Balloon Flight Over Trakai Island Castle in Lithuania

There is something special about Lithuania, one of the old Soviet Union countries. If you haven’t been here yet, you really should put it on your bucket list. Not too far from the capital city of Vilnius is a lake resort and historic town built on water known as Trakai. It is one of the most impressive cities outside of Vilnius. This town is surrounded by over 200 lakes in the region! But I didn’t visit Trakai from land! I was lucky enough to take a balloon flight from Vilnius to see the Trakai. But Trakai is not just a lake resort, it has something extra special built here: the Gothic style Trakai Island Castle! This island castle is on an island in the Lake of Galve. It was built in the 14th century and was a main center of strategic importance back in the day! Read on to discover how you can take your own balloon flight over Trakai Island Castle! But first, how do you get here?

✦ Trakai Island Castle – How to Get There From Vilnius

Trakai Island Castle is about 17 miles outside of Vilnius and along the way you will see hills, forests, and lakes!. You can get there by car, train, bus or by an organized tour like I did with JayWay Travel (which takes about four hours.)

  • By Bus: If you are going by bus, get to Vilnius Bus Station at Sodų St. 22 on departure platforms: 6,7,8, 28, and 29. Approximately 40 buses depart for Trakai Island Castle per day.
  • By Train: Vilnius Railway Station at Geležinkelio St. 16.
  • By train or bus, the journey to get here takes about 30 minutes.
Trakai Island Castle, baloon flights, vilnius trakai

Champagne at the Baptism of Earth, Fire, and Wine in Lithuania


“We are here to not only celebrate a successful sail and landing but to baptize you with Earth, Fire, and Wine!”

Say what?


Trakai Island Castle, baloon flights, vilnius trakai

Balloon flights in Vilnius, Lithuania

✦ Trakai Island Castle Balloon Flight

We landed with a bump, but then we were airborne again and we slowly tipped over. Horizontally, I lay there with green sprigs of grass and dirt touching my cheeks. I was laughing like a silly schoolgirl as I waited for the companion in front of me to remove herself from the wicker basket that we were trapped inside of. Soon it was my turn to crawl out of the box and onto a field somewhere in the middle of Lithuania. Actually, we weren’t just somewhere, we were somewhere near the intended target of the Trakai Island Castle, near Lake Galve, Lithuania.

Trakai Island Castle, baloon flights, vilnius trakai

Trakai Island Castle in Lake Galve, Lithuania

This castle is an architectural example of the old Gothic style. At nearly 700 years old, the castle was once home to many Grand Dukes of Lithuania, but now it is a museum.

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Trakai Island Castle in Lake Galve, Lithuania

Unfortunately, I was unable to visit the castle, as we were diverted high above it all, floating in the air in our giant balloon flight that carried six of us in a wicker basket across the foggy skies! So all I had was a peak thru the hazy morning air of the most famous landmark in all of Lithuania.

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Balloon flights over Lithuania

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Balloon Flight over Lithuania

✦ Trakai Island Castle Balloon Flights

We floated thru the scenery of green Lithuania passing thru fog-covered landscapes with only one other balloon in sight. We soared high above the world to watch the morning traffic to and from Vilnius, the busy and thriving capital below. Soon we drifted over trees, lakes (even heart-shaped ones), homes, and farms.

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Balloon Flight over Lithuania

We were peeking into the backyard of Lithuanian’s wealthiest residents. There were moments when we spotted deer and horses on the horizon. The views were breathtaking and all I could do was stare down at the land below and be thankful that I was here. These were magical moments.

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Balloon flights over Lithuania

These are the moments in travel that I relish!

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Balloon Flights in Lithuania

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Balloon Flights in Lithuania

✦ Trakai Island Castle Balloon Flights

After a long wait, our land crew eventually found us in the farmer’s field and motioned us over to the vans as the rest of the crew was loading up the basket and balloon. The pilot gathered us around in a large circle to say these words I mentioned before:

“We are here to not only celebrate a successful sail and landing but to baptize you with Earth, Fire, and Wine!”

