Sunday, March 11, 2012

Visiting castles in Romania

Today, Robin and I set off on are adventure to visit castles and fortress villages of Transylvania. Our trusty driver Durell, picked us up in Bucharest, and we drove North through the Carpathian mountains to Peles Castle. This castle was the home of the first King of Romania, King Carol. It is absolutely the most beautiful thing that I've seen in Romania. We took an English tour through the castle. Our guide was impressed by our mic (little) Romanian. I have pictures of the outside of the castle and Robin, my photographer travel companion, took pictures of the inside. In the 1800's this house had central heat and a central vacuum system. They also had 32 full bathrooms!! As I was walking through the rooms, I had visions of all the historical novels that I've read occurring in this castle. We saw the kings office, the queens office, the waiting area outside the bathroom, the guest wing and their breakfast room and the ladies in waiting area.

After our visit to the Peles, Robin and I both commented that we didn't believe any other castle that we saw could top this one. If can only see one thing in Romania, this castle is it. It was worth the extra few days. Leaving Siniea, we drove on to Bran Castle, AKA Dracula's castle. This castle is much older (1400's) and felt more like a fortress. It sits high above the city and overlooks the village. The tour was unguided and we roamed from room to room. This castle has a cold, basic feel. It was still very intriguing and really looked like a place that a king and queen would retreat to during war. I have more pictures of this castle so I'll post them. We ate the most amazing pastry, that is a specialty of the region. It's called Kurtos Kalacs. It's like a cinnamon roll without the inside. It was delicious, so we had TWO!! We are staying at what appears to be a ski type resort in Bran with a spectacular view of the mountains. on the grounds of the hotel are several bust and statues. Can you guess the guy on the horse?

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