Europe’s all about being GREEN!

In the past few years, people started talking about how polluted the Earth is and why everyone should start to care and have more eco awareness. That really got me thinking: we really do live like animals and if we don’t start doing something, who knows how long the Earth will let us live here. So I started recycling everything I could. I turn off the lights and other electrical appliances if I am not using them. Many European cities have also started to do the same by making their public transport system better, reducing noise, making sure the air and the water is clean, recycling.


I found out, that Europe has this award that it gives to a different city each year called “European Green Capital”. The idea of this was conceived at a meeting in TALLINN in 2006! What a coincidence! I’m going to Tallinn this summer!

Stockholm

The award is meant to inspire other cities to become greener. In order to be eligible for the award, a European city’s population has to be at least 200 thousand and it has to really be taking care of the environment and safe and healthy conditions.

The first European Green Capital was named STOCKHOLM in 2010. 95% of the cities population lives less than 300 metres from green areas, there is little noise and pollution. Du thirds of the population use public transport, bikes or go on foot. Transport emissions are relatively low, and all trains and inner city buses run on renewable fuels. The water in Stockholm is super clean, that many people go fishing in the city center!

Hamburg

In 2011, HAMBURG (Germany) was picked as Europe’s greenest capital. It is Europe’s third largest port and a big industrial city situated on the banks of the river Elbe. Hamburg has a great public transport system, many forests, parks which have good pathways. There are also public bikes anybody can use.

Vitoria-Gasteiz

2012’s European Green Capital is VITORIA-GASTEIZ (Spain). The city was founded in 1181 and is second in size in the Bilbao region. It’s a beautiful medieval city with many green places which take up a third of the cities territory. The residents of Vitoria-Gasteiz don’t really use their own cars and rather go by public transport or bikes. Vitoria-Gasteiz id promoting ecological farming, use of solar energy. Kids are also being taught about going green at schools. 


NANTES– France’s 6th largest city will be Europe’s Greenest Capital in 2013. It was actually named “the most livable city in Europe ” by Times Magazine in 2004. Nantes is focusing on public transport, bike trails and sidewalks, parks. 

Nantes



Many cities have already applied to be named Europe’s Greenest Capital in 2014. They are: Newcastle, Stoke-on-Trent, Bristol, Rotterdam, Antwerpen, Brussels, Gent, Paris, Frankfurt am Main, Zaragoza, Torino, Vienna, Ljubljana, Brasov, Thessaloniki, Bursa, Trabzon, Tampere, Copenhagen.


The next call will launch on the 15th June 2012. This call will be to find the winning city for 2015.


Which city do you think will be Europe’s Greenest Capital 2014?


http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/index_en.html

My Love affair with…

ICE CREAM!!! Specifically, Italian ice cream!
I know, I know.. I’m still talking about Italy.. But how can you not, when it’s cold and the middle of February in Vilnius??
Anyway, back to my summer love- ice cream.
Before going to Rome, I searched online for the best ice cream in the city. The best was named “Giolitti”. What made me want to come here even more, was the fact that Michelle Obama visited this Gelaterie. And not only her, but many other celebrities.

Yes, I was hoping to run into Johnny Depp…

I wasn’t the only one who knew this gelaterie has the best ice cream. There were sooo many Chinese tourists there! Thank God I came earlier, as I would have waited in line with my watering mouth.
The price is the same as everywhere. 3 euros for a cone. If I convert this to the Lithuanian Litas, that is the most expensive ice cream cone I have ever had..But it certainly was worth it.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187791-c70805/Rome:Italy:Best.Gelato.In.Rome.html#

A Place of my Past

January. Winter. Snow storm. That’s all I need right now besides college finals… Oh, I wish it could be summer, so I wouldn’t have to do all of this homework and I could just go outside and not care that I have to put on 2 layers of clothes so I don’t freeze to death..Well, summer is only 6 months away.

To make myself feel better, I remember my summer in Rome.. It was so hot (that would be nice right now) and so fun to walk around a city with so much history even though I felt like crawling at times because my legs hurt soooooooo much!

I remember when I saw the Colosseum.. I couldn’t believe that I was standing next to it and then later inside it! It was surreal! If you want to beat the crowds, go earlier in the morning. Or you could go to the Forum first then to the Colosseum because the one ticket is valid two days for both! And if you are under 18 and have a passport from one of the countries of the European Union, you can get in for free!


Rome has so much history and art. To save time and money, my family and I visited every single church and basilica in the city. All of them have great art by the best artists. The only museum I would recommend is the Vatican Museum. But make sure to buy tickets in advance on the internet so you could be the crowds..And I mean crowds..At 9 am the line was about a mile long!

The one thing I am upset about is that this Rose Garden which is opposite of the Circo Massimo is only open during the months of May and June… But you can see the garden from the outside of the gates so if you don’t want to spend money on a ticket, go durin any other month and you are sure to catch a glimpse of a rose bush!

Oh…. Rome… I miss you so much.. I know I will visit this beautiful city again.. And not because I threw a coin into the Trevi fountain!

CIAO!