Easter Sunday in Romania

Brasov Travel Blog

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Brasov, Romania Day One: 4/12/09

            Easter Sunday and we are off to Brasov (BRAH-shohv) on another bright and early morning. Today would only be a short train ride of a few hours. Arriving in Brasov we had to catch a bus and work our way into town to find the hostel we are staying at. The bus was really crowded, standing room only and man is that fun when you have a big pack! I looked at Melinda and she was not looking well at all, she said she was feeling bad. I had her lean against me but not long after that she had to sit down on her bag. The lack of water the crowded bus had got to her. Reminded me very much how I felt last year on a fun hot and crowded bus ride along the Amalfi Coast in Italy . I got her some water and fanned her to help her cool off. She recovered just in time to jump off the bus and walk up to the hostel. Once again we checked in and off we went to find some food and check out the city. For lunch we had meat sandwiches with Nutella; Melinda finally had her first Judge & Colin specialty sandwich. After lunch Melinda and I jumped a bus to head out to see Bran Castle in the neighboring city of Bran . This is the castle that was the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula castle. Vlad Tepes never ruled from this castle, he was only imprisoned here once by the Hungarian king in 1462. The bus ride out was a VERY hot bus ride!! This time I thought I was going to be the one laying on the floor being fanned, but fortunately enough I had a seat. The bus was a local bus that locals used to get in between the cities, so it made a lot of stops. Once it got out into the countryside the driver opened up the doors and drove with them open; wow did that feel good!!!

            Stepping off the bus we found ourselves in the middle of a Transylvanian swap meet. There were dozens of booths set up hocking for lack of a better word, GARBAGE. I thought for sure I would be able to pick up a Romanian, Dracula, Bran Castle , Vlad, patches out here; I was very wrong! Now if I wanted a t-shirt that had a peace symbol on it or one that said ‘No Fat Chicks’ this would have been the place to get it. Or better yet I could have picked myself up a laser toy gun on the cheep. Melinda and I both thought we should move here and open up a booth with the patches and pins we were looking for and sell Count (from Sesame Street) dolls; we would make a killing!

Now if all that tackiness was not enough there was also a small haunted house with screaming kids running all around. Bran castle itself is a nice place to visit that has some amazing views of the surrounding land. It is perched up on a small cliff ledge that looks into two valleys a few hundred feet bellow. I was shocked how windy it was at the entrance of the castle. The castle itself is well worth a walk through; many of the rooms are still decorated with furnishings from the Middle Ages up through the 20th century. The small courtyard is the best place for snapping pictures. I could see this place in the middle of the summer could be a ZOO! Melinda and I spent several hours walking through the castle and taking a lot of pictures. We then walked the grounds after the castle was closed. Eventually we made it back to the bus stop and waited in the cold shade for what seemed a VERY long time for the local bus to take us back to Brasov . The ride back to Brasov was not nearly as hot and was much more enjoyable.

            Meeting back up with Colin the three of us headed out for dinner, ending up at in a candlelit wine cellar of ‘Bella Muzica.’ All three of us had the same traditional Romanian meal; very good and very filling. Our waiter was a funny Romanian that made it clear from the start that he did not speak Russian and we could tell was not very fond of Russians. After dinner we decided to call it a night and walk back to the hostel. Along the way Melinda and I would stop to snap a few night shots.

            Tomorrow we have a private driver to take us out to Ponerri Castle/Citadel (the real castle of Vlad “Dracula”) from here Vlad Tepes ruled his lands.
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photo by: travelman727