hot air ballooning over lithuania!


as our time in the baltics came to a close, we were hitting a low point
with traveling. at about 5 weeks on the road nonstop, it was catching
up with us here. though these countries were beautiful, there were
fewer familiar conveniences and it was just getting to be a lot since
these cities are smaller + closer so we were packing up, getting on a
bus and traveling every single day. i live for this kind of stuff, but it
was really hitting chase which then made it hit me a little too…
funny how marriage works that way, am i right? ;)
DCIM100GOPROG0065258.
we definitely know how lucky we are to get the chance to do this,
but don’t be fooled that it’s straight glam! in between the magic
european cities & endless plates of pasta in italy, we’ve been
living out of two small bags, wearing dirty clothes twice – or
three or four times – sitting on trains, planes, and buses pretty
much every other day, constantly figuring out logistics and
directions to new hotels, sweating our faces off in the european
heat wave summer, and definitely getting a little frustrated
with each other at times (think: the stressful fights people
get in on amazing race or something … haha!) the beautiful
reality of travel is that it tests patience, forces decisions, and
pushes us outside our comfort zones. these are some of the
reasons i actually love it, but when it’s full-time it’s magnified.
IMG_2436all that is to give a little dose of reality before showing something
that “lifted” our spirits, quite literally! (along with a good long
facetime session with my parents who always cheer us up ;)
hot air balloon2vilnius is one of the only remaining capital cities in the world that
allows hot air balloons, because the airport is far away enough and
certain regulations make it possible. this is why you’ll see hot air
balloons coloring the skyline here morning and evening, and you’ll
want to get yourself on one! this will be an experience that i don’t think we will be forgetting anytime soon.
lithuania proudly calls itself a country of hot
air balloons, and balloons are often pictured as symbols of the country
and capital vilnius. after our windy tethered balloon experience in tallinn
and our friends telling us about this experience in vilnius, it was a
no-brainer to take a ride here. we’re glad our pals had just done it
a few weeks before because it made us even more excited!
DCIM100GOPROG0095318. we woke up at the crack of dawn and got picked up by the great guys at
oreivi? klubas padangi? g?l?s ballooning. if you can’t tell, i appreciate a
good family-run business and so we loved being able to chat with
adam about how his dad got into ballooning in 1988 and how it has
carried over to a successful business where they are able to enjoy
their passion and help others enjoy it, too! what is better than that?
i thought their story was so great that i have to share some of it!
IMG_2380adam’s father, romanas mikelevicius, started the company & has
racked up 2550 flight hours (!!) he is also the only balloonist in lithuania
who has taken part in every single ballooning championship since 1991
(23 years in a row). also, the fact that the ballooning championships are a
thing makes me happy :) on top of all that, romanas was twice elected president
of the lithuanian hot air balloons federation and now 3 of his sons are active
hot air balloon pilots. it’s safe to say that this is an experienced group to fly with!
balloonsjust some of the stages of the hot air balloons being filled up ^^
because we came early with the team, we got to see the entire process
from rolling the balloon out of the trailer to taking off in it! i still can’t
quite believe someone ever had this idea and made it work, but i love it!
hot air balloon7casually shooting heat into the balloon
(i’m in the background crossing my fingers that
the flames don’t light the balloon on fire! )
IMG_2394^^ here’s chase “helping” … ha, just had to be part of the process!
IMG_2407balloons ready for lift off ^^
hot air balloon5it’s so funny to just hop into a little basket and be taken away!
i’ve only ever done this before when i was young, so i
couldn’t remember and wasn’t sure what to expect.
IMG_2418up up and away over old town ^^
CollagesIMG_2423it’s one of the prettiest places to balloon, since you get views
of this charming european city at the beginning, and still
end with incredible scenery over a river + farmland.
DCIM100GOPROG0035190.
the ride is so quiet and peaceful up there in the sky
(in between the blasts of heat..my hair was on fire!)
IMG_2426this river was glowing in the morning sun and
the scene looked straight out of a fairytale!
IMG_2449a fitting prince charming for the fairy tale scene ^^ (sorry, had to!)
IMG_2429DCIM100GOPROG0085287.
the ride didn’t feel scary to me at all ( i kind of love heights )
but the time i did get freaked out is when our captain adam
showed us his tricks by going lower and touching the tip top
of huge pine trees in the forest … the balloon would catch on the
tree top and sway SO much like it was tipping! adam wasn’t
one bit worried as he did this multiple times, so i had to trust
that he knew what he was doing, tricky guy! he also told us his
other trick is touching the bottom of the basket in the river..ahh!

