Castles on the way to Brasov

Castles on the way to Brasov

Today was an awesome day! I got up early, packed up my stuff and got an Uber at 8:30am. We got to Payless car rental at 9:15am, and the guy that gave me the car couldn’t have been nicer. He gave me a bunch of recommendations on what to see on my way up to Brasov. I love a recommendation from a local!

The weather in Bucharest was just like yesterday, really grey but not raining, but it got worse as I headed north. By the time I got to Peles Castle it was raining pretty hard. I paid the 10 ron (£2) to park and walked up to the castle. Even in the pouring rain it was a really beautiful spot. It’s just outside of this small town called Sinaia, but up in the woods so you couldn’t hear traffic or anything. I got up to the castle, bought my ticket to get in, and then spent 10 minutes trying to get into the castle. There was a very clear sign showing that English yours started here, but that door was locked. I then went to the other door and they told me to go back to the other door. I stood there like and idiot for a while just ringing the bell, and eventually some lady opened the door as if I hadn’t been standing there for 8 minutes ringing the bell.

The inside of this castle is really impressive. I found out after I entered that if you wanted to take pictures you had to buy another ticket, which was more expensive than the ticket for entry. So I wasn’t able to take any more pictures after I was told about that, annoyingly. It was absolutely worth seeing though, it’s a very cool castle.

I left Peles and headed north to the town of Bran. This is where Bran Castle is, also known as Dracula’s Castle. It’s where Bram Stoker set the book Dracula, but the character was based on Vlad the Impaler, and he never lived there. Regardless, it is another beautiful castle up on a hill overlooking a small village. I had a very forgettable lunch in Bran before going up to the castle, and took a good hour inside looking around, and taking pictures. I also paid to go into a tunnel under the castle for some media show, but that was disappointing. It was meant to detect when you’re in front of the screens and show you the next part of the story, but most of them didn’t work, so it was fairly pointless. Luckily, the weather was a lot nicer in Bran, so at least when I was walking around I got to enjoy some decent weather.

I left Bran and headed up to a town called Rasnov which has an old fort up on a hill. I had to park in a lot at the bottom of the hill and walk about 1km up to the fort, but it was very cool. It had a big wall around it, with big gates, and inside the walls was a small town. They had a school, multiple houses, workshops, all kinds of things up there. It was very cool to see.

After walking back down the hill to the car I drove over to Brasov, where I am staying for the night. I called my Airbnb host when I got there, got the keys from a keybox and got my car into the private garage parking space. I found my way up to the apartment, which is really nice. It’s a little more spacious than the Bucharest one, but just as nice.

I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night so I was exhausted after all the driving and touristing. I layed down for about an hour to relax and then took a shower before heading out for dinner. I was recommended a place by the car rental guy, and I’m so glad he said something! The restaurant is called Casa Tudor, it was only a 15 minute walk from apartment, and it was awesome!

They serve typical Romanian food, in a beautiful new restaurant, with excellent service, and at a reasonable price. What more could you want?! They gave me a free amuse bouche which looked like a scoop of chocolate ice cream, but it was actually creamed pork. It was kind of like a pate, which I don’t really like, but it was fine. I had a leek and cream soup with bacon, then mixed grilled kebab, and a salad. I also tried the local drink which is a plum liquor called Palinca. It is 80 proof, so very strong, and not really my thing, but I’m glad I tried it.

The whole meal came to 96 lei (£17), which would have easily cost £50 at home. I was too full for dessert, but the walk home made me feel a bit better. I am so tired now I can’t wait to actually pass out for the night and get up early tomorrow to see Brasov.

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