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11 December 2017
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London

 

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EXPLORING EUROPE (4 of 10)

From Strasbourg to

Benelux and England

Tour guide, writer and photographer: Aage Myhre
aage.myhre@VilNews.com

 

 

VilNews is on its way around Europe!
Throughout May/June you are all invited on a
journey from north to south, from east to west. Some
articles will dwell with history. Some with Lithuanian contact
points in various countries. I have travelled across Europe with
camera and notepad for nearly 40 years and hope you will enjoy seeing
and reading about some of my experiences. Today's tour starts in Alsace,
France, and continues through Benelux to Oxford, England. Have a nice trip!


Our today’s trip starts here in fantastic Strasbourg at the French-German border.
From here we go north-west, briefly visiting Germany, then through the
Benelux countries, crossing the Canal into good old England
to visit London, Cambridge and Oxford.

 

 

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Strasbourg and Alsace


Strasbourg centre is built on an island. Fantastic waterways, excellent riverside restaurants...
Photo: Aage Myhre

Getting to Strasbourg is for me like coming home. It was here I lived one year to study architectural psychology in the 1980s at Université Louis Pasteur, after my architect studies back home in Norway. Strasbourg is an architectural gem, and a city full of life, sounds, smells ... Fantastic food, good wine, good beer. The best of German and French culture in perfect harmony. This is a city I love!

Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking, explaining the city's Germanic name. In 2006, the city proper had 272,975 inhabitants and its urban community 467,375 inhabitants. With 638,670 inhabitants in 2006, Strasbourg's metropolitan area (aire urbaine) (only the part of the metropolitan area on French territory) is the ninth largest in France. The transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 884,988 inhabitants in 2008.

Strasbourg is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe (with its European Court of Human Rights, its European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and its European Audiovisual Observatory) and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union. The city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine.

Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île (Grand Island), was classified a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is fused into the Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a bridge of unity between France and Germany for centuries, especially through the University of Strasbourg, currently the largest in France, and the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture.

Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as of road, rail, and river communications. The port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Duisburg, Germany. In terms of city rankings, Strasbourg has been ranked third in France and 18th globally for innovation.

The Strasbourg Cathedral is 142 m high


Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg is a Roman Catholic cathedral. Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is widely considered to be among the finest examples of high, or late, Gothic architecture. Erwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions from 1277 to his death in 1318. At 142 metres (466 feet), it was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874, when it was surpassed by St. Nikolai's Church, Hamburg. Today it is the sixth-tallest church in the world. Described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel", and by Goethe as a "sublimely towering, wide-spreading tree of God", the cathedral is visible far across the plains of Alsace and can be seen from as far off as the Vosges Mountains or the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine. Sandstone from the Vosges used in construction gives the cathedral its characteristic pink hue.

The European Parliament is situated in Strasbourg

 

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Strasbourg is the official seat of the European Parliament. The institution is legally bound to meet there twelve sessions a year lasting about four days each. Other work takes place in Brussels and Luxembourg City. Also all votes of the European Parliament must take place in Strasbourg. "Additional" sessions and committees take place in Brussels. Although de facto a majority of the Parliament's work is now geared to its Brussels site, but it is legally bound to keep Strasbourg as its official home.

The Parliament's buildings are located in the Quartier Européen (European Quarter) of the city, which it shares with other European organisations which are separate from the European Union's. Previously the Parliament used to share the same assembly room as the Council of Europe. Today, the principal building is the Louise Weiss building (left), inaugurated in 1999.

 

Lithuanian members in the European Parliament – they are there for you!

Laima Liucija ANDRIKIENĖ

Laima Liucija ANDRIKIENĖ
Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)MemberLithuania Tėvynės sąjunga - Lietuvos krikščionys demokratai

Zigmantas BALČYTIS

Zigmantas BALČYTIS
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European ParliamentMemberLithuania Lietuvos socialdemokratų partija

Vilija BLINKEVIČIŪTĖ

Vilija BLINKEVIČIŪTĖ
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European ParliamentMemberLithuania Lietuvos socialdemokratų partija

Leonidas DONSKIS

Leonidas DONSKIS
Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for EuropeMember of the BureauLithuania Lietuvos Respublikos liberalų sąjūdis

Juozas IMBRASAS

Juozas IMBRASAS
Europe of freedom and democracy GroupMemberLithuania Partija Tvarka ir teisingumas

Vytautas LANDSBERGIS

Vytautas LANDSBERGIS
Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)Member of the BureauLithuania Tėvynės sąjunga - Lietuvos krikščionys demokratai

Radvilė MORKŪNAITĖ-MIKULĖNIENĖ

Radvilė MORKŪNAITĖ-MIKULĖNIENĖ
Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)MemberLithuania Tėvynės sąjunga - Lietuvos krikščionys demokratai

Rolandas PAKSAS

Rolandas PAKSAS
Europe of freedom and democracy GroupVice-Chair/Member of the BureauLithuania Partija Tvarka ir teisingumas

Justas Vincas PALECKIS

Justas Vincas PALECKIS
MemberGroup of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European ParliamentMemberLithuania Lietuvos socialdemokratų partija

Algirdas SAUDARGAS

Algirdas SAUDARGAS
Member Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)MemberLithuania Tėvynės sąjunga - Lietuvos krikščionys demokratai

Valdemar TOMAŠEVSKI

Valdemar TOMAŠEVSKI
Member European Conservatives and Reformists GroupMember of the BureauLithuania Lietuvos lenkų rinkimų akcija

Viktor USPASKICH

Viktor USPASKICH
Member Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for EuropeMember of the BureauLithuania Darbo partija

Alsace – the land of amazingly aromatic white wines...

