center of Vilnius WHS
Cost ca. 10 EUR p.p.

Before and after this 'formal' programme there is of course time to meet and talk over breakfast, dinner or drinks.
More detail and discussion about the weekend can be followed via the Forum: http://www.worldheritagesite.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=3&topic=2008

Author tsunami
#15 | Posted: 16 Jul 2016 20:12 | Edited by: tsunami 
Even though I am currently living in the Berlin area, I don't think I will attend because it just so happens that I have been not only to all WHSs in Lithuania but also to all WHSs in the countries bordering Lithuania except Russia (considering Kaliningrad as Russia). In a way it's unfortunate because it was only last year when I visited Kernave just to finish off this part of Europe. I've also visited Struve Ark in Norway.

I also thought about joining you just for the night out on Saturday, thinking Vilinius is only a Ryanair flight away from Berlin, but just discovered that Ryanair doesn't fly this route in summer, resuming it on September 3.

The setting of the castle at Trakai is beautiful, but the torture museum there is also the most gruesome I've ever seen. :)

I would also recommend the Hill of Crosses near the Latvian border:

https://www.google.de/search?q=crosses+lithuania&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS581US583&tbm=isch&tb o=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiX0NX1mPnNAhVGLZoKHW74A6QQsAQIJw&biw=1920&bih=955

When I went to visit Mir and Nesvizh in Belarus in 2010, I just took public buses from Minsk to Mir to Nesvizh back to Minsk in a day.

Have a nice get-together!

Looking forward to seeing where you'd meet the next year. :)

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