Out for the Count

Transylvania: land of mountains, forests and vampires. The supposed home of Count Dracula was the next stop on our trip.

We arrived in Brasov from Budapest at 9.30am after a 14 hour overnight train from Budapest. Not exactly the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had! We hopped on a bus to the centre and then made our way to our hostel. It luckily wasn’t very busy, allowing us to immediately check in and have a well-needed shower! Due to the lack of sleep from the previous night most of the day was a fairly lazy one, with the exception of wandering back into the centre to grab some lunch. By 6pm we were once again in the impressive main square, meeting a guide next to the fountain to go on another free walking tour. On the tour we visited many of Brasov’s main sites including the Black Church and one of the narrowest streets in Europe. A good tour that was very enjoyable.

The next day we caught a local bus bound for Bran Castle. Linked with stories of the notorious Vlad the Impaler, who gained his name from impaling over 20,000 people on wooden spikes in just 6 years, the castle is said to have been a major inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The castle was not particularly imposing from the outside, though in the height of summer it was unlikely to be. However, the inside was a very interesting mix of big, old rooms and little interlocking corridors, and the creaking of the wooden floors as we made our way around did stir some of our imaginations! We made sure to look around the museum of mediaeval torture instruments also located in the castle. Afterwards and feeling a little queasy we headed for some lunch, unsure how much we’d be able to stomach!

The rest of the day was taken up by a trip on the cable car up the mountain next to Brasov for stunning views over the city and a very winding walk back down. The next day we would be heading for Bucharest. Though we were disappointed that we hadn’t seen the famous Count who knows what we may find in the Romanian capital!

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