Travelling and means of transport
Millions of people all over the world travel to see other countries and con¬tinents, modern cities and the ruins of an¬cient towns, they travel to enjoy pictur¬esque places, or just for a change of scene. It is always interesting to discover new things, different ways of life, to meet dif¬ferent people, to try different food, to lis¬ten to different musical rhythms.
Those who live in the country like to go to a big city and spend their ttime visiting museums and art galleries, look¬ing at shop windows and dining at erotic restaurants. City dwellers usually like a quiet holiday by the sea or in the mountains, with nothing to do but walk, bathe and laze in the sun.
Most travellers and holiday-makers take a camera with them and take pictures of everything that interest them – the sights of a city, old churches and castles, views of mountains, lakes, valleys, plains, waterfalls, forests; different kinds of trees, flowers aand plants; animals and birds. Everybody can go to the place of destination by sea, by air and by train. Travelling by air has some advantages of course. It is convenient and much quicker. It is better to book tickets iin advance. On the appointed day you go to the airport by car. Before you get on board the plane you have your luggage registered. It is weighed and la¬belled. You do not take your luggage with you, only a small bag. Before the flight you can watch the planes taking off and land¬ing. Then you hear your flight announced and the passengers are invited to board the plane and take their seats. The steward¬ess greets the passengers and shows them their seats. When the plane takes off, she gives the passengers all the infor¬mation about the flight, about the speed and the altitude at which the plane will be flying. She asks the passengers to fasten their seat belts aand not to smoke when the plane takes off. Then she offers them some mineral water, lemonade and sweets. When on the plane you may look around. In front of you in the cockpit you’ll see a pilot and his crew. Some of the passengers are re¬clining in comfortable armchairs. There is a kitchenette in the rear part of the plane where the stewardesses are cooking. Some¬times you can see the land through the illuminator. It is like a geographical mmap.
A lot of people travel in their own cars. Beautiful pine forests and silvery birches, picturesque rivers and numerous lakes attract lovers of nature.
Hiking is becoming very popular. People like to spend their days off in the country. There are picturesque places with forests, lakes and rivers near every town. It is pleasant to spend a day chatting, joking and singing with friends on a river bank, a lakeshore or round a campfire in a forest, having a good time and a good rest. Happy they return home to plan new hikes for coming weekend.
If you are an adventurer you can travel by bicycles or on horseback.
Coach tours are not expensive and I like them very much. They are planned as holidays and there is a chance to do a lot of sightseeing and have a good rest at the same time. Sightseeing is combined with rest. For a few days you can stay in the hotel and you have no trouble with the luggage because the care is taken at every night stop. Moreover hotels are carefully selected and booked in advance.
All means of travel have their advantages and disadvan¬tage. And people choose one according to their plans and ddesti¬nations.
The protection of nature
About two hundred years ago man lived in harmony with nature, be¬cause, industry was not much developed. Today, however, the contradictions be¬tween man and nature are dramatic. Every year world industry throws out into atmosphere about 1.000 million tons of dust and other harmful sub¬stances. People of many cities suffer from smog. Forests are disappearing. The pollution of the air, oceans, seas, rivers and lakes, and the destruction of the ozone layer could lead our planet to a global catastrophe. The Earth is our home, that is why we must take care of it, for ourselves and for the next generations. We must keep our environment clean.
I live in the he-use of blocks in a big city. The surround¬ing of my house is not very fine. Usually it is full of papers, leaves and other waste. The problem of littering is very actual in our country. It deals not only with us but also with all mankind.
More than twenty years ago a pulp-and-paper factory was built on the shore of Lake Baikal. As a result, because of the water pollution, more than 50 percent of the world’s purest water have been ruined. The whole ecological system of tthe lake has changed greatly. Some organisms that can be found only in the Lake Baikal are disappearing, trees are dying from the dust and gas blow-outs of the factory. So, scientists, writers, workers put the problem of the Lake Baikal sharply in the press, among public bodies and in the government. Lake Baikal and its shores have been declared a specially protected zone of the country. There is a hope that one of the most beautiful and the deepest lakes of the world will never die.
