My latest trips – 2016
ROBIN MICHAELSON’S BALTIC TRIP – 16 JULY 2016
I am planning another trip to Lithuania and Latvia, travelling to some Jewish historical sights, and visiting some of the main sights of Vilnius and Riga, travelling by coach, with a local (English speaking) guide. The itinerary is likely to be:
Sat 16 July Fly to Riga (capital of Latvia) from your home area
Sun 17 Walking tour of Riga, visiting the Cathedral, synagogue, Jewish Museum, and the Art Deco area (where Sir Isaiah berlin was born) and the Zeppelin Market
Mon 18 Embark by coach via Rundale Castle (where many of the indoor scenes of the recent “War and Peace” TV series were filmed – the Palace was built for the Duke of Courland in the 18th century, and designed by Rastrelli (think Winter Palace, St Petersburg), on via Gostini, an old Jewish settlement hamlet (shtetl), and then on through the Lake District of northern Lithuania to Vilnius, capital of Lithuania
Tue 19 Guided walking tour of Vilnius, seeing the outline of the Ghetto, and several outstanding 18th century churches, the Cathedral which contains a silver chapel much admired by the Polish Pope, who jokingly said it should be transferred to the Vatican, another church which Napoleon wanted to transfer brick by brick to Paris (he was not joking!), possibly the KGB headquarters building, the medieval University, whose influence reached far beyond the Baltic.
Wed 20 Tour of Trakai Castle, set on an island in a lake, and the medieval government centre of Lithuania, close by are houses of the Karites, (once thought the 13th tribe), possible stop at an old wooden synagogue, now a barn, on to Kaunas, for an afternoon tour.
Thurs 21 Morning tour of Kaunas, second city of Lithuania and the capital between WWI and WWII when Lithuania was independent, and then drive on to Siauliai (Shavli)
Fri 22 Visit the Jewish Centre, and learn some of the Jewish history of Shavli, and to the Frankel House and Museum (alongside a factory that made shoes for Bata), and associated with Nurock Bank. Late afternoon drive to Klaipeda (formerly Memel, the northernmost outpost of the German Empire)
Sat 23 Ferry across to the Curonian Spit, for a relaxing day on the 100 mile long sandbar on the Baltic Coast, to see some tree-trunk carving (a traditional Lithuanian pastime), and to Nida where (when it was part of Germany) Thomas Mann had a summer house, and observe the border with Russia, which is immediately south of Nida, and return to Klaipeda
Sun 24 Drive north along the Lithuanian and Latvian coast through Liepava (Liebau) and back to Riga – in preparation for most people taking an evening plane to London or Dublin
Optional two or three night extension to Tallinn, picturesque capital of Estonia, via the unusual border town of Valga/Valja, and Tartu (ancient University town), and walking tour of Tallinn, flight back on the Tuesday or Wednesday.
Cost for the 8 night basic tour will be approx. £900 – £1000, per person in a double room, extra for single room accommodation, this includes bed and breakfast, services of the guides, but not entry fees to museums or palaces (which are very reasonable), or flights. Estonian extension per person approx. £ 200 for 2 nights, £275 for 3 nights, per person.
All accommodation will be in 3*, 4*, 5* star hotels, whose standards vary somewhat, but are always clean, with private facilities, which, outside the capital cities, will generally have a shower rather than a bath.
For further information, contact Robin Michaelson on 020 7746 2529 or 07793 819 387 or firstname.lastname@example.org who will provide more details and co-ordinate the flight bookings
If you wish to visit a particular place, this can often be incorporated into the itinerary, or arrangements can be made to have a special guided visit before or after the main trip.
Robin has led 13 such trips and visits to the Baltic States in the last few years.
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Our tour of the East End of London lead by Robin in 2014
With Saul Issroff and Cliff Marks
Contact me if you want a customised Litvak tour.
May 17th – 30thJoin JewishGen volunteer Eli Rabinowitz as he travels through Poland, Lithuania and Latvia!1. What is the JewishGen Virtual Heritage Tour?
The JewishGen Virtual Heritage Tour allows JewishGenners to join Eli Rabinowitz as he tours Poland, Lithuania and Latvia and explores Jewish genealogy, history and heritage.Eli will be embarking on a 14 day trip, and is planning to visit the following towns: Warsaw, Vilnius, Utena, Daugavpils, Rokiskis, Kupiskis, Birzai, Bauska, Rundale, Salaspils, Riga, Siauliai, Plunge, Rietavas, Kelme, Kedainiai, Seduva, Kaunas, Marijampole, Kalvarija and Alytus.Each day, Eli will write a summary of his experience, and post it on the JewishGen Facebook page. He will include pictures of holocaust memorials, cemeteries, synagogues, other items of Jewish interest and useful links. He will also be able to respond to questions or suggestions that are left in the comments section.2. Does this cost any money?
Nope! As with everything on JewishGen, this is free and everyone is invited to participate. Eli is offering this as a “thank you” to JewishGen for all the help he has received over the years.3. Who is Eli Rabinowitz?
Eli was born in Cape Town, and has lived in Perth since 1986. He is active in a wide range of Jewish community activities, including filming events, genealogical research, and bringing the Memories of Muizenberg Exhibition to Australia, now on its way to Toronto and North America. He gives talks and presentations on worldwide Jewish heritage travel, and is a scheduled speaker at this summer’s IAJGS conference in Jerusalem, Israel. He is a prolific researcher, and has created 24 KehilaLink pages for towns in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Germany, China, South Africa and Australia.4. How do I follow and join the conversation?
Participation requires a free Facebook user account. Visit and “Like” the JewishGen Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/
Unfortunately, participation requires a free Facebook user account. We encourage you to sign up (it’s free!).6. This sounds great! When does the JewishGen Virtual Jewish Heritage Tour start?
The tour begins on Sunday, May 17th when Eli will be visiting Warsaw. Check this page often for updates!
Outstanding blog from Andy Cassel
For the past four weeks I’ve been in Lithuania, attending the
Vilnius Yiddish Institute’s summer course. It’s been a
fascinating time, including, of course, a visit to our common
ancestral home Keidan. There I was privileged to meet and spend
time with both Rimantas Zirgulis and Laima Ardviciene, who are
doing so much to preserve and pass on the memory of Keidan’s
lost Jewish community. I’ve been keeping a blog on my trip, which
you’re welcome to access here: