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Day 23: Brasov, Romania (In search of Dracula)

It's close to midnight, and something evil's lurking in the dark, under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart...lyrics from the song "Thriller" by Michael Jackson

sunny 16 °C

It was an early wake-up call for our trip to Transylvania as we had to cover quite a distance over mostly country roads and through the Carpathian Mountains. An overnight bag was placed outside the door at 7:00 am, and we departed shortly after (our other luggage was placed in storage until we returned). We had several places to see today including Peles Castle, the town of Sinaia for lunch and lastly the town of Brasov. Forty-four of us were allocated to two buses (orange and green) so we could spread out for the long drive.

I captured some sights along the way.

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About an hour after our rest stop, we arrived at the top of the hill that leads to Peles Castle. Many of the houses surrounding the castle are castles on to themselves (albeit small).

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After a short hike down the hill leading to the entrance, we arrived at the castle.

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The castle was built between 1873 and 1914 for King Carol I of Romania. The castle has a long and tumultuous history including the takeover by communists in 1947. The castle was closed between 1975 to 1990 under the direction of Nicolae Ceausescu (who was executed along with his wife) and after the fall of communism in 1989 the castle was declared a heritage site and reopened to the public.

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The castle contains over 170 rooms all fully furnished having both regular day-to-day aspects such as offices, libraries, music rooms, etc. as well as themed rooms. We entered into the front hallway and ascended a staircase to a ceiling high room with many statues, staircases, and doors.

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We then went on to tour the armory,

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as well as other rooms containing period furniture, pictures and artifacts.

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As the castle was hosting a royal event in the afternoon, we were ushered out the door by noon and headed for lunch in the town of Sinaia.
Once we disembarked the bus, we headed over to the local pizza and Italian restaurant in town.

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We shared a pizza and got a couple of local beers then set out and captured a few photos of the town and its people.

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We also knew we were on the track to find the Count when we discovered his very own bank!

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We boarded the bus in midafternoon reaching the town of Brasov by 4:30 pm. Brasov is a walled Saxon city that sits within the confines of Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains. After settling into our hotel for a quick refresh, we headed out to the Piata Sfatului (Main Square),

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followed by a brief visit to Biserica Neagra (Black Church), named for the fire damage it suffered,

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then over to the Casa Statului with its iconic clock tower,

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while also having the time for a quick prayer at the local Christian Orthodox Church.

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A few other sites around town were noted as we strolled about,

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until we finally found Drac's hiding place!

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Although we did not find Dracula inside, we did see his picture on the wall (Vlad the Impaler...aka Dracula) and his clothes hanging by the door.

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So, we helped ourselves to his classic Romanian desert and tried on his clothes.

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We left disappointed but hopeful that we would track down the Count in the next couple of days (we were so close).

Heading back down the street to the hotel, we had a nightcap at the bar before getting ready to take on Drac's castle tomorrow.

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Posted by Argenti Travel 23:42 Archived in Romania

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