The eastern side of the river Rhine south of Strasbourg is German territory. On the western side lies Alsace. My favourite town here is Riquewihr, a romantic little medieval town at the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. This is the village of wine. Not far away are the picturesque towns of Colmar, Ribeauvillé, Hunawihr, Eguisheim and Kaysersberg. Alsace has changed between being German and French five times since the 1800s. The unique combination of history, culture, nature, food and wine makes Alsace one of Europe's most attractive destinations.

The name "Alsace" can be traced back to the Old High German Ali-saz or Elisaz, meaning "foreign domain". An alternative explanation derives it from a Germanic Ell-sass, meaning "seated on the Ill", a river in Alsace. The region was historically part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was gradually annexed by France in the 17th century under kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV and made one of the provinces of France. Alsace is frequently mentioned in conjunction with Lorraine, because German possession of parts of these two régions (as the imperial province Alsace-Lorraine, 1871–1918) was contested in the 19th and 20th centuries, during which Alsace changed hands four times between France and Germany in 75 years. Although the historical language of Alsace is Alsatian, today all Alsatians speak French, the official language of France. About 39% of the adult population, and probably less than 10% of the children, are fluent in Alsatian. There is therefore a substantial bilingual population in contemporary Alsace.

The fantastic Alsace wines, which for historical reasons have a strong Germanic influence, are produced under three different Appellations d'Origine Contrôlées (AOCs): Alsace AOC for white, rosé and red wines, Alsace Grand Cru AOC for white wines from certain classified vineyards and Crémant d'Alsace AOC for sparkling wines. Both dry and sweet white wines are produced, and are often made from aromatic grapes varieties. Along with Austria and Germany, it produces some of the most noted dry Rieslings in the world, but on the export market, Alsace is perhaps even more noted for highly aromatic Gewürztraminer wines.

Riquewihr is the most romantic...

Riquewihr (France), maybe the most romantic medieval city in Alsace, is hidden among vineyards and Vosges mountains

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The wine village Riquewihr is the most romantic medieval city in Alsace, hidden among vineyards and the Vosges mountains. Riquewihr looks today more or less as it did in the 16th century.

Want to get a taste of Alsace in Vilnius?

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The "Balzac" restaurant in Vilnius Old Town is owned and run by Thomas Teiten from northern Alsace, living in Lithuania already for several years. His restaurant was recently voted the best restaurant in Lithuania.
French cuisine, and more than 40 kinds of selected French wines. A bientôt ! More info

 

From Choucroute to Madame Tussauds

Place Gutenberg is one of my favourite squares in Strasbourg. Here I sit a beautiful autumn day, behind the glass windows of one of the many restaurants around the square. I eat ‘Choucroute (sauerkraut)', an

Alsatian specialty consisting of salt pork, sausages, cabbage and potatoes. With a lot of mustard – and a large tankard of beer from the Kronenbourg brewery in the city outskirts, established in 1664.

Johann Gutenberg (1398-1468), the man who is credited with the invention of the printing art, lived here in Strasbourg for 10 years. But his first printing press he built after moving from here, back to his hometown

Mainz in Germany. Without Gutenberg, Martin Luther hardly been able to implement his reformation plans 150 years later. At least not with such far-reaching effects.

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Choucroute (sauerkraut).

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Madame Tussaud,
self-portrait in wax.

I had long planned a journey to England. So here I sit. Reading. I find that the very symbol of London, wax queen Marie Tussaud (1761-1850) was born under the name Anna Maria Grosholtz here in Strasbourg. Soon I follow in her

footsteps to London where her wax museum had its modest beginnings in 1835.

Fun to drive on the other side of the road, I think when we drive up from the ferry port of Dover. We come to London, the city you simply can never get tired of. We visit Cambridge and Oxford. Seeing two of theworld's leading student

cities. Watching a student rowing competition. Proceed to the 'Lake District' and to Liverpool. Green, rolling hills outside the car windows. We like the English.

But not their food so much.

 

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Trier – where witches were burned

A common witch-hunting method was ‘swimming’ or ‘ducking’, whereby the accused was tied hand and foot and immersed in deep water. If the accused witch floated, the water (God’s creature) had rejected her and she was deemed guilty; if she sank (and drowned), she was deemed innocent. The accused could also be pricked all over with a sharp instrument (known as “pricking”) in the search for insensitive spots where the Devil had (visibly or invisibly) marked them. Other, more traditional, tortures were also used to elicit confessions and accusations against accomplices, including thumbscrews, leg vices, whipping stocks with iron spikes, scalding lime baths, prayer stools furnished with sharp pegs, racks, and the strappado (hoisting on a pulley to pull the arms from the sockets).Execution by burning, especially the particular form commonly called “burning at the stake” in which the condemned were bound to a large stake surrounded by burning faggots of wood, had a long history as a method of punishment for crimes such as treason and heresy. It was also used as a punishment for witchcraft during this period, although it was actually less common than hanging, pressing or drowning.

The ducking stool was a common method of interrogation and punishment during witch trials
The ducking stool was a common method of interrogation and punishment during witch trials (from http://www.freewebs.com/
worcswychery/adiabolicalact.htm
)

       

The Witch trials of Trier in Germany in the years from 1581 to 1593 was the perhaps biggest witch trial in Europe. The persecutions started in the diocese of Trier in 1581 and reached the city itself in 1587, where it was to lead to the death of about three hundred and sixty eight people, and was as such the perhaps biggest mass-execution in Europe in peace time. This counts only the executed within the city itself, and the real number of executed, counting also the executed in the entire witch hunts within the diocese as a whole, was thereby even larger. The exact number of executed have never been established; 1000 in total have been suggested but not confirmed.

