JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Roots travel advice in Lithuania and Latvia #general

Jules Levin

At 05:59 AM 1/28/2007, you wrote:

I hope to visit Keidan, Kovno, Slobodka and Srednik.I'd be interested in any
travel advice about Latvia and Lithuania as to getting around, such
as renting
a car, taking buses and trains, cautions, places to stay. Any help would be
appreciated offline or online, whatever is appropriate.
Howard Wolinsky
Since 1981 I have spent a total of over 6 months living in Lithuania,
so I do have advice on what to do.
Learn to say words like, please, thank you, etc. in Lithuania--you
can get all this on line easily enough.
Young people are much more likely to know English, most older people do not.
Your guide should be able to rent/own the car and drive.
Try not to have an "attitude" towards the natives; assume basic good will.
Several years ago Commentary Magazine had an essay on a visit to
Lithuania. The author was sure he
was the object of anti-semitism because some rowdy young people
glared at him and shouted something.
I had to laugh, since on my own stays there my Jewish identity was
much more obvious than his would have been,
and I never experienced overt antisemitism (and yes, I do understand
Russian and Lithuanian), even when walking on
Shabbat with a Chabad rabbi wearing his tallit over his clothes.
Rowdy (because of drinking..) young people are generally not even
sure what a Jew looks like, but they do know what an
American tourist looks like.
As for places to stay, there is lots of information on line. I just
googled Lithuania places to stay, and found many promising
sites. If you are with a guide, and trying to economize, it would
not be out of place to ask if it is possible to rent a room for the
night with a private family.
Plan on enjoying the experience--I would happily go back again, as
would my wife, a child survivor of the Holocaust.
Jules Levin

Join to automatically receive all group messages.