Dracula found! Alive and well, living in Bran.

Transylvania Travel Blog

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Bran Castle from afar (photo from ejournal.eduprojects.net)
Yesterday I commented on how the Transylvania I have seen has been surprisingly Dracula-free. Well today Steve and I found him alive and well in Bran. Oh my.

Our plan was to visit Bran Castle, an impressive-looking medieval mountaintop fortress I had seen in photos. My guidebook, Fodor’s, lists it as an “off the beaten path” attraction. Yeah, right. When we got to the town of Bran, we found Tourist Central. Cars, people, and souvenir vendors, chaos… a real madhouse.

We found a place to park just out of the main area of town and walked in, following a sign that pointed upwards towards the castle entrance. About 14 million other people were on the same path and things weren’t looking very good for a pleasant visit. When we got to the top we found a long line for tickets.
Scary line for Bran Castle.
  People were tripping over themselves and one another to get into the castle, and neither Steve nor I had any desire to join the fray. Instead, we found a little path leading away from the castle and followed it up, up and away from the crowd. It was quite a steep (read: strenuous) hike, and all the while I hoped for a clear view of the castle in the end. But it was not to be…the trees were too high and blocked the view. It was good exercise nonetheless. We came back down, saw the line was only worse, and decided to skip Bran Castle after all that.

Instead, we visited the town’s less-popular-but-still-busy open-air museum. Here were old dwellings brought in from various villages, restored and preserved…kind of like what we saw in Sibiu, but on a much smaller scale. Fair. Worth the fifteen minutes we spent there, I guess.
Bring on the Dracula kitsch.
After this, we explored the town of Bran, a.k.a. Draculaville. Crazy! There was vampire-themed tourist kitsch for sale everywhere… and people were buying it! Vampire t-shirts, Vampire wine, Dracule vodka, mugs, plaques, you name it. After checking things out thoroughly (and escaping without a single purchase), we had some bad pizza for lunch, and then got the hell out of Dodge. Whew. Bran sucks.

On the way home, we flirted with the idea of visiting the medieval mountaintop citadel of Rasnov, but were deterred by a packed parking lot and more hoards of people. So, back to Brasov. It’s nicer there… no vampires.

 
 
fr3yam says:
I am really sorry that you missed two of the most beautiful castles in the region. If had visited them, you would have been impressed how magical, mystical and Dracula-free both are :(
Posted on: Jun 24, 2009
stabber911 says:
Do they come and line up for the Bran Castle from 5 am??
Posted on: Dec 10, 2008
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Bran Castle from afar (photo from …
Bran Castle from afar (photo from…
Scary line for Bran Castle.
Scary line for Bran Castle.
Bring on the Dracula kitsch.
Bring on the Dracula kitsch.
I can park the Spark ANYWHERE!
I can park the Spark ANYWHERE!
Bran Castle.
Bran Castle.
The path to Bran Castle.
The path to Bran Castle.
Near Bran Castle.
Near Bran Castle.
Hiking above the castle.
Hiking above the castle.
Whatcha want, kid?
Whatcha want, kid?
One mans bold fashion statement.
One man's bold fashion statement.
The open air museum at Bran.
The open air museum at Bran.
Wood things for sale.
Wood things for sale.
Dracula t-shirts and tank tops, fo…
Dracula t-shirts and tank tops, f…
How is THIS relevent?!
How is THIS relevent?!
Various Dracula-themed liquors.
Various Dracula-themed liquors.
Vampire wine. I like mine blood re…
Vampire wine. I like mine blood r…
Another horse drawn carriage on th…
Another horse drawn carriage on t…
Small medieval villages sure like …
Small medieval villages sure like…
The Black Church, closed again. We…
The Black Church, closed again. W…
Transylvania
photo by: Marius1981