Trier, today a beautiful city in western Germany was historically called in English Treves. The city is located on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC. Trier lies in a valley between low vine-covered hills of ruddy sandstone in the west of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, near the border with Luxembourg and within the important Mosel wine region.

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Luxembourg – richest in Europe

Luxembourg is by far the richest country in the European Union in terms of gross domestic product per capita, five times more affluent than Lithuania.

The European Union's statistics office Eurostat says GDP per capita measured in purchasing power standard (PPS) was 283 in Luxembourg in 2010, against the euro zone average of 108 and 58 for Lithuania.

The wealth of Luxembourg is partly due to the large number of people from neighbouring France, Germany and Belgium who work, but do not live in Luxembourg, therefore contributing to GDP but not being counted for the division of the wealth. The Netherlands was the second richest country in the EU, with GDP per capita less than half of Luxembourg's at 134 PPS. Denmark and Austria came in third with 127 PPS.

Central and eastern European countries remained at the bottom of the wealth table -- Romania was second poorest with 45 PPS, Latvia third from the bottom with 52, Lithuania fourth with 58 and the region's biggest country, Poland, fifth poorest with 62 PPS per capita.

GDP per capita in countries outside the EU: United States - 146 PPS, Switzerland - 146 PPS, Norway - 181 PPS.

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Luxembourg City.
Photo: Wikipedia.

Luxembourg is a landlocked country, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland ("good country") in the south. Luxembourg has a population of over half a million people in an area of approximately 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi). A representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is ruled by a grand duke. It is now the world's only remaining sovereign grand duchy. The country has a highly developed economy, with the world's highest GDP (nominal) per capita according to the IMF. Its historic and strategic importance dates back to its founding as a Roman era fortress site and Frankish count's castle site in the Early Middle Ages. It was an important bastion along the Spanish Road when Spain was the principal European power influencing the whole western hemisphere and beyond in the 16th–17th centuries.

Luxembourg is a member of the European Union, NATO, OECD, the United Nations, and Benelux, reflecting the political consensus in favour of economic, political, and military integration. The city of Luxembourg, the largest and capital city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU.

Luxembourg culture is a mix of Romance Europe and Germanic Europe, borrowing customs from each of the distinct traditions. Luxembourg is a trilingual country; German, French and Luxembourgish are official languages. Although a secular state, Luxembourg is predominantly Roman Catholic.

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The sub-marine Netherlands

 

NETHERLAND > Nether – Land, Nether = Neder (Dutch) = Low, Land = Land (Dutch) = Land; = LOWLANDS

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Photo: http://www.uwgroup.org/netherlands

The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. The country capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague. The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as Holland, although North and South Holland are actually only two of its twelve provinces.

The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 25% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, and 50% of its land lying less than one metre above sea level. This distinct feature contributes to the country's name in many other European languages (e.g. German: Niederlande, French: Les Pays-Bas, Italian: Paesi Bassi and Spanish: Países Bajos, literally mean "(The) Low Countries"). Significant land area has been gained through land reclamation and preserved through an elaborate system of polders and dikes. Much of the Netherlands is formed by the estuary of three important European rivers, which together with their distributaries form the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Most of the country is very flat, with the exception of foothills in the far southeast and several low-hill ranges in the central parts.

The Netherlands was one of the first countries to have an elected parliament. Among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the EU, NATO, OECD and WTO. With Belgium and Luxembourg it forms the Benelux economic union. The country is host to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and five international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. The first four are situated in The Hague as is the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol and judicial co-operation agency Eurojust. This has led to the city being dubbed "the world's legal capital".


Maastricht in southern Netherlands – birthplace of EU and EURO...

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The Maastricht Treaty (formally, the Treaty on European Union or TEU) was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands. On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty. Upon its entry into force on 1 November 1993 during the Delors Commission, it created the European Union and led to the creation of the single European currency, the euro.

Lithuania originally set 1 January 2007 as the target date for joining the euro, as per the Maastricht Treaty, but the application was rejected by the European Commission because inflation was slightly higher (0.1%) than the permitted maximum. Lithuania has later expressed interest in a suggestion from the IMF that countries who aren't able to meet the Maastricht criteria should be able to "partially adopt" the euro, using the currency but not getting a seat at the European Central Bank.

Amsterdam – canals and red lights…

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Photo: http://www.roamintl.com

Amsterdam is an amazing city, filled with impressive architecture and beautiful canals that meander throughout the city. This is the capital of the Netherlands, and is a very popular travel destination for tourists from all over the world. There is literally something for every type of traveller, whether they may have a preference for history and culture, a vibrant night life, or simply the calming charm of an old European city. Amsterdam is the largest city in Netherlands and is considered to be the creative and cultural centre of this region of Europe.

Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population of 1,209,419 and a metropolitan population of 2,158,592. The city is in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. It comprises the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million. Its name is derived from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin: a dam in the river Amstel. Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading center for finance and diamonds. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city center. Amsterdam's main attractions, including its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Museum, its red-light district, and its many cannabis coffee shops draw more than 3.66 million international visitors annually.

Rotterdam – Europe’s largest port

Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, built in 1270, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. Its strategic location at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea and at the heart of a massive rail, road, air and inland waterway distribution system extending throughout Europe deliver the reason that Rotterdam is often called the Gateway to Europe.

Located in the Province of South Holland, Rotterdam is found in the west of the Netherlands and at the south end of the Randstad. The population of the city proper was 616,003 in November 2011. The population of the greater Rotterdam area, called "Rotterdam-Rijnmond" or just "Rijnmond", is around 1.3 million people. Rotterdam is one of Europe's most vibrant and multicultural cities. It is known for its university (Erasmus), its cutting-edge architecture, and lively cultural life. A striking riverside setting, Rotterdam's maritime heritage and the Rotterdam Blitz should also be added to the list.

