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Published: August 3rd 2015
July 31, 2015 – (am) - Today I got up very early in order to leave at 7am for the train. Constantin was very kind and cooked me an omelet for breakfast at 6:30am before I left. I took the metro to the train station and bought a ticket to Sinaia, where I would visit the two castles, and another ticket from there to Brasov for the same afternoon. I wanted to make sure I had a seat and that I didn’t have to worry about doing it later. A couple near me in line translated for me, which made it easier. I had some time to wait, and I had to stand there, waiting for the platform number for my train to come up. Once it did I walked over and got on the train. It was quite full. The train ride was about two hours, and halfway through I talked to a guy from Israel who was just beginning a trip. He was very excited to be away. I said good-bye when my train got to Sinaia, and at the station I found a left luggage place for my large backpack. I have never done that before at a
train station, but I figured many people do it so it should be ok (or they would have no business soon). I even left my laptop in it, as it was supposed to rain and I didn’t want to lug it around. The weather was cooler, but I didn’t get caught in the rain, so that was nice. I walked to Peles castle without a map – I just had to keep asking everyone I saw for directions. I just knew it was uphill from the train station. There was a serious lack of signage, but I got there. Part of the way was along a forested path, with many women walking around, selling raspberries and blackberries in baskets. Quite cute. This castle belonged to the king and was built in the late 1890s/early 1900s and was quite modern for its day, with central vacuuming, heating and an elevator. It was extremely luxurious inside, but you’ll have to image it since it costs 8 euros to take pics inside, and then publishing them online is prohibited. Perhaps I can lift one from the internet for you. Even the outside is beautiful.
There were several tour options but I chose
to see both floors and pay extra for an audioguide, so I wouldn’t have to be a part of a really large tour group. But I was still annoyed by large tour groups as I tried to move around them. I visited the ground floor and then it was time to go to the next floor, and it became clear that there was no audioguide for that portion. I found this really irritating, as it meant I paid more (for that floor and the audioguide) but got less (no info at all upstairs). Eventually I waited for another English tour group to come through so I could get some information about the first floor. It was fine. The only problem was that this place was heaving with tourists. It felt like an ant colony.
From there I walked a few hundred meters to the Pelisor castle, which the king had built for his nephew, who would inherit the crown from him. It was much more homey and liveable in comparison. There I ended up with an English tour guide accidentally, with a few Americans from Romania. This guide was quite good, and there were fewer tourists at this castle,
so it was quite a good experience.
From here I took my time and walked back down to the train station, seeing a little bit of town along the way. For lunch, between castles, I had some pretzels and ate the train station I finally finished the bag I’ve had for three weeks, as well as the bar of chocolate I brought from home. I guess it’s been too hot for chocolate to be appealing. The weather was quite cool most of the day, and misty in the mountains, which was nice.
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