Synagogue for sale. Any offers?
Daugai (Doig, Daugi, Doyg, Dauge). A family from far, far away has always dreamt about returning to their ancestors’ land. It was a small city, called Doig, which was surrounded by the lake. There, a small synagogue stood still. Its condition was terrible – chipped walls, unstable columns and the smell of decomposing wood were not inviting to go inside. Nearby, an old woman lived. She told about an old Jewish family living with her a long time ago. Her house was authentic, never rebuilt, as well as the barn. The woman was deeply upset, because once, instead of the synagogue there was a cinema, cultural centre and a dancing hall. And now, all that is left is just an old synagogue, which is now up for sale. Then we went to see a jewish cementery which was on a small island surrounded by water. It held lines of carefully placed gravestones. It was really peaceful in there..
Beekeeper and an Elder
Koziany, (Kozyany , Koziany, Kazan, Kaziany). As we are walking through an old village, we stumble upon a familiar looking building. After taking a closer look, we pull out our phones in order to commemorate the view.
“Hey, what are you doing here? Yes, you! Why are you photographing my house?!” A strange man removes his beekeeping hat revealing an angry face and approaches us.
“Sir, we are just looking for old homes that might have belonged to our ancestors. We are Jews who lived here before the war,” we say in hopes to receive an optimistic answer. And we did get one. The guy told us a story about five other travelers searching for their long-lost relatives in his backyard. Four of them have found the remains they were looking for. The last person, sadly, left empty-handed.
Later old, but highly energetic elder told us the history of this city. He was about 80 – 90 years old. What a blissful experience that was. When the time came to say our goodbyes, we wished him to stay healthy.
Belarus, Pastavy cinema and Lenin
Pastavy (Postov, Postavy, Postawy). So here we are, traveling in Belarus once again. Only recently having passed the Lithuania-Belarus border, we are continuing our journey towards Pastavy. The horizon slowly starts to unfold the enormous chimneys of the new nuclear power plant. It is a truly spectacular view…
In the center of the city, a timeless piece of history stands – a sculpture of Lenin. It is surrounded by a beautiful array of well-groomed flowers. Close by there is an ad of a restaurant, which is doubtfully still open, and an old cinema. But hey, where are all the Jews?
It feels good to return to this region. Time here stands still… Suddenly, your mind is left wondering with just one question. What was life here like before the war? Now it is 2018, and the air is brimming with an indescribable, sort of uneasy and partly peaceful feeling. The only way to experience it all is to visit this history-rich country. And what better way to do so, than with us?
The Eradication of the Jewish People of Musteika and Marcinkonys
Musteika and the neighboring village of Marcinkonys were once home to a thriving Jewish population prior to the Second World War. During the Nazi Occupation of Lithuania, most of the Jewish population of these villages were put into local ghettos and either killed outright or sent to death camps. Some members of the Jewish population survived in the local swamps and forests until the war was over. It is known that while some local villagers tried to help the Jewish population, the majority either remained impartial to their plight or were outright supporters of hunting Jews to be turned over to the Nazi Occupants in exchange for a monetary reward. To this day, it is a taboo topic of discussion in these villages as many locals fear prosecutorial or financial reprisal from the ancestors of their former neighbors.
May the discovery of your personal roots start right now!
Have you ever dreamt of visiting your ancestral homeland? Wasn’t it that you end up saying “I would love to go but it’s too far away and too much complicated…” Let us guide you straight and smoothly! Allow our team to share with you the experience and knowledge. May the trip searching for your personal roots bring you joy and inspiring moments! Come to touch the land your ancestors walked on, enter the house they lived in, say a pray where they used to pray and gather, leave a stone on their eternal rest place. After all, we will do everything to enable you to meet local people and their memories, we will translate you their touching stories. In additional, we are always ready to introduce the modern side of your ancestors’ lands. Feel it! Еaste it! Enjoy it! Keep it in your heart, so that it always brings the smile on your face! Leave our team to start family genealogy reserch and meanwhile simply enjoy waiting the trip. Create your personal and unique tour with our team! Feel welcome and comfortable in the Baltic States and around!
