June 4th-8th 2016, Vilnius, Lithuania
About a month ago, I had the opportunity to go to an EURELECTRIC conference in Vilnius as a student of engineering, and I have to say the whole trip exceeded my expectations. The conference was really rewarding, and the city surprised me with its beauty and simplicity.
So, the trip there actually takes a while. Lithuania is near Russia as you might know, and as our flight took off after lunchtime and it wasn’t a direct flight, we spent basically the whole day in airports. When we arrived at Radisson Blu Lietuva Hotel it was almost midnight and we only had time to go to the Sky Bar (which was pretty good since the Sky Bar is really cool, with an awesome night view over the city, and has a dark ambience but complete with a changing colours corridor leading up to the bar).
- On our first day (sunday) we spent the day visiting the city of Vilnius with a guide, and at night we were by ourselves after the welcoming cocktail at the National Gallery of Art.
- Then, on monday ,the conference started bright and early being only interrupted for lunch, for me the student’s lunch, where I got to meet students from all over Europe (Lithuania, Germany, Spain, etc…). At night, after the conference there was a gala dinner at the Grand Dukes Palace and Museum, and the place was amazing, and I was really curious about the menu (weird combinations and names) but it was actually pretty delicious! After the dinner I had more time to talk with other students and I have to say it was a very cool experience, because you get to learn so much more whether it’s on work, or culture, or just random fun college-student stuff (we were trying Midus and Devynerios whilst talking about our Master Thesis ahahah).
- The next day, the conference continued bright and early again and had its closing speech at 4pm, so we had the rest of the day to explore the city, try new places to eat, and buy souvenirs.
So basically it was day and a half for the conference, day and half for visiting, and two days for travelling.
One of the places we visited on the first day and came back to on the last, was Užupis. This is a neighbourhood in Vilnius’ Old Town very popular for being a place for artists and bohemians. After Lithuania’s declaration of independence, the residents of the neighbourhood declared The Republic of Užupis along with, flag, currency, all that, and giving most importance to the arts. Also, it has the most awesome constitution I ever read (12.A dog has the right to be a dog)! For real ahaha!
One of the places we got to visit on the first day, but weren’t supposed to, was the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit (Vilniaus Šventosios Dvasios cerkvė), and it was worth it. Never before had I seen a church with these bright colours on the inside. Beautiful! My favourite building on the inside, because you do not expect that by judging from the outside….
Other places we got to see, were the Gediminas Tower from where we could enjoy a beautiful view over Vilnius wherever we looked. And amongst other monuments, my personal favourite on the outside has got to be St. Anne’s Church. It’s architecture is so beautiful and gothic. Love it. On the inside, however, it is very simple. But it is really worth seeing! There’s a reason why Napoleon said he wanted to take this church back to Paris.That facade…beautiful, brilliant!
Now let’s go to the part of the trip that gives you energy for the rest: the food! Ahaha Well, it was very good, I can tell you that much! The two restaurants we got the chance to pick were Amatininkų užeiga and Forto Dvaras, both very affordable (especially that last one), great service and decor, and great menus (you have a great selection of typical cuisine). I got addicted to halibut fish I have to say.
I could not end this post without talking a bit more about the conference and EURELECTRIC. Well, this is the Union of the Electricity Industry and it is an association responsible for representing the common interests of the electricity industry at a European level, and has the key mission to contribute to the development and competitiveness of the electricity industry, as well as promote the benefits of a low-carbon electricity mix for society’s advancement. They represent the industry in public events and, therefore, need to be viable and effective. Their major work focuses on issues that affect the sector, such as market, economy, environment, and consumers. Thus, the members have working groups to discuss the matters at hand, develop policy papers and reports, collect statistics for further studies and discussions, organize events and conferences through Europe (such as this one in Vilnius), and contribute to press articles. During this conference, they also give an award to the winners of both their Innovation and Student Competitions.
The main topic of this conference was the digitization of the energy sector (“E-Electricity: The Power Sector goes Digital”), and that topic gives us more than enough reasons and issues to discuss this for now, and for the next few years.
Thank you for reading, and if you can, make sure you consider Lithuania for your next stop! It’s worth it. There are still some places there I would love to visit, like Trakai (amazing)! And if you’re an energy student, engineering student, or just a curious fellow, then go check EURELECTRIC‘s website!
Hope you’ve enjoyed the post!
Kiss Kiss, Joana