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Let me introduce you to my homeland - a beautiful country situated by the Baltic and famous for its unspoilt nature and fascinating culture - welcome to Lithuania. There has never been a better time to visit than now as Lithuania enters its second millennium. Exactly one thousand years later, the capital - Vilnius - has a golden opportunity to reveal its secrets as it became the European Capital of Culture 2009. With over 300 events taking place across Vilnius and 120 projects planned for 2009 and 2010 it's time to come and join the celebrations. In this summer edition of Lithuania - A New Discovery, I want to present to you three Lithuanian cities through the eyes of independent experts - travel writers with knowledge, opinions and a love of my country. If you need more, then I'm happy to offer listings, diaries - everything for you to do when you visit Lithuania very soon. The writer and Nobel Prize laureate Czeslaw Milosz portrayed Lithuania's charm: " It is good to be born in a small country where Nature was on human scale, where various languages and religions cohabited for centuries. I have in mind Lithuania, a country of myths and of poetry. The landscapes and perhaps the spirits of Lithuania have never abandoned me. It is a blessing if one receives from fate school and university studies in such a city as Vilnius. A bizarre city of baroque architecture transplanted amid northern forests and of history fixed in every stone." Don't miss the chance to join in our celebrations and to explore the beauty of one of the most charming countries in Europe. Augusta Jaudegyte Director Lithuanian National Tourism Office in the UK

3 CONTENTS 2 Foreword 4 All A- Buzz in The Baltics 8 Vilnius - Where the Journey Begins 12 Vilnius and More 14 Kaunas - The City of Museums 17 Competition 18 Lithuanian Seaside 20 The Towns on the Coast 22 Don't Miss This Summer 28 Travel Essentials