Along the centre of Rotterdam, one can experience the thriving river with lots of traffic, a freeway on water if you wish, connecting its huge, modern port with the hinterland of Europe. The largest port in Europe and still one of the busiest ports in the world, the port of Rotterdam was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, at which point it was surpassed by Shanghai. Rotterdam's commercial and strategic importance is based on its location near the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse), one of the channels in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse on the North Sea. These rivers lead directly into the centre of Europe, including the industrial Ruhr region.

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Rotterdam is famous for its innovative architecture. Its impressive skyline can be seen from afar, enhancing the city’s imposing appearance characterised by such landmarks as the Euromast observation tower and the swan-like curve of the Erasmus Bridge. Photo: www.trendcocktailcom

 

Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466 – 1536) is quoted as stating;

“I congratulate this nation [Lithuania] which now, in sciences, jurisprudence, morals, and religion, and in all that separates us from barbarism, is so flourishing that it can rival the first and most glorious of nations.”

Erasmus, a.k.a. Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, (1466 -1536) was a Dutch humanist and theologian. He was born Geert Geertsen in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Erasmus died in 1536 in Basel, Switzerland. One of the most famous and amusing quotes from the noted scholar and translator Erasmus was, "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes."

The Erasmus Programme (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students), a.k.a. Erasmus Project is a European Union (EU) student exchange programme established in 1987. It forms a major part of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013, and is the operational framework for the European Commission's initiatives in higher education.

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The Hague – the city of justice

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Photo: http://newspaper.li/the-hague/

The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants it is the third largest city of the Netherlands. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Council of State, but the city is not the capital of the Netherlands which constitutionally is Amsterdam. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands lives at Huis ten Bosch and works at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. All foreign embassies in the Netherlands and 150 international organisations are located in the city, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, which makes The Hague one of the major cities hosting the United Nations, along with New York, Vienna and Geneva.

The Hague International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Radovan Karadžić (born 1945) is a former Bosnian Serb politician. He was detained in the United Nations Detention Unit of Scheveningen, accused of war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the Siege of Sarajevo, as well as ordering the Srebrenica massacre.

He was a fugitive from 1996 until July 2008 after having been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The indictment concluded there were reasonable grounds for believing he committed war crimes, including genocide against Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilians during the Bosnian War (1992–95). While a fugitive he worked at a private clinic in Belgrade specialising in alternative medicine and psychology under the alias Dr. Dragan David Dabić. He was arrested in Belgrade on 21 July 2008 and brought before Belgrade’s War Crimes Court a few days later. He was extradited to The Hague, and is in the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

In August 2008 Karadžić claimed there is a conspiracy against him and refused to enter a plea, therefore the court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf to all 11 charges. He called the tribunal, chaired by Scottish judge Iain Bonomy, a "court of NATO" disguised as a court of the international community.

In 2009, Karadžić filed a Motion challenging the legal validity and legitimacy of the tribunal, claiming that "the UN Security Council lacked the power to establish the ICTY, violated agreements under international law in so doing, and delegated non-existent legislative powers to the ICTY", to which the Prosecution response was that "The Appeals Chamber has already determined the validity of the Tribunal’s creation in previous decisions which constitute established precedent on this issue", therefore dismissing the Motion.

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Wanted poster for Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladic.

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Belgium – home of EU and NATO

Prince Lorenz of Belgium Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Princess Astrid of Belgium, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Queen Paola of Belgium, King Albert of Belgium, Prince Philippe of Belgium, Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Princess Claire of Belgium and Prince Laurent of Belgium pose in front of a Christmas tree at the Royal Palace on December 16, 2009 in Brussels, Belgium.
Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Princess Astrid of Belgium, Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Queen Paola of Belgium, King Albert of Belgium, Prince Philippe of Belgium, Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Princess Claire of Belgium and Prince Laurent of Belgium pose in front of a Christmas tree at the Royal Palace on December 16, 2009 in Brussels, Belgium. 15 December 2009 - Photo by Mark Renders/Getty Images Europe.

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.

Belgium covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi), and it has a population of about 11 million people. Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups, the Dutch-speakers, mostly Flemish (about 60%), and the French-speakers, mostly Walloons (about 40%), plus a small group of German-speakers. Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in the political history and a complex system of government.

Antwerp – the port city that got famous for diamonds…

port house antwerp 2 Antwerp Port House | Zaha Hadid architects
Wow… The Zaha Hadid architects recently won a competition
for a new port house – headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority.

Welcome to Antwerp, the world’s diamond city, and the second largest port city of Europe (after Rotterdam in Holland, a few kilometres away).

The Antwerp Diamond Center covers one square mile, housing 1500 diamond companies and 4 diamond bourses. In this highly protected quarter, thousands of highly skilled diamond workers are active to keep up the international quality label ”Cut in Antwerp” based on a tradition of 5 centuries. Millions of diamonds are literally passing through their hands. The Antwerp diamond companies have the best polishers in the world.

On 10 November 2011 a new container train route between China, via Klaipeda Sea Port in Lithuania, to Antwerp, opened. On first trip it was transporting computer-aided equipment by transit from the Chongqing city of China via Lithuania to the second-largest port in Europe.

 

Brussels – the ‘capital’ of Europe

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Photo: Wikipedia.

The Grand Place in the centre of Brussels is the lively and very attractive meeting point for any visitor to Europe's most international city! The huge square is surrounded by the city tower and a range of beautiful 300 year old buildings. In the evening, characterised by bright lumination, it is simply ravishing. Some evenings a music and light show is provided with the buildings serving as a canvas. Have a "gaufre de Liège-Luikse wafel" here (Belgian waffle with caramelized sugar)—the best ones are available from the little shops off the northeast corner of the Grand Place...

