Today we started our two day trip to Transylvania- headed out at 0800. The tour Guide was Mary and the driver was Bogdan. They were at the hotel at precisely 0800. We had checked out and ready to go. The first part of the trip was to Peles Castle in Siani. This was the summer house of King Karl and Queen Elizabeth. King Karl was the first monarch of Romania. The castle was unlike any other I have seen in that, being built in the late 18th century it was not just a pile of stones. The last Monarch (Michael who is now 95) and living in Switzerland is the last monarch to live here. The castle used 42 different kinds of wood in its construction. It is a warm place what with the wood as opposed to stone. It had electricity, water, an elevator ( from the kitchen to the dining room) but no working fireplaces – for obvious reasons. There are four fireplaces in the castle but there. Is a radiative heater behind each one.
There was a mob of people out to tour the castle, but we went to the head of the line thanks to Mary. Karl also built a smaller castle about 100 yards from the main castle for his son-in-law. We did not see ALL of the rooms but certainly most of them. After about an hour and a half, we headed out to our next destination- the Dracula Castle in Bran Village.
One word of warning! The person known as Dracula only lived there for about four months. The white lie tale of Dracula as we know it really came from a novel by an Irishman ( ). He used stories of Dracula during the war with the Ottomans and tales from a girl in late teens who did like the blood of virgins – to keep her immortal and spun the tale of Dracula as we know it. Valhalla Dracula the father was also involved. The name Dracula simply means ‘the son of Dracu‘ nothing more. Dracula was very effective against the ottomans In that he managed to stop paying ‘ransom’ to the Turks for three months so all of his countrymen felt he was a hero. He was really brutal on the battlefield in that the Turkish soldiers he would impale on a stick such that they would live for a day or two before dying. The Turkish soldiers were really afraid of him.
The town where the castle is located is mainly based on tourism with the obligatory shops and so forth. The castle was a typical castle on a hill that was built to extract revenue from passersby’s on the trade routes and to provide protection to the town and surrounding area. Was a pretty much typical castle – not too large and a modern castle in that it was built in the 1800s. Had lunch here and had a really great salad – typically chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, bell pepper – add olive oil and basil vinegar is really good. The BBQ ribs and sauce were outstandingly good!
This about it for here so we headed for our accommodations in Brasov (?). The city was having an affair in the square. With sidewalk tables/tents set up for literally blocks around with a big band. In the main square. We are off of the square due to the noise – had penne pasta with sauce – quite well. Then back to the hotel for the evening. The hotel was a ways from the square so we did not have to listen to the sound dealing music. Comfortable sleep to get ready for tomorrow.