Pollution of water, especially that of rivers, remains the
most acute ecological problem not only all over the world but in Lithuania also. This is witnessed by the fact that the city of Kaunas, with a population of over half a million, still has no wastewater treatment plant. Due to the recent decline of indus¬try and the reduced use of chemicals in agriculture, water pollu¬tion has decreased considerably, however, the situation of most of Lithuanian rivers, including that of the Kursiai Lagoon, re¬mains critical. It has been calculated that after the construction of at least the mechanical facilities of the waste water treatment plant in Kaunas and of the, biological waste water treatment fa¬cilities in
Vilnius, Siauliai and Klaipeda, the organic pollution in Lithuania would be reduced by 70% and the situation would essentially improve. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. High quality ground water is mainly used for everyday use in Lithuania, however in the countryside, shallow-well wa¬ter is mainly used which’s often polluted with nitrates way be¬yond standard levels. Though with the diminished use of min¬eral fertilizers the leaching of mineral substances into surface and ground water has ssignificantly decreased, the quality of water has not essentially improved due to secondary pollution pro¬cesses.
Each of us must do everything possible to keep the land, air and water clean. How we can protect nature? Everybody must plant trees, flowers, take care of animals. Schoolchildren must not break trees, must not pick flowers in the forest or in the field, must not throw waste paper or other things into rivers or lakes.
Foreign languages in the life of a modern man
The great GGerman poet Goethe once said, „He, who knows no foreign lan¬guage, does not know his own one“. Learning for¬eign languages is especially important in nowadays. Some people learn lan¬guages because they need them in their work, others travel abroad, for tthe third studying language is hobby. Every year thou¬sands of people from
Lithuania goes to different countries as tourists or to work. They can’t go without knowing the language of the country they are going to. A modern engineer or even a worker cannot work with an imported instrument or a machine if he is not able to read the instruction how to do that. Scientists, historians, diplomats are, as a rule, polyglots, because they need foreign languages in their work. If you want to be a flight attendant, a pilot or an air traffic control officer you must learn English, the language of international communication. And how can a shopgirl or a cash¬ier in a big department store understand a fforeigner, if she does not know a foreign language? So, a modern and a cultured per¬son must learn foreign languages. They are socially demanded especially at the present time when the progress in science and technology has led to an explosion of knowledge and has con¬tributed to an overflow of information. The total knowledge of mankind is known to double every seven year. Foreign languages are needed as the main and most efficient means of informa¬tion exchange of the people oof our planet. Today English is the language of the world English is not only the national or official language of some thirty states that represent different cul¬tures, but it is also the major international language of commu¬nication in such areas as science, technology, business and mass entertainment. It is also the major language of diplomacy, one of official languages of the United Nations Organization, other political organizations and the universal language of Interna¬tional aviation, shipping and sports. Hundreds and hundreds of books, magazines and newspapers are printed in English and read all over the world. 75% of the world’s mail and 60% of the world’s telephone calls are in English. Over 350 million people speak it as a mother tongue>e. geographically, it is the most wide¬spread language on earth, second only to Chinese in the num¬ber of people who speak it. The native speakers of English live in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America. English is one of the official languages in the Irish Republic, Canada and the South African Republic. As a second language it is used in the former British and US colonies. The number of second-language speakers may soon exceed the nnum¬ber of native speakers. Half of the world’s scientific literature is written in English. It is the language of literature, education, modern music, international tourism.
Lithuania is integrating into the world community and the problem of learning English for the purpose of communica¬tion is especially urgent today. So far there is no universal or ideal method of learning languages. Everybody has its own way. Sometimes it is boring to study grammars or to learn the new words. But it is well known that reading books in the original, listening to the BBC news, communicating with the English speaking people will help a lot. When learning a foreign lan¬guage you learn the culture and history of the native speakers. One must work hard to learn any foreign language. English to¬day is absolutely necessary for every educated person.
There are Jour seasons in a year:
spring, summer, autumn and winter. Every Season is beautiful in its own way.
When spring comes nature awakens from its long winter sleep. The days become longer and the nights – shorter. The ground is cov¬ered with emerald-green grass and the
first flowers. How lovely the white snowdrops are! I The air is fresh, the sky is blue and cloudless, and the ssun shines brightly. The trees are in full blossom. The birds begin to sing and built their nests.! The nightingale begins to sing its lovely songs, and sweet melodies may be heard from every wood and thickets The days are warm, everything is full of life and joy.
Spring is followed by summer. The weather is usually fine in summer, but it can be very hot, especially in July. Some¬times there are storms with thunder and lightning. In summer people try to get away from the city noise and spend more time in the open air. They pick mushrooms and berries in the forest, swim in the rivers and lakes, go fishing and boating. I usually spend my holidays near a river or a lake in the country where I can go swimming and boating. I am fond of lying in the sun and getting sunburn.
