Justins World

Train to Trakai

I was awake at 6am this morning so thought I’d catch the 7:49 train to Trakai. I’m sure you’ve all heard of this wonderful 30 minute commuter train through the forests of Lithuania. The train was rather empty, certainly there were more locals than tourists.

When I arrived in Trakai (pronounced Tra-kee) it was a lovely 2 km stroll through the town to the castle. It was very quiet, not many people about. Of course I arrived at the castle spot on 9 am opening time, except that the castle opens at 10 today! Which explains the lack of tourists about. However I did get quality castle time by walking around the walls with not a person in sight.

Trakai house

I retreated back across the two bridges linking Trakai castle to the mainland and failed to find something open for a coffee. As I waited for the castle to open, wave after wave of school kids on school excursions turned up and crossed the bridges. I hesitantly made my way back to the castle at 10 am.

Trakai Castle

Inside the castle courtyard where your typical medieval things like knights with swords and cages and blocks for keeping prisoners locked up or in this case children. The castle has many displays in the numerous rooms including weapons, armour and coins, I liked the 100 years of Lietuva map display. I think a few of the ex Soviet republics are celebrating their centenary as a republic this year.

Back on the shore after avoiding the numerous boat rides on offer around the lake, life had returned and the cafes were open and full of people. I wandered back down the road and found a small cafe with a few locals in it to have lunch. I then returned to the train station to catch the train back to Vilnius.  The train was running late, but as I discovered that was mostly due to track work.

Trakai Castle courtyard

I then raced around to find somewhere that sold laundry detergent.  I asked the hotel about washing clothes and they said there is a washing machine on my floor and I can do it.  So sometime tomorrow I’ll be doing my laundry in between museum visits.

For dinner, I went to a craft brewery bar and restaurant and had a delicious Baltic Porter with a German inspired Lithuanian bratwurst, mash and cabbage.  I followed it up with an even better Coconut milk porter, that hit the spot so well I declined having an edible dessert.  Tomorrow I was planning to catch the train to Kaunas, however, due to the museums being closed on Monday and a long day on Thursday going to Riga via the Hill of Crosses, I’ve decided to visit the museums tomorrow.

Trakai Castle

2 thoughts on “Train to Trakai

  1. Noel Kemp

    The best part is – I was told – that the Soviets paid for the restoration of Trakai (umpteen billions of roubles), not long before the break-up of the USSR. That must have hurt them (in the hip pocket)!

    1. justin Post author

      My favourite of a similar ilk is Botswana finding diamonds a year after the Brits gave them independence 🙂

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