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Published: August 3rd 2015
August 1, 2015 – I got up at 7am and got my things together for the day. Roommates were all asleep, of course. Haven’t even met any of them actually. I talked to Ying from Taiwan, who was on my tour last night, and she told me the bus times I needed, as the bus to the bus station only came infrequently on Saturdays. That was really good to know. Breakfast started at 8am, but the hostel girl didn’t show up until 8:05. I asked her if I could get my money back for breakfast and she said no. So I told her that I had to leave at 8:20 and she better get started. I also asked her for toilet paper since both bathrooms were empty. Classy. The breakfast sucked and then I was on my way. I met Erick at 8:30am and told him we had to get the bus at 8:46. Ying met us there, after she reserved a room in a different hostel for tonight, as this place told her they may not have space for another night when she checked in (and she didn’t want to ask the lady – I totally get it). We got
This is what they think Dracula's castle in the book was based on
there just in time to get the bus to Bran, which was perfect. Bran castle is known today as Dracula’s castle, probably because it looks like the one Bram Stoker described. The story of Dracula is based on Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler, who had almost nothing to do with this castle. He spent a couple days there as a prisoner, I think. In the castle, there is some mention of Dracula and Vlad, but just in the way of general information. On our way in we ran into Markus, who accompanied us for the day as well. Cool to have some solo travelers to hang out with. The line to get tickets was not too long, though it was busy inside. This castle had no tours, so we just wandered around taking pictures. This was the second day I didn’t need any sunscreen. It was cloudy most of the day and even quite cold in the morning. I didn’t bring a jacket since it was in the bottom of my bag, which seemed like a mistake. But it warmed up later, and I was even able to unzip my pants to become shorts.
From Bran we got
the bus to Rasnov, where there is a castle fortress. We had to walk a bit and then take the furnicular/elevator up, as there is no walking path to the top. The grounds were cheap to enter and it is mostly ruins, which I love. It was also starting to have blue skies, in part, making for beautiful pictures. This was my favorite of the four castles in the last two days. Loved it.
We took the bus back to Brasov and Markus left for the train station. We looked for food and settled on some carry away stuff. My stomach had felt weird at times, so I got a pretzel. I even took some charcoal earlier to preempt anything. Then we agreed to meet up again at 6:30pm for dinner. I went to try to get some info from tourist info place, but they were closed on the weekends. Bummer. I came back to the hostel and the woman was able to (grudgingly) help me figure out a plan for tomorrow. Really looking forward to sleeping here two more nights. But I doubt moving into a different dorm will cure my dorm problems. Ying came back with me
to the hostel, and eventually she was talking to the guy who works here. The evil dragon lady had left, and he was now on duty. Much nicer guy. He was able to answer my questions better and with a smile. Whaaat? He said it was possible to change my train ticket and suggested I go to the train station to check. Ying said she would meet Eric at 6:30pm and tell him we would meet at 7:30 instead, since the buses are infrequent and I wasn’t sure when I would be back and then we left. It was 5:30 and I was just going out to take some pictures of the town in the sunlight (rather than the clouds we had had), but the train station seemed like a better option. I got the bus with no problems and picked an empty counter. She couldn’t understand me but said I should ask the lady at counter 1. I did, and she was able to help. She changed my ticket to tomorrow, but said that I should get off at the stop I wanted and have them change that portion of the ticket for the next day there. It makes
me a little nervous, since the train I was on will have left by then and if they say no, I’ll have to buy another ticket for the next day, but it seems like it works. But this way it will be a bit more relaxed at a new dorm, I hope, that was recommended in Sighiosoara (where I’m going). It also breaks up my long train ride, so it’s 3 hours one day and four the next. Eric will also be going to the same place, so I’ll see him on the train, if his seat ends up anywhere near mine, or when we get to the station in Sighiosoara.
Even better, I arrived at the train station at 6:11pm and it said the bus left at 6:15pm and 6:55pm. The 6:15pm bus was a minute or two delayed (same bus I arrived on but hadn’t left yet). I was able to run to it to make it just as he was leaving. Score! So I still made the 6:30pm dinner time with my new friends. We walked around for a while trying to find somewhere and then settled for a little place with a small menu. So
much easier to order that way! I got polenta with cheese and sour cream and afterwards, a little hot ball of dough with some jam in the middle fresh off a street cart. Yum. It was a good day. Stopped at the grocery store and came back to the hostel. Ying came back as well, as she still had to grab her bag. We said good bye and I talked a little with an American guy and a Belgian woman. I really just wished they would sleep so I could. I actually had the dorm to myself, which was pretty spectacular. I showered and watched Jon Stewart as I packed up. I went to sleep late, near midnight, and there was still chatting and light filtering into my room through the window in the door. About 10 minutes later, someone moved into the room. Sucked. But I tried to just go to sleep. He snored a little, but not too much. Then he left at 4am, of all times. So, not a dorm to myself and not much more relaxing than any other dorm night. Oh well. I got up at 6am, because I couldn’t sleep anymore.
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