Day 4 - Brasov

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August 2nd 2015
Published: August 4th 2015
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After waking up and mastering the shower in our ensuite – there was no curtain and the water sprayed out from every angle, it was seriously impossible not to completely saturate the floor and walls – I headed off to find the bus to take me to Bran Castle. I made it to the station with 3 minutes to spare, paid for my ticket and managed to clamber aboard the already over-packed bus. It was a 45 minute journey to the Castle. Stopping in at a few towns along the way. There was a small child sitting on his mother’s lap in front of me. Absolutely adorable with the biggest blue eyes. Cluck cluck cluck haha. He was periodically crying though I noticed that he stopped crying and became quite fanscinated when he saw the band-aid (plaster for my UK friends) on my finger. Then commenced a 10 minute game of peek-a-boo with the band-aid. It was epic. Eventually I spotted a spare seat after some people got off and was able to sit in relative comfort for the remainder of the journey. In no time at all we arrived at Bran Castle. My first stop though was for one of the market stands to get myself something to eat as I had not had breakfast. I spied some people eating what can only be described as a nutella pizza I decided to be clever and order it using the word that I thought described it from the menu – Kurtos Kalacs. What I got was something entirely different but equally delicious. It was a pastry roll in the shape of a bee hive toasted on the outside and rolled in coco powder. This would definitely be on my recommendation list and I plan on getting another one tomorrow. I also came across a great t-shirt souvenir and then joined the long line to buy a ticket for the castle. After having visited Kennsington Palace and Windsor Castle, and well just seeing how big Buckingham Palace is from the outside, the scale of this catle was surprising. Stil amazing to look at, with its imposing location looking down on the town. It also provided a great view of the city. There was lots of information in the Castle about its history, the family that own it, and of course Vlad the Impaler – the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. An interesting fact from history that I learnt was that in the olden days they if someone was suspected of being in league with the devil or possessed by evil spirits they weighed them against an object that was assumed to be the same weight as them in relation to their size and mass. If they were found to the lighter than the object they were convicted of being possessed by the devil. Obviously this method led to lots of corruption. Some places would weigh people against the bible – these places had mostly non-guilty verdicts as a result. There was also a place that would weigh people and provide a certificate for the individual to protect them from future allegations…. at a cost obviously. After exploring the castle there was not much left to do but head back to Brasov. I decided to buy a bottle of water as I hac left mine at the hostel. After purchasing the bottle I opened it to hear a terrible whizz and see air bubbles floating to the top – I had bought mineral water. Wanting to conserve money I decided that if I was thirsty enough I would drink it. So I did, trying to stifle my gag reflex and hid my distain. I managed to find the bus station again, mainly by observing the large throng of people standing around. I managed to get on the bus again but again was left standing. After making it back into Brasov I headed into the centre of town to go for a walk and get some dinner. I ended up having a very untraditional Romanain dish - Calzone. Befire heading back to my hostel. I was sitting out on the terrace when a new guest arrived, a man from Serbia. He is staying for 6 nights and has been placed in our room. Simona, the owner of the hostel and then new man – let’s call him Jim, came out and sat on the terrace with me. It actually endd up being a really interesting night, I learnt a lot about what life is like in Serbia and Croatia, as well as learning some interesting facts about Romania. For instance, the average wage per month in Brasov is around 150-200 Euros or around 800lei. To add a bit of perspective, by the time I leave Romania I will have spent around 600lei, in the space of 6 days. He was a big joke teller, here are my 2 favourites:

A kleptomaniac, a sadist, a pyromaniac & a masochist are sitting on a park bench. A woman walks past with a cat and the kleptomaniac turns to the others and says “We should steal that cat!”

The sadist then says, “after we steal it we could tear it apart and beat it up!”

The pyromaniac adds, “and we could set it on fire!”

The masochist then says, “Meow!”

In 20 years time, President Obama has died and is speaking with God. He says, “God, please can I go back to Earth and see how things have turned out?”

God agrees to his request and sends his back to the USA for 1 hour. The first thing Obama does is head to a bar. He sits down and orders a beer and then turns to the barman and asks, “How is everything? What is going on in Iraq? Afghanistan? Syria?”

The barman replies, “oh, we sorted all that out, we rule the world now.”

Obama feels incredibly relieved and asks how much the beer costs. The barman replies, “10 rubles.”

Simona also gave us this strange drink to try. It is called Secărică and is a home brew type drink made by fermenting fruits. This one was 30% alcohol. It was like drinking peach flavoured turpentine. Thankfully she only gave us a small amount, around a shot, I must say by the time I finished I was slightly lightheaded and it made getting to sleep a whole lot easier.


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