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Champagne at the Baptism of Earth, Fire, and Wine in Lithuania

We were all ready for the traditional champagne toast after every known balloon ride, as I thought this celebration would be no different than the rest. But I was in for a surprise as he motioned for the first passenger to kneel down on the ground. He had a fire starter and a bottle of champagne in his hands.

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Champagne at the Baptism of Earth, Fire, and Wine in Lithuania

✦ Trakai Island Castle Balloon Flight Landing

Hmmm… This could get interesting.

Soon enough, the pilot’s assistant bent down on his knee to grab a handful of dirt from the field. The pilot proceeded to grab a bit of hair from the passenger’s head and quickly caught it on fire! Then he dosed the head of the passenger with champagne and smudged a thumbprint of dirt on his forehead! One by one, he went around the circle as he did it to each one in the group! I was trying to avoid the dousing, but at the last minute got caught as the last one in the group. He singed my hair and doused me with champagne and I left with a thumbprint of mud on my forehead!

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Callin ONeal of Travel Yourself getting baptized by Earth, Fire, and Wine in Lithuania

So there you have it, I have been baptized with earth, fire, and wine. We stood together within the farmer’s field after a magnificent float over the landscape of Lithuania. We sipped our champagne out of flutes and enjoyed this Lithuanian twist on the bond between champagne and balloon rides. Each of us reminiscing about the last time we were afloat.

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

Balloon Flights over Lithuania

We all piled into the van and made our way back to Vilnius happy as clams, only to discover that none of us had eaten breakfast that morning since we had gotten up so early to catch the sunrise. Upon arrival, we chose the cutest little French Restaurant in a tiny square around the corner of my hotel to have the best tasting chocolate crepes this side of Paris. Now we are off to the next Baltic Capital of Latvia to discover a few things to do!

Alas Paradise had occurred that day!

Trakai Island Castle, Balloon Flights, vilnius trakai

French Cafe in Vilnius, Lithuania

Check out this video for the ride of your life!

Just a reminder that all the experiences mentioned here can be had by booking with JayWay Travel. Also, they mentioned that Lithuania has some of the cheapest prices of balloon rides worldwide, so there you have it: value luxury at its finest.


Now after all that fun, don’t you want to go to Lithuania?

Where to stay near Trakai Island Castle:

Disclosure: My time spent in Lithuania was courtesy of the wonderful host JayWay Travel. My enjoyment of the charms of Southern Lithuania, as I soared thru the air was all my own.

This is a continuous series of articles about a trip to the Baltic Capitals:

#1. Tear Down That Wall – Freedom for the Baltics

#2. Tallinn, Estonia – Vibrant Capital on the Shores of the Baltic Sea

#3. A Medieval Gem – The Schlossel Hotel in Tallinn, Estonia

 

2018-08-13T10:44:07+00:00

11 Comments

  1. Samantha June 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Amazing pictures Cacinda! Definitely a trip I would love to so!

    • Cacinda Maloney June 18, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks Samantha! It was one amazing trip!

  2. […] #5. Baptized by Earth, Fire and Wine in Lithuania […]

  3. […] #5. Baptized by Earth, Fire and Wine in Lithuania […]

  4. […] #5. Baptized by Earth, Fire and Wine in Lithuania […]

  5. Heather @ Ferreting Out the Fun July 2, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I’m so sorry I missed this, it sounds like such a cool experience! And those pictures of the balloon ride are gorgeous!!

    • Cacinda Maloney July 2, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Next time you should try this, it was magnificent.

  6. […] #5. Baptized by Earth, Fire and Wine in Lithuania […]

  7. […] itself, as well as Baroque masterpieces of architecture. JayWayTravel took me on the most unforgettable balloon ride over the Trakai Castle. I also rode my first luxury bus (think first class on a plane) between Riga and Vilnius with […]

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