IMG_2427IMG_2448 IMG_2444 IMG_2446my favorite part is seeing the balloon’s shadow all along and knowing you’re in it :)
DCIM100GOPROG0065255.one more kiss before landing!

IMG_2453and, safely on the ground in a field in the middle of nowhere ^^
the ride was an hour of peaceful floating before landing here ,
packing up, having a toast in the field, and driving back together.

IMG_2456the boys got to help back the basket + balloon up ^^
IMG_2459and we earned our ballooning diplomas! very proud moment :)

thank you to oreivi? klubas padangi? g?l?s for this memorable
flight over lithuania that brought us back to the magic of this
experience
and like i said, truly “lifted” our bodies and spirits!

bye baltics, see you from italia.
xx

*see more baltics here: vilnius, riga, tallinn, and an amazing nonprofit group we highlighted here.


'hot air ballooning over lithuania!' has 13 comments

  1. August 25, 2015 @ 3:25 pm Sarah

    Thanks for the honest tales of travel! It’s definitely not always glamorous – hopefully things have brightened up for you! I was just wondering how you picked all of your destinations and why you chose to move through them so quickly? It would be fun to hear the back story. Thanks!

    Reply

    • emi

      August 28, 2015 @ 12:17 am emi

      hi! yes i will do a big post all about our adventure and how it came to be at the end (soon!!) it’s been crazy and a lot of planning on the go, but i will share all about it!

      Reply

  2. August 25, 2015 @ 5:29 pm Katie Noel

    Yes I would love to hear more about the planning process too! Could you also share how you decided what to pack? You guys always look so put together; I would be a hot mess after several weeks of travel!

    I am a new reader and am loving your posts! Such beautiful pics.

    Reply

    • emi

      August 28, 2015 @ 12:19 am emi

      You are so nice – we don’t feel like that most days, but yes I will do a planning post soon!! xo

      Reply

  3. August 25, 2015 @ 9:22 pm Kari

    What an incredible experience! I’m so glad you were able to refresh after so many travels. It can definitely be draining, but truly amazing. We just got back from 3 weeks in Italy and France and I’m ready to go again!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

    Reply

    • emi

      August 28, 2015 @ 12:18 am emi

      that sounds amazing! :) i know – as soon as i get a good night’s sleep back at home i’m pretty much ready to go on another trip! :)

      Reply

  4. August 26, 2015 @ 12:08 am Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki

    This looks like such an amazing time. We are looking into doing a hot air balloon ride in Prague next month and this post just made me that much more excited about it!

    Reply

    • emi

      August 28, 2015 @ 12:17 am emi

      okay that will be incredible!! :) can’t wait for those pics!

      Reply

  5. August 26, 2015 @ 1:13 am Sara

    So fun and gorgeous! I love the story behind the company and hearing about their family’s history with ballooning- so unique and cool! Did chase make a vlog of it?

    Reply

  6. August 26, 2015 @ 10:57 am Linda Dunn

    Glad it lifted your spirits. I like the dose of reality shared. I also like the glowing river in the morning sun and your prince charming!
    Love, mom

    Reply

  7. August 27, 2015 @ 11:03 am Chuck

    Was it scary at all?? Looks terrifying, but then again I’m scared of heights. Chase looks good. Where did he get his haircut?

    Reply

  8. August 28, 2015 @ 7:11 am Rachel

    Such an awesome experience – and you can’t beat those views! I can’t believe you guys have been traveling around with so little! Packing is always one of the most stressful parts of the trip process, I can’t imagine trying to cram everything in for 5 weeks! And keeping up with blogging in between all of these travels?! You guys are awesome!

    Reply

  9. August 28, 2015 @ 11:35 pm EmilyAnne (Eat All Over The World)

    We recently went hot air ballooning. It was a wonderful experience, the view yall got to see was amazing. So glad you earned your diploma. Have fun in Italy!

    Reply


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