our visit to trakai castle

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So here we are in summer (supposedly – but let’s not talk about that) in Sydney. And it seems like the Northen Hemisphere has been snowed in of late. Our Facebook newsfeed is filled with photos of places covered in snow. Whether it be because of this winter or previous ones, we can’t be sure… but there are plenty going around. Trakai Castle in Lithuania was one of the ones that we came upon. Such a beautiful castle and even more magical and elegant in snow.

We saw it a couple of summers ago now and it was a stunning blue sky kind-of-day. What we saw and what it looks like at present is no doubt very different.

We do have a fascination with castles… Lured to them when we travel to old countries. Lifestyles of the rich and regal.

Trakai Castle is one of these castles we fell in love with from the outside. There is something so ridiculously “magical” seeing a castle out on an island in the middle of a lake, Lake Galve to be exact.

IMG_1169The castle was built in the 14th Century and was updated in the 19th Century. And no doubt has a colourful history like most castles do.

To reach the castle, we had to walk along a wooden bridge before entering the main gates.IMG_1174 IMG_1177Once inside, it is as if we are stepping onto a movie set, half expecting knights or lords or ladies to poke their heads out and jeer at us. IMG_1176 Exploring this castle is much like any castle – there’s a left wing, a right wing, Chapels, spiral staircases  up into towers or down into dungeons.

Here is David (red top:LEFT) looking around in awe as we sat and appreciated the Chapel and its architecture (and to rest our feet).IMG_1189Back up on our feet, we walk through doorways, and hallways and balconies. Up, down and around….

IMG_1200 IMG_1202Artefacts from archeological finds are displayed in the different rooms and we always love looking at things like that. To think how old some of the objects are simply blows our minds. And even more surreal when we are able to stand in the room that the royal families used to sleep in. Who would’ve thought! IMG_1193 IMG_1197And it’s not only within the city walls that visitors can explore. We walked around the island outside the city walls.IMG_1210Seeing too many castles whilst visiting Europe can happen but even so, we love visiting them.

So much history, so much intrigue and how humbling that we can catch a glimpse into what life once was like.



weekly photo challenge: dialogue

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The instruction for the Weekly Photo Challenge was:

It’s your turn now: for this week’s challenge, bring together two of your photos into dialogue. What do they say to each other?

These photos were taken from either side of the defensive walls of Castelgrande at Bellinzona, Switzerland…

“So are you in? Or are you out?”


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You are welcome to leave us your thoughts here.


himeji castle: one of japan’s oldest castles

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Reading just the other day about Cherry Blossom season  made us think of our time in Japan. Flicking through our photos we came across photos of Himeji Castle.

Himeji Castle survived World War II bombings and earthquakes and is an example of Japanese castle architecture dating back to the 17th century. However, the history of the castle spans back to the 1300s, where it started as a fort and then a castle before becoming the castle that we see today. It is one of 12 oldest castles still standing out of about 25 000 (yes, 25 thousand) castles ever built in Japanese history. It is 6 levels high with very steep stairwells and with each floor, the stairwell get narrower and steeper.

We had to take our shoes off so were climbing the stairs light-footedly like ninjas. The depth of each step, the higher we got, was so narrow, we were only able to place half our foot on. Basically we were tippy-toeing to the top, making us feel even more ninja-like 🙂  And the view when we got to the top was worth the sore calf muscles! It really was quite a fortress!

The castle sits atop a hill and looks so wondrous and white and is referred to sometimes as the White Heron Castle. The day we were there, the sky was so blue – it was simply picture perfect. 

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Himeji Castle was listed as a UNESCO Heritage site in 1993.

To see the other UNESCO sites we have visited, visit our unofficial bucket list


weekly photo challenge: grand

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Within thirty seconds of seeing the challenge, we knew which picture to choose.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany is GRAND – not only in size but also in wow factor! It is the beautiful castle nestled in the mountains and the scenery surrounding it is also grand!


For other photos for this challenge, visit The Daily Post