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union (EU). It is also the largest urban area in Belgium, comprising 19 municipalities, including the municipality of the City of Brussels, which is the de jure capital of Belgium, in addition to the seat of the French Community of Belgium and of the Flemish Community. Brussels has grown from a 10th-century fortress town founded by a descendant of Charlemagne into a metropolis of more than one million inhabitants. The metropolitan area has a population of over 1.8 million, making it the largest in Belgium. Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a main centre for international politics. Hosting principal EU institutions as well as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the city has become the polyglot home of numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants. Although historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels became increasingly French-speaking over the 19th and 20th centuries.

President Grybauskaitė’s five years in Brussels

Dalia Grybauskaitė (born 1 March 1956) is the President of Lithuania, inaugurated on 12 July 2009. Often referred to as the "Iron Lady" or the "Steel Magnolia", Grybauskaitė is Lithuania's first female head of state.

Lithuania joined the European Union on 1 May 2004, and Grybauskaitė was named a European Commissioner on the same day. She initially served as European Commissioner for Education and Culture, a position she held until 11 November 2004, when she was named European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget within the José Manuel Barroso-led Commission.

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In November 2005, Grybauskaitė was named "Commissioner of the Year" in the European Voice Europeans of the Year poll. She was nominated "for her unrelenting efforts to shift EU spending towards areas that would enhance competitiveness such as research and development." She commented:

“I don't usually participate in contests, so this is a very pleasant surprise for me. I consider it a distinction not for me personally, but for all the new EU Member States, both small and large, as an acknowledgment of their bringing a new and fresh perspective to the EU. I think that it’s also a prize for having the courage to speak the often difficult truth and to point out the real price of political rhetoric in Europe. As for results, we still have to wait for them. An agreement on the budget for 2007–2013, which Europe really needs, is most important.”

As Financial and Budget Commissioner, she strongly criticized the EU budget, stating it was "...not a budget for the 21st century." The majority of the EU budget was spent on agricultural programmes. Grybauskaitė presented a 2008 EU budget in which, for the first time in its history, spending on growth and employment constituted the highest share of the budget, exceeding that of agriculture and natural resources. She frequently criticised the Lithuanian Government, headed by Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas, for its lack of response to the approaching financial crisis.

Calais – Dover

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On a clear day you can see the cliffs of Dover (right) from Calais (left).

We have come to the end of our Benelux journey. Now we are standing at the ferryboat port in the French town Calais, trying to see over to the cliffs of Dover on the British side of the busy waters in front of us. The Strait of Dover is the strait at the narrowest part of the English Channel. The shortest distance across the strait is from the South Foreland, 6 kilometres (some 4 miles) northeast of Dover in the county of Kent, England, to Cap Gris Nez, a cape near to Calais in the French département of Pas-de-Calais, France. Between these two points lies the most popular route for cross-channel swimmers as the distance is reduced to 34 km (21 mi). On a clear day, it is possible to see the opposite coastline and shoreline buildings with the naked eye, and the lights of land at night, as in Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach".

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Great Britain is green & glorious

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Laugharne Castle in Wales.
Photo: www.landscapes-online.com

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea.

The United Kingdom is a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system, with its seat of government in the capital city of London. It is a country in its own right and consists of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There are three devolved national administrations, each with varying powers, situated in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh; the capitals of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland respectively. Associated with the UK, but not constitutionally part of it, are three Crown Dependencies. The United Kingdom has fourteen overseas territories. These are remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in 1922, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface and was the largest empire in history. British influence can still be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former territories. The UK is a developed country and has the world's seventh-largest economy by nominal GDP and seventh-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of the UK as well as of fifteen other independent Commonwealth countries. The monarch itself is symbolic rather than political, and only has "the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn". The United Kingdom has an uncodified constitution, as do only three other countries in the world. The Constitution of the United Kingdom thus consists mostly of a collection of disparate written sources, including statutes, judge-made case law and international treaties, together with constitutional conventions. As there is no technical difference between ordinary statutes and "constitutional law" the UK Parliament can perform "constitutional reform" simply by passing Acts of Parliament and thus has the political power to change or abolish almost any written or unwritten element of the constitution. However, no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.

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Queen Elizabeth II.

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The Palace of Westminster, seat of both houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

 

London

I'm on my way to London from Dover, in my own car. A bit weird to drive on the left side of the road. But London is fantastic, one of my absolute favourite cities in the world. . This is the city to visit for business, culture, shopping and much, much more. The special light. Lavishly decorated stores on Oxford Street. Good smell from every street corner. A pint at The White Lion in Covent Garden...

 


Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s home.


River Thames.
Photo: Aage Myhre

London is made up of buildings from many different architectural styles. Most were built after the great fire of1666. Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and some Tudor houses are fine exceptions. The famous architect Christopher Wren (1632-1723), was responsible for many great buildings after the fire. 500 churches, among others. In the 18th and 19 century, known financial institutions grew up, not least the Royal Exchange and Bank of England. From the early 20th century, it is worth mentioning the Old Bailey (criminal court for England andWales). In 1960, the Barbican Estate was erected. Lloyd's 80-century skyscraper and 'the Gerikin' from 2004 are exciting new additions.

A walk in the park next to The Mall, on our way to Buckingham Palace.

 

The White Lion pub in Covent Garden.
Photos: Aage Myhre.


Trafalger Square and the Nelson's Column that is guarded by four lion statues at its base.
Photo: Aage Myhre.