The Day Of Five Shtetls
As the rest of the world on the 6th of September we were enjoying the European Day of Jewish Culture. Different Lithuania actually faced difficulties choosing among the huge variety of fine cultural events, excursions and presentations all over Lithuania! We had ultimately chosen to drive forwards Kėdainiai and its environs, where we explored Jewish heritage with the local professional guides, remarkably educated colleagues of ours. In total that day we visited these following shtetls: Shat (Šėta), Yosvain or Jaswojnie (Josvainiai), Kroki (Krakės), Datneve (Dotnuva) and Keidan (Kėdainiai) of course. One post is not enough to leave all the impressions of what we had discovered, but for sure we will be sharing everything with our dear guest on the future tours! Martynas was so much interested in the authentic wooden houses in Kroki, we would assume still of a good condition! And Eglė was about comparing the ancient Jewish cemetery, the one in Dotnuva attracts by a very special mood, though the cemetery in Keidan are surprisingly wellmaintained! The hundreds of Jewish related objects, the tenths of synagogues and cemeteries, the narrow stone paved streets filled with fascinating stories!And so we spent a bright sunny day in the central Lithuania, where Lithuanians still grow cucumbers and tomatoes, which were firstly brought and cultivated here by the Jewish ancestors!
Nayshtot – Ponivez & fields of gold
To get closer to heaven, we seek spirituality, to stay alive on this earth, we bake bread. Never mind the tradition or nation, it was always appreciated and respected. We made a small visit in the Jewish cemetery of Nayshtot-Ponivez which occurs in a very close neighborhood of the Karaites’ cemetery.
Driving back on the first turn our eyes were caught by a beautiful field of gold. Stoned, as if it respected the forever tranquility of this saint place. Such a simple and breathtaking minute at once. And so in this mood we left Nayshtot-Ponivez surrounded by slow Nevezis river with the peaceful golden field. Never mind the national differences, the language or the age – me and my dear guests all experienced the same spiritual moment in front of the coming autumn crop.
Nayshtot – Ponivez & Nevezis
Nayshtot-Ponivez is another beautiful town we discovered on one of our latest tours. Located in the central part of Lithuania 15 km southwest way to Panevezys, the 6th biggest town. Today’s Nayshtot-Ponivez is known as Naumiestis among Lithuanians, what literally signifies A New Town. But on the Different Lithuania we prefer to stay on its romantic Jewish version. Nayshtot-Ponivez was established on the right bank of the Nevėzis river. The local celebrity in here this river is quite humble, hardly reaches 210 kilometers length. But not the size is important in here – every local would explain that in the south the Nevezis kisses with the biggest Lithuanian river Nemunas. The written history of Nayshtot-Ponivez starts in the 16th century and is related to an aristocratic Volovitz family. Later small town was taken over by the Radzivil and ends up to be under the Karps family. The place and it’s environs since the 16th century are well known for the Karaites, who settled in here with the help of the grand duke Vytautas. It is estimated that 45% of Lithuania’s Karaites at that time lived in Nayshtot-Ponivez.
Fashion Infection– is the most prominent annual fashion festival in Lithuania. It is an innovative and conceptual event of fashion and art fusion featuring 3 day free and ticketed public events where professional and upcoming designers are brought together. Such interaction inspires young, creative talents to search for new fashion forms and expressions and gives an opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas among the participants. Mados Infekcija was started in 1999. Once a year (in spring) its schedule involves catwalk shows, exhibitions, seminars, show-rooms and free events for fashion devotees. The festival is distinguished for its conceptuality. The aim of the event is not to show and create trends or to be a fashion dictator, but to help people to develop an individual style and attitude towards fashion and to apply the knowledge in everyday life. Bohemian spirit, extraordinary and unconventional fashion shows, the fuse of music, video, photography and other fields of art make the festival a unique 3-day experience of fashion which takes place in the capital of Lithuania Vilnius. Mados Infekcija breaks traditional boundaries of fashion weeks as it is available for everybody and has the purpose to spread the knowledge of fashion among people.
Lithuania – No. 3 Best in Travel by Lonely Planet
In the top-ten ranking compiled by the world’s largest travel guidebook publisher, Lithuania was ranked third behind Singapore which took the top spot and Namibia which came second. Naming Lithuania as one of Europe’s best-kept secrets as well as a rebellious, quirky and vibrant country, the Lonely Planer highlights the most important event for travellers as of 1 January 2015, Lithuania will be the newest member of the Euro zone. Among Lithuania’s attractions the guide points out the majestic Baltic coastline The Curonian Split with gorgeous beaches, backed by Europe’s largest moving sand dunes and the capital city Vilnius with the baroque old town which earned Lithuania one of its entries on the World Heritage list. Destinations that made the cut for Lonely Planet’s latest, “Best in Travel 2015” are chosen for their topicality, unique experiences and ‘wow’ factor.