In America, I have been to many Medieval Festivals where the days of the renaissance are relived through costumes food, crafts, and shows. Never have I seen a festival as authentic, however, as the one I experienced in Trakai. Once we arrived we got food and drink and got a nice place to watch the jousting show and archery competition.
As you can tell from the pictures, it was rather crowded. So we climbed up a small wall in order to see the show better. Again, this was incredibly authentic...so much so that one could tell that the jousts were not choreographed at all! They were actually fighting as if they were back at the castle, fighting for pride and land and to keep enemies back from the stronghold. Blows were passed from knight to knight, one was knocked off his feet, and I could see a few dents being made in the helms.
As the sun went down, we started walking towards the bigger castle. It was unfortunately closed for a private party, but it was just as beautiful walking around the island on which the castle is located as it was to see the inside. We had dinner right on the lake -- with a beautiful sunset to boot. We hope to visit beautiful Trakai again before we leave!