River Thames.
Photos: Aage Myhre

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Lithuanians in the UK

Following Lithuania’s Independence and especially after European Union and NATO membership more and more Lithuanians have chosen to live and work in the United Kingdom. There are more than 100,000 Lithuanians in London and over 200, 000 in the UK. The largest Lithuanian communities can be found in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Bradford, and in Scotland. As a result of this, there are numerous Lithuanian organisations (such as a Lithuanian newspaper, schools and Lithuanian Churches) working in the UK. If you are interested in practicing your Lithuanian or just would like to meet Lithuanians, to know more about our culture and traditions, or even to participate in some cultural events, why not try looking at these two websites:

www.lithuanianembassy.co.uk – this is the Lithuanian Embassy’s page on cultural events in the UK. This is the best place to look for information on various events.

www.headleypark.co.uk - Headley Park estate belongs to the Lithuanian community and is the hub of all cultural activities. So, if you want to experience St. John’s Day, Christmas or any other celebrations Lithuanian style you should contact them and ask for more info. Headley Estate also has a hotel, a Lithuanian food restaurant and a camping site with a lake full of fish nearby which is ideal for a summer weekend break.

www.britanijoslietuviai.co.uk - official website for Lithuanian association in the UK.

www.toplanguagecommunity.com/lithuanian-portal/ - this is a Lithuanian community site for Lithuanian speaking people in London, UK and Ireland. The site is available in both Lithuanian and English.

Lithuanian Communities in the UK

www.jkljs.ahost.lt - Lithuanian Youth Community in the UK

wwww.midlitcom.org - Midlands Lithuanian community

bhamlietuviai.org Lithuanian community in Birmingham

www.manchesteris.org - Lithuanian community in Manchester

www.lithuanianchamber.co.uk - Lithuanian chamber of commerce in the UK

Lithuanian Schools in the UK

www.lithuanianembassy.co.uk

www.britanijoslietuviai.co.uk/lituanistines_mokyklos.html

Religious Organisations

Lithuanian church in London:

Londono lietuvių Šv.Kazimiero bažnyčia
21 The Oval, Hackney Road, London E2 9DT. Tel: 020 7739 8735
E-mail:
ptverijonas@btinternet.com Website: www.londonas.co.uk

Religious and cultural hub in Nottingham, lead by Lithuanian Marian fathers:

Židinys
Lithuanian Marian Fathers, 16 Hound Road
West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 6AH. Tel.: 01159821892

Music

Lithuanian folk group, Saduto
www.saduto.com/en/aboutus

Saduto was established in 2005. Group members gather every Friday evening at 8:00pm in St. John‘s church, Stratford, London. Everyone is invited.

Rock group, Vital Mission
Website:
www.ferrum.lt/f/grupes/128

Lithuanian Scouts in the UK

The Lithuanian scouts movement in the UK started back in 1948. The first camp was organised in 1950, Darley Moor, Derbyshire.It currently has about 50 members ranging from 8 to 70 years old. They meet every second month and have a camp in Headley Park during summer months.

Lithuanian scouts have their magazine 'Budėkime' which is published three times a year.

Lithuanian Basketball Team in the UK

The Lithuanian basketball team, Gintaras
www.gintaras.co.uk/content/view/4/16/lang,english/

Currently, Lithuanian BC (playing in London Metropolitan Basketball League) is on the top of the Men’s Premier League 2008-2009 table. Results can be viewed here:
www.basketballinlondon.co.uk/london_metropolitan_basketball_league/league_fixtures_&_results/

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Lithuanian City of London Club

Lithuanian City of London Club is a members-only non-profit organisation established in late 2006 under the honorary patronage of H.E. Vygaudas Usackas, the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania.

The members of the Club are Lithuanian professionals (or professionals with ties/interests in Lithuania) based in London from a wide array of careers and pursuits, predominantly from the City.

The Club members get together for social networking, sporting and charitable events as well as for a wide array of topical discussions with business, political and other leaders from Lithuania and UK to foster professional and intellectual interaction between Club members and Lithuanian society. The Club is also building links with other organisations in the UK and actively participates in a number of initiatives and events in the Lithuanian community in London. Currently the Club unites close to 200 members and partners who get together on a regular basis. LCLC Pub Social drinks are every last Thursday of the month. For more information about the Club and our activities, please email info@litcityclub.co.uk

The Club's President: Daumantas Mockus, president@litcityclub.co.uk

The Board: Rasa Balsytė, Darius Daubaras, Raminta Dereškevičiūtė, Ieva Šatkutė

LCLC Newsletter

You are welcome to read the 2nd issue of LCLC’s Newsletter! With this publication, the Club aims to keep members, alumni, friends and other stakeholders abreast of LCLC's latest developments, news and adventures. And there have been aplenty! For those who missed the 1st issue - a small recap.

 

Image: Cutting the ribbon in the wonderful photo above is Dr. Oskaras Jusys, the Lithuanian ambassador to the UK.

Aer Lingus launched services to Vilnius from its London Gatwick in 2011. Cutting the ribbon in the photo is Dr. Oskaras Jusys, the former Lithuanian ambassador to the UK.

Cambridge University is consistently ranked one of the top ten in the world

The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about 50 miles (80 km) north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the city. Cambridge is well known as the home of the University of Cambridge, which has been consistently ranked one of the top ten universities in the world. The university includes the renowned Cavendish Laboratory, King's College Chapel, and the Cambridge University Library. The Cambridge skyline is dominated by the last two buildings, along with the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital in the far south of the city and St John's College Chapel tower in the north. According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, the city's population was 108,863 (including 22,153 students).

