Dracula, where are you?
Transylvania Travel Blog› entry 180 of 251 › view all entries
August 2nd, 2008 – by: cmgervais
We didnâ€™t come to this area for the Dracula lore, but I really expected to see it all over Transylvania. It seems like something the local communities would play upâ€¦ for the tourists, of course. I am happy to say that Brasov, at least, is Dracula-free. We made a walking tour of the city center today, and didnâ€™t see one reference to Dracula... or any other vampires for that matter.
For our tour, we carried a touristâ€™s map of Brasov, nicely numbered and marked with the townâ€™s main attractions.
First we headed towards the cityâ€™s fortified wall. The route we happened to choose led us to a bonanza of sights from our map, the first being 13th century Rope Street. This is a very narrow street and I could reach both sides with my arms easily. Hmmm, seems like the people at the tourist office were grasping at straws with this one.
Next we passed by two gates, the lovely Ecaterinaâ€™s Gate (1559) and the more plain Schei Gate (1827), as well as an historic Synogogue (1899), which was closed to visitors for Shabat.
There is a restored tower at the old fortified wall just below Mount Tampo -- called the Weaverâ€™s Bastion (the weaverâ€™s guild was responsible for establishing and maintaining this area of the cityâ€™s defense) -- that houses the Museum of the Medieval City of Brasov.
Next up was the Black Church. Itâ€™s not black on the outside, but I understand the walls inside are charred from a long-ago fire. We could not go inside, as a wedding was about to take place. It was built starting in the 14th century, and is an interesting piece of gothic architecture. Pretty cool.
After wandering around the main square near the church, I wanted to check out the cityâ€™s other surviving section of fortified wall. It was pretty hard to find for being such a big chunk of wall! We finally found the thing, then walked along it near a small canal.
All of this took place late in the afternoon. I had actually spent most of the day -- from 7am to 3pm -- playing travel agent in the room. The bookings for Croatia are proving to be very, very challenging. Steve helped me out, and together we found accommodation for just 5 of 14 nightsâ€¦yikes! I am now 100% positive that visiting Croatia in the high season will prove to be a huge mistake, but I already have the airline tickets and the car (which perhaps we will end up sleeping in), so there is no turning back now.
For dinner, we ended up at cute and cavernous Bistro de lâ€™Arte, for tasty salads and wine. Steve also had Hungarian Stew, which was a little unseasonal since it was very hot in the restaurant, but he reports it was delicious.
Tomorrow we will hopefully be able to hunt up accommodations for Croatia (itâ€™s right around the corner!). We will also visit the famous Castle Branâ€¦ where maybe we will hunt up a vampire or two?
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