summer

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.

 

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what’s your favourite beach? here’s ours (and it’s not bondi)

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Summer is approaching in Sydney but when we look out the window, it doesn’t look the case at all! The sky is overcast and the temperature is still relatively cool. Considering that we live only 20 minutes or so from the beach, we hardly ever visit the beaches in Sydney. Maybe once or twice during the summer… And beautiful beaches we certainly have.

To put it plainly, we are just not beach people.

World famous Bondi Beach
World famous Bondi Beach

But if we were asked what our favourite beach was

…we would have to say that it isn’t here in Sydney. Back in 2006, we went to Mauritius for a week and found what we consider to this day: paradise. We think it is the best beach that we have ever been to.

Ile aux Cerfs is a privately owned island off the east coast of Mauritius. To get there, we were picked up from our hotel in Port Louis (on the west coast), driven across country to the port, before jumping on a boat transfer to the island.

And when we arrive, all we see is beautiful turquoise water and soft yellow sand, water so calm; this was our kind of beach.

Mauritius 2005 (133) Mauritius 2005 (117)

We throw down our beach towel by the lagoon under some shade, and just head into the water! It doesn’t matter how far we go in this lagoon, the water is merely ankle deep and then slowly becomes knee deep. We can sit in the water and just soak up the sun and atmosphere. No fear of being slammed by waves or snuck up upon by sharks. Here is the place to be lazy and relax!

Mauritius 2005 (120) Mauritius 2005 (118)

Our day trip also included lunch – all set up and served under these open huts!

Mauritius 2005 (109) Mauritius 2005 (112)

And then to sticky beak around the island afterwards, we walked along some of the walking tracks and caught glimpses of the golf course.

Mauritius 2005 (125) Mauritius 2005 (126)

Mauritius 2005 (132)

This beach day for us definitely set the standard for our image of a “day at the beach” and since then nothing really has compared (possibly our day at the Bahamas, but that will be for another post). Writing this post takes us right back to that experience…. *sigh*

What is your favourite beach? 

Share yours to inspire us!

weekly photo challenge: summer lovin’

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What says summer lovin’ to us?

In this picture:

The beach and sand shows summer 

PLUS

The act of kissing shows love

TOGETHER THIS EQUALS 

SUMMER LOVIN’

We snapped this photo while in Kangaroo Island over one Australian summer. Travelling together… that is OUR LOVE.