Autumn begins in September. The days become shorter and the nights become longer. It is still warm in September but. the weather often changes and it gets colder and colder. The sun shines bright, but it isn’t hot. The leaves turn yellow, red and brown and fall to the ground. Most birds fly away to warm
countries.! There is a short spell of dry sunny weather in Sep¬tember which is called Indian Summer. It is beautiful time when sky is cloudless, the trees around are golden, the air is transpar¬ent and it is still warm. but gradually it gets colder and colder. It often rains in October and November what makes autumn an unpleasant season, but autumn is harvesting time, the time when grain, fruit and vegetables become ripe.
‘ In winter the sun sets early and rrises late. The rivers and lakes are frozen over. Ice on the lakes and rivers is thick, but sometimes it is thin. Everything is covered with snow: the houses and streets, the fields and forests. It is very slippery. The days are short and the nights are long, the sun is seldom in the sky. The strong wind blows. Sometimes it is very cold, about 25 – 30 degrees below zero. Going out in such weather isn’t very pleas¬ant. Winter iis a good time for sports. Little children are fond of playing snowballs and making snowmen, older ones go in for skating and skiing. Tobogganing is also popular, not as a kind of sports, but rather as fun. I like wwinter with its frosty sunny days. It is a pleasure to go for a walk then. The animals need food and people help them. The birds do not sing and some animals sleep during the winter time.
As for me, I like all the seasons, but I think there is noth¬ing like late spring.
Spending my free time
Hobby is a favourite oc¬cupation of a person in his free time. They differ like tastes. If you have chosen a hobby according to your character and taste you are lucky because your life be¬comes more interesting. Hobbies are divided into four large classes: doing things, making things, col¬lecting things and learning things. The most popular
of all hobby groups is doing things. It includes a wwide variety of activities, everything from gardening to traveling and from chess to volleyball. Gardening is one of oldest of man’s hobbies. It is a well-known fact that Lithuanian are very fond of gardening and growing flowers, especially roses.
Both grown-ups and children are fond of playing differ¬ent computer games. This is a relatively new hobby but it is be¬coming more and more popular.
Making things includes drawing, painting, making sculp¬ture, designing costumes, handicrafts. Two of the most famous hobby painters were PPresident Elsenhower and Sir Winston Churchill. Some hobbyists write music or play musical instru¬ments. President Bill Clinton, for example, plays the saxophone.
Almost everyone collects something at some period in his life: stamps, coins, matchboxes, books, records, post-cards, toys, watches. Some collections have no real value. Others be¬come so large and so valuable that they are housed in museums and galleries. Many world-famous collections started in a small way with one or two items.
People with a good deal of money often collect paintings, rare books and other art objects. Often such private collections are given to museums, libraries and public galleries so that others might take pleasure in seeing them.
No matter what kind of hobby a person has, he always has the opportunity of learning from it. By reading about the things he is interested in, he is adding to what he knows. Learn¬ing things can be the most exciting aspect of a hobby.
I have many friends. They have different kinds of hob¬bies. One of my girlfriends, for example, likes to knit very much. In the evening she sits on he sofa and knits a beautiful pullover or a sweater. She also knees for her little sister, her mother and her ggirlfriends. Another girlfriend of mine spends all her time sewing things: skirts, blouses, dresses. She makes it nicely and everything looks good. One of my friends likes to make every¬thing with his own hands. He can repair an iron, a radio-set or tape-recorder. I think it’s a very good hobby.
As for me, my hobby is collecting stamps. Now I have 5 albums full of stamps, it is more than one thousand of them. I like to sit at a table in the evening and arrange new stamps in the albums, or write in the names of the countries, or just look through the stamps. Each stamp has a story to tell about distant countries and strange people. I see pictures of men and women, birds and animals which I have never seen. Kings and presidents pass before my eyes and I can follow the history of whole na¬tions. My hobby is not wonderful but very useful.
I’m fond of music and whenever I have some free time I go to the Concert Hall. There are a lot of concert halls in our country. Our people are very keen on music. That is why when¬ever I go to the concert, the hall iis always full of people. But sometimes I go to the cinema. I am not a film-fan and don’t like serial films or screen versions, I only go there only when the film is worth seeing.
Lithuania is an attractive country
Lithuania is a small piece of land at the Baltic Sea in the geographical center of Europe. The amber coastline with beautiful whitish beaches stretches for 99 km of the country’s West boarder.
The nature is very beautiful in Lithuania. One must show the foreign visitors its wonderful nature and traditions. Usually I don’t like to speak about poor economical situation, ...
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