Blogs from Transilvania, Romania, Europe

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Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Cluj » Cluj-Napoca May 4th 2015

I can't say that today has been my favorite day of this trip, but it has had some good points in spite of the long train ride and the disappointing city I find myself in. In spite of getting to sleep really as late as I wanted (since my train didn't leave until after 11), my mind got to going around 7:30. So, I got up, checked the email, did my stretches, and got my post cards in the mail. The breakfast at the Hotel Sighisoara was not the largest selection, but I did enjoy the sausage omelette particularly. I also had a cup of English breakfast tea, which ends my caffeine-free streak. I also had a coke on the train, so I blew it out of the water. The hotel was kind enough to call ... read more
Final glimpse of my favorite Romanian city so far
Glimpse down Mirror Street
Odd memorial by the Orthodox Church

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Mures » Sighisoara May 3rd 2015

I'll get to the headline story later on, but it was the most thrilling thing that happened today, for sure. There's not really a whole lot "scary" here, considering this is reputedly the birthplace of Dracula. My trip here this morning went off without a hitch. I had another awesome breakfast at my hotel, and then I took a cab - the first one of this trip - to the train station. It cost a whole $2.50, and that included the tip! I'll be taking another one tomorrow morning, and probably another one in the afternoon when I get to my next stop. They really are cheap here, so I'm going to act like I have money, since I apparently do. I'm also going in for the "splurge" hotels in Romania, at least according to wikivoyage.org, ... read more
Plaque marking the birthplace of Dracula
View down Dracula Street, leading to the Clock Tower
The Stag House, named by Captain Obvious

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Brasov » Brasov May 1st 2015

I've made it as far east as I'll be going on this trip, and now I'm 7 hours ahead of all my friends on the East Coast. I've wanted to go to Romania for a long time, and to be honest, this part of the trip came down to a choice between Romania and the Baltic States. I initially chose the Baltic states because flights from Prague were cheaper there. Then when I decided to stay grounded, Romania became the ultimate winner for my tourist bucks. Since leaving Prague yesterday morning, I've spent 22 hours on trains. The train to Budapest was 7 hours, of which 4 were spent with the same 5 people in the 6-person cabin until we got to Bratislava, where they all got off. The remainder of the trip to Budapest was ... read more
view out towards Central Park from my hotel room
Town Hall of Brasov
Looking down Republic Street

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Brasov » Brasov April 21st 2015

It’s now more than a week since we left Bucharest to travel to Brasov, a moderately large city in Transylvania. The city has a population of around 250,000. We left Bucharest on Easter Monday, which is a public holiday in Romania, and so the traffic through Bucharest was not too bad – or at least significantly better than a normal weekday. The week after Easter was also school holidays and so many people had left Bucharest to travel to the countryside and this was pretty evident from the relatively empty carpark surrounding our apartment. However, a lot of these people had to start work on Tuesday and so the traffic returning to Bucharest was bumper-to-bumper coming towards us – I was pleased that we weren’t part of it. Our trip northwards initially passed fairly flat farmland ... read more
Peles Castle
Old Town Square - Brasov
Old Town Hall - Brasov

Europe » Romania » Transilvania March 23rd 2015

Today we were picked up at 7.30am and headed to Sinaia to see a monastery, this was about a two hour drive. A short drive took us to Peles Castle where we explored the grounds and then had a small tour inside the castle. It was very detailed with Italian and German influence but seemed to have no flow as one minute it would be dark woods and gold, the next minute green and white, was quite garish in some rooms. But the outside looked amazing. We then drove through windy forest roads covered in snow for about an hour and arrived at Brans Castle- the home of Dracula or Vlad the Impaler. This was more basic and toned down compared to the previous castle, I preferred the interior of this one. Next stop was Brashov ... read more
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Europe » Romania » Transilvania March 21st 2015

I left the hostel Friday morning to make my way to Reading. I got to the train station and had to wait for six trains to go through as they were so overcrowded, also with my backpack I essentially needed the space of two people. I arrived in Reading just before 9.30 and was met by my best friend Aimie who I hadn't seen for almost two years. We walked back to her place and I packed some clothes into my small back pack and we made the hour-ish drive to Luton airport. Our flight to Bucharest had us extremely confused thinking it was a five hour flight as we departed at 2pm and arrived at 7pm, but we're told there was a two hours time difference. We landed in Bucharest, brought some bus tickets and ... read more
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Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Râșnov August 13th 2014

While having the main headquarters in the camping at Rasnov for the Rockstadt Extreme Fest we also went exploring the fortified evangelical churches in Transylvania. On Thursday we saw Cincsor - Cincu - Dealu Frumos - Agnita - Alma Vii - Richis - Copsa Mare - Biertan - Apold - Barcut - Soars. We entered only Cincu, Richis, Biertan and Apold because the others were closed. On Friday we visited the Rasnov citadel, walked around the town and spent more time at the concert. On Saturday we saw Feldioara - Rotbav - Rupea Fortress - Viscri - Bunesti - Cloasterf - Saschiz - Sighisoara - Darjiu - Daia - Drauseni. In Feldioara and Saschiz we only stopped at the churches and did not visit the citadels because Feldioara is undergoing restoration and Saschiz is in ruins. ... read more
Agnita front view
Agnita side view
Alma Vii

Europe » Romania » Transilvania August 8th 2014

I think most people agree that Romania has an image problem. The crudest perception is, of course, of dirty thieving antisocial Romanys looking to steal jobs in Western Europe countries. Clearly this is the perception the Farages and Le Pens of this world want to promote for their own ends. We have had a tremendous time in Romania. Never once have we felt unsafe even at 4 or 5 am in the middle of Sigetu or at Brasov station. Everyone has been incredibly helpful even when they do not speak a word of English. That little old lady trying to find us the carver in Vaduz Izei comes to mind. We have met some interesting people, from visiting émigrés to an orphanage security guard and fellow tourists. When we did not have a way of buying ... read more

Europe » Romania » Transilvania August 8th 2014

On the train to Bucharest 10am August 8 2014 We were glad to know we could still walk this morning. This wonderful Carpathian mountain range has worn us out. It has many forms and many political borders, many of which it has directly shaped over the centuries, and in every location and aspect offers rewards to the traveller and walker. Why have we not visited them before. Why do not more people come now. Whether it be in the Tatras, Bieszczady, Maramures or Bucegi we have been entranced by their beauty and the friendliness of the people living around them. This last few days we have been exploring the mountains around Brasov as well the city itself. Our base has been a self contained unit in the next door house to the Gabriel hostel where we ... read more
At Cabana Piatra Mare
Logging horses
Chez nous Brasov

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Harghita August 1st 2014

A very nice roadtrip through the mountains. On Friday afternoon we left Bucharest and headed towards Predeal via DN1. The trip was quite bad because it was very crowded after Comarnic, especially through Sinaia. On Saturday I went on one of the nicest drives yet: from Predeal to Brasov, via Rasnov and Poiana Brasov (where the view was beautiful), then North through the mountains up to Gheorgheni, West towards Praid and then back South, passing through Zarnesti and Rasnov. The villages there look very nice and there are quite a few fortified evangelical churches (in pretty much every large village). Also, the route from Gheorgheni to Praid is very nice (both the view and the drive). On Sunday we headed to Intorsura Buzaului and had a car crash in Prejmer... It was not too bad, but ... read more
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Homorod Altar
Homorod Organ




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