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· News Letter ONE  04.22.2014
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· Itinerary -  Baltic States  -  Baltic tour: 8 days, 7 nights

Day one: Shanghai - Helsinki - Vilnius
Flight information: AY58 0920/1435; AY133 1615/1730
Gathering at the Shanghai Pudong Airport; flight to Helsinki and then changing to Vilnius flight. Vilnius is the capital of the “Amber Kingdom” Lithuania. It has well preserved the Medieval city’s layout, in the old parts of the city there is architecture from early period Gothic style, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical style. During centuries Vilnius has been influencing the culture and architecture of Eastern Europe.
17:30 Meeting your tour guide at the airport
18:00 Check-in at the hotel
18:30 Dinner (Chinese food)
19:30 Returning to the hotel

Day two: Vilnius - Trakai Castle - Vilnius
09:00 Visit to a world famous Amber Museum (~40 min)
09:50-11:30 Old Town tour: Church of St. Anne (15th century); Vilnius Cathedral, Gediminas Tower (at one's own expense ~5 EUR per person); Vilnius University (built in 1579, you can see the elements from Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical styles); Church of St. Bernardino; Pilies street and Gediminas Avenue; St. Peter Paul Church (built in 1667); the Chapel of Dawn.
12:00 Lunch (Chinese food)
13:00-17:00 Trip to Trakai (45 min), visiting Trakai castle, located on an island, it is the pride of Lithuania. Centuries ago the castle was the residence of the royal family, it looks like a castle from a fairy tale. It only does not have a beautiful scenery, but also has a great importance in the history of Lithuania. It is the most popular travelling destination in the country.
18:00 Dinner (Chinese food)

Day three: Vilnius - Riga
09:00 On our journey to Riga we will stop at Rundale Palace (70 km from Riga)
12:00 Lunch at Rundale (Western food)
13:00-16:30 Tour in Rundale Palace, the palace is the most outstanding piece of Rococo and Baroque architecture in Latvia. Built in 1736, it became the summer palace of Duke Ernst Johann of Courland. In the history this castle has also been through bitter times - during the German occupation it was used as a military basis and a hospital, a lot of damage was done to the palace until Latvia became independent. Then under the government’s command it was used as a school-building. After Latvia regained its independence the palace was renovated completely and became one of the most important tourist attractions in Latvia.
17:30 Check-in at a hotel in Riga
18:30 Dinner (Chinese food)

Day four: Riga
Riga has more than 800 years of history. It is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea on the river Daugava. Riga is also called the “heart of the Baltic Sea”.
09:00 After breakfast we will visit the modern part of the city: Freedom Square and Monument which separates the old and new Riga and is the most eye-catching memorial architecture in the city, every day there are guards at the square and on certain times you can see and enjoy the change of the guard.
09:30 Our tour continues in the Old Town: Gunpowder Tower, it is the only old watchtower left in the city after several wars. Presidential Palace; Dome Church (with its 6718 pipes the organ of the church is the biggest organ in the world); Three Brothers (unique residential buildings from the 15-18th centuries); St. Jacob’s Church, Parliament building; Swedish Gates; St. Peter’s Church (the tallest building in the Old Town); City Hall; statue of Roland (a fair judge, whose sculpture is the symbol of just and freedom); House of Blackheads; Museum of the Occupation of Latvia
12:15 Lunch (Chinese food)
13:30 Trip to Jurmala, ~30 km from Riga. It is a resort town with the longest beach in the Baltic countries. During the Soviet time it was the vacation destination of the high rank Communist Party members. Today it is a popular resort among visitors from Northern Europe.
18:30 Dinner at Lido, the true leisure centre of Riga. During dinnertime you can also enjoy a Latvian folk song and dance performance. The architecture of the Lido centre is also remarkable - it is a three-story building that hides characteristic Latvian design elements inside. The atmosphere and the food will make you enjoy your time there.
19:30 Returning to the hotel, which has the biggest casino in the Baltic countries, where you can experience the European “Las Vegas” glamour and try your luck

Day five: Riga - Tartu - Lahemaa
09:00 After breakfast we will start a bus ride towards the University town of Estonia - Tartu.
11:00 On our way we will stop for a while in Valga, the town that is located on the border of Estonia and Latvia.
12:30 Lunch after arrival to Tartu (Chinese food).
Tartu: the second largest city in Estonia and one of the oldest cities in the Baltic countries. The earliest chronicles mentioning Tartu date back to year 1030. Tartu is located in the southeastern part of the country on the river Emajõgi. The beautiful city centre is rich in 18th century Classical architecture. It is also the most important university town in Estonia.
13:30 Tour in the Old Town: Tartu University, established in 1632; St. John’s Church, City Hall
14:30 We will start driving to Lahemaa National Park
17:30 After arrival we will check-in to the hotel
18:30 Dinner at a manor dining hall
19:30 You can walk around in at the manor and enjoy the beautiful scenery

Day six: Lahemaa - Tallinn
09:00-12:30 After breakfast we will tour around the Lahemaa National Park. We will visit Palmse manor, built during the turn of 18th and 19th century. It is a typical piece of architecture of its era. Today in the manor there is a museum. On the second floor of the manor there is a complete overview of the manor and its owners.
12:30 Lunch at a local restaurant (Western food)
13:30 Visit to Rakvere Castle: the stronghold of Rakvere originates from the 14th century. In the castle museum there is an exhibition of weapons, Medieval torturing devices and history chronicles of the Livonian Order.
17:00 Arriving Tallinn, check-in at the hotel
18:00 Dinner (Chinese food)
19:00 Returning to the hotel

Day seven: Tallinn
09:00 After breakfast there will be a tour in the Old Town of Tallinn.
Tallinn is a city that in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997, because of the well preserved Medieval Old Town of Tallinn. We will visit the Freedom Square and the Monument; Church of St. Nicholas (13th century Gothic architecture, the famous painting “Dance of Death” by Bernt Notke is exhibited in the church); Church of St. Alexander Nevski (Russian Orthodox church); Dome Church (Lutheran church, originates from 1233); the Church of the Holy Spirit (13th century Gothic style); Toompea Parliament Palace; viewing platform; City Hall Square; Masters’ Courtyard and pedestrian streets with true Medieval atmosphere.
12:00 Lunch (Chinese food)
13:00 Visit to the Estonian Open Air Museum, which is located at the seaside facing the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea. The museum exhibits different time periods of Estonian history and shows how people from different positions lived centuries ago. There’s a lot of old village architecture and items that were used by Estonians in their everyday life for work etc.
15:00 Park and castle of Kadriorg - built under the power of Peter the Great of the Russian Empire in 1710. We will also visit the song festival grounds, St. Birgitta's Convent and the Olympic harbour.
18:30 Dinner (Chinese food)
After dinner you can go and discover the night life of this Medieval city with lots of restaurants offering specialties that take you back in time, but also there are many modern bars with all kinds of drinks and food. The joyful atmosphere filled with music will make you remember your trip forever.

Day eight: Tallinn - Helsinki - Shanghai
Flight information: AY3926 1445/1520; AY057 1710/0710+1
After breakfast getting ready for leaving. Before 10:30 going to the airport to check-in.

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