Romania was the first country on my April trip to Balkans. As usual the itinerary was pretty tight. All in all I covered about 900 km in 3 days. Well actually when you divide it by days — 300 km per day seems to be not that much.
The main points I wanted to cover were Sinaia, Rasnov, Brasov, Bran and Sighisoara. With a quick visit to Romanian Carpathians.
Sinaia was the first stop on the route. It said to be one of the finest Romanian holiday resorts. From one side it is not much to see there — Peles Castle and Sinaia Monastery are the only major attractions marked on Wikitravel. From another — location within Carpathian Mountains played the main role in my decision.
I am not a great fan of different castles. But somehow I decided to buy a ticket and go for a tour around the Peles Castle. They were charging extra for photos and was not planning to take pictures inside, so I opted out. And I must say… I was really impressed. To the level that after tour I returned back to the cash desk and took a ticket for photography. And did one more circle around the castle taking pictures. It was really-really spectacular. Taking into account that all the interiors preserved for more than 100 years as they were created. Just one this castle is worth to make a stop in Sinaia.
Next day I got up early and went to Sinaia Gondola station to catch a cable car going up to 2000 meters above sea level in Carpathian Mountains. Being on the edge of the seasons it was still a little bit of snow on top. I think it might be nicer either in winter or in summer. Still it was pleasant and very calm on the top.
As soon as I got back from the mountains I jumped in the car and drove to Rasnov. It is a small town in Transylvania with just about 15,000 inhabitants. And again, just a few points in Wikitravel. The main of them was Rasnov Fortress.
The fortress was nice, however pretty similar to what you can see in Ukraine, in Kamenets-Podolskiy for example. So just one hour here and I continued my way to Bran.
Chronologically here should go Bran, which is potentially is one of the most touristic places in Romania. Well known for its Bran Castle, also known as “Dracula’s Castle”. In reality, Vlad Tepes never called that castle home, and it is unknown whether he even visited. So… Bran castle was so much overcrowded, that I skipped it and drove farther to Sighisoara. I returned back next morning to get just a single shot of Bran Castle, which you can find at the end of this post 😉
Sighisoara is a big town comparing to everything I saw before 😉 And the main attraction is…. Citadel. It even has Vlad Dracul House, where Vlad Tepes “The Impaler” (a.k.a. “Draculea”) was born. Altogether it is a nice place just to stroll around, sit in cafe and relax. There are I think two restaurants on a hill nearby, both give great views of Sighisoara.
The same day I returned to Bran for morning photos of the castle and a visit to Pestera Village. The Village has nothing spectacular except morning views of nearby valleys. It was morning and many people were going to a church on the hill. As hills are pretty steep to walk I gave a ride to old lady, who said many nice words to me. At least I hope they were nice, as I do not speak any Romanian 😉
On the Road
While I was covering this 900 km there were plenty of places were you want just to stop and make a picture to show how does countryside Romania look like. Unfortunately many times it happens that you already passed the place when you realise it. So just a few shots… just random places…
And finally… the Bran Castle. This is probably the least reason why you want to go to Romania, nevertheless it is the most known place there.