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Cambridge University Lithuanian Society [CULS]

Cambridge University Lithuanian Society is predominantly Lithuanian, but also welcomes everyone from any background. The society goal is to promote Lithuanian culture as well as to take part in cultural interchange. We have several meetings each term and organise social events for broader audience. We are looking forward to seeing you. www.cu-ls.org/?lang=en

     

Robin Hood and the Sherwood Forest

When we continue north to the city of Leeds a road sign with the name of Nottingham shows up, I decide

to take a detour into the Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood's famous habitat. Sherwood Forest is a Royal Forest in Nottinghamshire that is famous through its historical association with the legendary outlaw archer who took from the rich and gave to the poor here, right in the heart of medieval England. This very attractive forest lands attracts 500,000 tourists annually, including many from around the world. Visitor numbers have increased significantly since the launch of the BBC's Robin Hood television series in 2006.

The park hosts the annual Robin Hood Festival for a week each summer. This event recreates a medieval atmosphere and features the major characters from the Robin Hood legend. The week's entertainment includes jousters and strolling players, dressed in medieval attire, in addition to a medieval encampment complete with jesters, musicians, rat-catchers, alchemists and fire eaters.

The New Adventures of Robin Hood was filmed in Lithuania

The New Adventures of Robin Hood is a 1997-1998 live action TV series on Turner Network Television. It was filmed in Vilnius, Lithuania and produced and distributed by Dune Productions, M6, and Warner Bros. International.

First Season

Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes. The origin of the legend is claimed by some to have stemmed from actual outlaws, or from ballads or tales of outlaws.

Robin Hood became a popular folk figure in the medieval period continuing through to modern literature, films and television. In the earliest sources, Robin Hood is a yeoman, but he was often later portrayed as an aristocrat wrongfully dispossessed of his lands and made into an outlaw by an unscrupulous sheriff. In popular culture, Robin Hood and his band of Merry men are usually portrayed as living in Sherwood Forest, in Nottinghamshire, where much of the action in the early ballads takes place. So does the very first recorded Robin Hood rhyme, four lines from the early 15th century, beginning: "Robyn hode in scherewode stod." However, the overall picture from the surviving early ballads and other early references suggest that Robin Hood may have been based in the Barnsdale area of what is now South Yorkshire (which borders Nottinghamshire).

Leeds has England’s most romantic castle

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Leeds Castle, acclaimed as the most romantic castle in England.
Photo: www.castles.org.

Our journey north continues. We arrive in Leeds, a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 (2011 est.), making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union. Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area, which at the 2001 census had a population of 1.5 million, and the Leeds-Bradford Metropolitan Area, of which Leeds is the integral part, had a population of around 2.3 million, making it the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom. In addition, the Leeds city region, an economic area with Leeds at its core, had a population of 2.9 million. Leeds is the UK's largest centre for business, legal, and financial services outside London, and its office market is the best in Europe for value. Leeds is considered a Gamma World City, alongside cities such as Rotterdam, Phoenix, St. Petersburg and Valencia.

 

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From Leeds to Lithuania for mushy pea beer

My grandparents came from Kowno (now more often known as Kaunas) in Lithuania. I have long wanted to visit Lithuania, and recently I did. Programs and wars have all but erased the culture I tasted as a child in Leeds, and my grandparents knew in Kaunas, but I did manage to see mead being made, and to sample the richly honeyish, herbal result. The old brewery building still stood, a tiny brick tower that may be unique in Lithuania, but would not look out of place in the Black Country. It is at Stakliskes, between Kaunas and Vilnius, the capital. Its product is simply called Lithuanian Mead (Lietuviskas Midus).

Read more at: http://www.beerhunter.com/documents/19133-000921.html

 

Manchester hosts the oldest Lithuanian club in the UK

From Leeds our trip goes west, to Manchester. Here we find that there is a Lithuanian club with own premises in the city since the end of 1948, though the club as an organization has been in operation since 1925. It is the oldest Lithuanian organization in the UK.

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century, brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialised city. An early 19th-century factory building boom transformed Manchester from a township into a major mill town and borough that was granted city status in 1853. In 1894 the Manchester Ship Canal was built, creating the Port of Manchester.

The city is notable for its culture, music scene, scientific and engineering output, media links and sporting connections. Manchester's sports clubs include Premier League football teams, Manchester City and Manchester United. Manchester was also the site of the world's first railway station.

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1954 Members' Rule Book

 

Liverpool – birthplace of The Beatles

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The Albert Dock is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Liverpool.

We have arrived in Liverpool – at the famous Mersey river and the shores of the Irish Sea on England’s western coast.

The popularity of The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and other groups from the Merseybeat era have made Liverpool famous, and contributes a lot to the city’s status as a tourist destination. Some may say that football also has played a role...

Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880. As of 2001 Liverpool had a population of 435,500, and lies at the centre of the wider Liverpool Urban Area, which had a population of 816,216.

Historically a part of Lancashire, the urbanisation and expansion of Liverpool were both largely brought about by the city's status as a major port. By the 18th century, trade from the West Indies, Ireland and mainland Europe coupled with close links with the Atlantic Slave Trade furthered the economic expansion of Liverpool. By the early 19th century, 40% of the world's trade passed through Liverpool's docks, contributing to Liverpool's rise as a major city.

Inhabitants of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians but are also colloquially known as "Scousers", in reference to the local dish known as "scouse", a form of stew. The word "Scouse" has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. Liverpool's status as a port city has contributed to its diverse population, which, historically, were drawn from a wide range of peoples, cultures, and religions, particularly those from Ireland. The city is also home to the oldest Black African community in the country and the oldest Chinese community in Europe.

Several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. Referred to as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, the site comprises six separate locations in the city including the Pier Head, Albert Dock and William Brown Street and includes many of the city's most famous landmarks.

Liverpool is the home of two Premier League football clubs, Liverpool F.C. and Everton F.C.. Matches between the two clubs are known as the Merseyside derby.

