Transylvania with and without Dracula

23/09/2018

It's been a while since the last post about Madeira, but my life is quite boring lately - work, eat, repeat. That's why I immediately said yes when one of my best friends, Petra, asked me if I wanted to join her for a trip to Transylvania. Even though I've already been to Buchareste (and didn't like it that much, to be honest), I wanted to give the country another chance. Spooky Transylvania then! So, we bought kilos of chocolate, charged my GoPro and took off.

Day 1 - departure, Oradea, Cluj-Napoca

Apart from the usual stereotypes about bunch of homeless people and abandoned dogs, there isn't much I knew about Romania, so I was looking forward to get my head loaded with information. What I didn't expect was that I would need to get familiar with the sexual life of 2 elderly ladies that sat behind us. No, no, I had no idea how interesting it would be.

Our first stop was Oradea, the only place where a former synagogue was transformed into a gallery and one of the catholic churches would be made into a shopping center - The Black Eagle.

main square in Oradea
main square in Oradea

On the way to Cluj the 2 ladies started to talking to 2 elderly, apparently single, gentlemen, and I finnaly got to know what "the second puberty"actually means. As we arrived quite late and had only couple of hours to sleep and refresh, I took only a short walk in the city center. It's beautiful, full of parks, fountains and beautiful buildings - such as the Opera, where you can attend concerts of i.e. Boney M. What I didn't know was that every evening t 11 pm the automatic watering system would start working. Just imagine how nice it is, sit on the grass, try to take a nice shot of a church and get a nice shot of water straight to my face. Just like Bridget Jones. What I also should mention is that the local artists have their own opinion on Moldova as an independent country.

Day 2 - Salina Turda, Sighișoara

Salina Turda is a huge salty mine, pretty similar to the one in Wieliczka in Poland. The 2 ladies were taking loads of pictures in the darkness and some other people decided to lick the walls, just to try if they really were salty, I guess. Anyhow, the most interesting part of the mines is the minigolf field. And the carousel.

I might have not mentioned Dracula yet, but trust me, his pictures are everywhere, and especially in Sighișoara, city where he was born. The biggest attraction is his house, that nowadays hosts a bar and a restaurant. We were not to go there, because it's not worth the 5 lei, as there was only going to be a lame doll dressed as a vampire. We didn't care and went inside. We almost sh*t ourselves. The attraction must have been upgraded, as there was no doll, but a real guy in the coffin. We also went to the Museum of torture, but it was a crap, so I don't really recommend it. 

Day 3 - castles Peleș, and Bran. City of Brašov

I mentioned at the begginning that I didn't know much about Transylvania, so I really didn't visit such beautiful castles. Peleș is a marvelous castle with beautiful wooden decorations. Bran, better known as Dracula's castle, is a scam. Dracula never really lived there, but it looks more representative than the ruin of his actual fortress. Looks quite real though. In one of the windows we found a cute little bat, having his nap. Just a coincidence?

Brašov is a beautiful city where you can find pretty much everything - churches that are KFC according to Google Maps, churches made into burger places or a university that looks as if it was painted by Walt Disney. We continued to Curtea de Arges. There is not much to see there, but it's the starting point for Transfagarașan.

Day 4 - Transfagarașan a Sibiu

If you've seen Top Gear and the crazy mountain road, then you know what Transfagarașan looks like. The former Romanian dictator wanted to build there a highway which, of course, was not possible. Nowadays it's mostly a tourist attraction and quite a challenge for all kind of drivers. The 2 ladies were, of course, taking thousands of pictures from every single angle, and pretty much pissing me off. 4 hours later we arrived to Sibiu. Liars bridge and the Tower of Love are only some "must see" points of this idyllic city. I got to know 2 lovely ladies that should be inspiration for all of us - in their 60+ they are studying at the university, travelling around and, of course, look at least 20 years younger. Only thanks to them I managed to survive the way back home without any damage - the 2 single elderly men asked the 2 (not lovely) ladies out. "What should I wear?" "Do you think he will really call me?"Some things never change, I guess :)

last pray
last pray

Day 5 - Hunedoara

The last thing we visited was Hunedoara, castle where one of the most famous Hungarian kings was born. Today there is a huge gipsy village, but we, unfortunately, didn't make it there.

Hunedoara
Hunedoara

To sum up, Transylvania is definitely a place to visit. Food is great, roads are really nice, people are friendly and prices lovely. I'm pretty sure I will come back, but now let's get ready for Valencia :)