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Liverpool was the birthplace of the Beatles

 

Liverpool companies invited to Lithuania

Invest Lithuania was last October hosting a seminar at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce to introduce the advantages, opportunities and support available to UK companies interested in developing their business in Lithuania. It was a multi-sector seminar but particularly relevant to those working in IT, bioscience, financial services and manufacturing companies considering investing in R&D.

The seminar had a range of high quality speakers who introduced the Lithuanian market, its workforce and its competitive advantage as well as an overview of the support available to UK companies looking to invest in Lithuania. The speakers also gave detailed overviews of particular sectors and shared their experiences of working in Lithuania as well as giving the audience an opportunity to ask questions.

This seminar was part of a series run by CC Baltic on behalf of Invest Lithuania, who were also holding seminars in Aberdeen and Teesside. The seminars are directed to companies interested in finding out why Lithuania today is considered one of the best places in Europe to develop business.

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Anatasia Zencika

Please contact Anatasia Zencika (Anastasia@ccbaltic.eu) or the International Trade Team (export@liverpoolchamber.org.uk) for more information.

 

The Beatles was discovered and managed by a Lithuanian Jew

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Brian Epstein with The Beatles.

Brian Epstein (1934-1967) was the man who discovered the Beatles, and guided them to mega-stardom, making them the most successful musical artists of all time. Without Brian, the Beatles as we came to know them, simply wouldn't have existed. In 1965, both Paul McCartney and George Harrison, on being awarded their M.B.E.s by the Queen, said "M.B.E. stands for Mr. Brian Epstein."

Brian Samuel Epstein was an English music entrepreneur, and is best known for being the manager of The Beatles up until his death. In 1961 Brian Epstein saw the new band for the first time at The Cavern Club in Liverpool. After the concert he went to speak to them and offered to manage them. On 10th. December 1961 it was decided that Brian Epstein should be the manager of The Beatles, and a contract was signed on 24th. January, 1962. He secured a record contract for them with EMI, and, on the request of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, he sacked the drummer Pete Best so that he could be replaced by Ringo Starr. Brian Epstein remained the manager on The Beatles until his death. Epstein paid for The Beatles to record a demo in Decca's studios, which Epstein later persuaded George Martin to listen to, as Decca were not interested in signing the band. Epstein was then offered a contract by Martin on behalf of EMI's small Parlophone label, even though they had previously been rejected by almost every other British record company. Martin later explained that Epstein's enthusiasm and his confidence that The Beatles would one day become internationally famous convinced him to sign them. Epstein died of an accidental drug overdose at his home in London in August 1967. The Beatles' early success has been attributed to Epstein's management and sense of style. McCartney said of Epstein: "If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian". Epstein's family were Jewish, his grandfather, Isaac Epstein, was from Lithuania and arrived in England in the 1890s, at the age of eighteen. His grandmother, Dinah, was the daughter of Joseph (who was a draper) and Esther Hyman, who emigrated from Russia to England.

Regrettably, the man who did so much for the Beatles has become a comparatively forgotten man since his death.

VIDEO: LET IT BE

Paul McCartney said he had the idea of "Let It Be" after a dream he had about his mother during the tense period surrounding the sessions for The Beatles (the "White Album"). McCartney explained that his mother—who died of cancer when McCartney was fourteen—was the inspiration for the "Mother Mary" lyric. He later said, "It was great to visit with her again. I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing 'Let It Be'." He also said in a later interview about the dream that his mother had told him, "It will be all right, just let it be."

 

Oxford – the dignified university city

We have come to our trip's final destination, to Oxford, home of the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Oxford city is the county town of Oxfordshire, and forms a district within the county. It has a population of just under 165,000, of whom 153,900 live within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles (80 km) north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through Oxford and meet south of the city centre.

Oxford has a diverse economic base. Its industries include motor manufacturing, publishing and a large number of information technology and science-based businesses.

Buildings in Oxford demonstrate an example of every English architectural period since the arrival of the Saxons, including the iconic, mid-18th century Radcliffe Camera. Oxford is known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford's university buildings.

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Keble College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford.

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Oxford skyline.

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Oxford Lithuanian Society

Oxford University Lithuanian Society is circle of Lithuanian members of Oxford University's congregation. The aim of the Society is to unite Lithuanians and Lithuanian enthusiasts at Oxford University, to promote Lithuanian culture, spread the knowledge of Lithuanian history and modern state, improve contacts between Lithuania and the UK.

Website: http://oxfordlitsoc.weebly.com/
Contact Name: Juozas Vaicenavičius
E-mail: juozas.vaicenavicius@st-annes.ox.ac.uk

My Oxford friend Mervyn Bedford, a teacher in love with Lithuania

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Mervyn Bedford at one of the many
Oxford landmarks of higher education.

Because I know Aage Myhre and his wife and very much respect what he is trying to do for Lithuania, I offered to write of educational values for VilNews. The Baltic nations have a perfect opportunity to change the map of educational provision in ways that better fit the rapidly changing world of the 21st. century. Education is not about buildings. It is not about systems and organisations. It is not about tests and inspections. It is about people and the relationships between those who want to learn, or need to learn, and those who already know it. For almost 150 years State school systems have imposed a model of teaching and learning that has hardly changed while society has fundamentally changed and, recently, very rapidly. Those changes are racing unseen towards our youngest children.

Read Mervyn’s article at http://vilnews.com/?p=979

 

Category : Blog archive



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مبلمان اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری میز اداری وبلاگدهی فروشگاه اینترنتی گن لاغری شکم بند لاغری آگهی استخدام آگهی رایگان تبلیغات کلیکی آموزش زبان انگلیسی پاراگلایدر ساخت وبلاگ بوی بد دهان