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11 Oct – Castles

Today we toured Transylvania and its castles. We jumped aboard our bus for the day with no English speaking drive, who by all accounts from others on the tour, was a true Romanian driver – slightly crazy.

We headed for Sinaia to Peles Castle, a former royal palace dating back to 1883, that is not lacking in opulence or fantastic architecture, the place is amazing.

From Peles castle we headed to Bran Castle, Bran dating back to 1378 and is fairytale like. It also has many rumored links to Dracula himself though it is apparently unlikely that Vlad Tepes was ever there. The castle was cool but not that great, there was a fair bit not open and most of the rooms roped off for distant viewing only. They must have been tiny though because in places we had to duck!

From bran we headed to Râsnov and Cetatea Râsnov (Râsnov Fortress) ruins from the 13th-Century . Now this place was cool, set high up on the hill it has a pretty cool view but the whole place is pretty much to wandering around and its not really ruins well it is but a lot is still standing so its really cool.

We wandered all around the Cetatea, and whilst we were wandering two of the guys on the tour -, brothers from LA had posing in this completely ridiculous pose for their website …. The story is as crazy as the pose , have a read/look if you get time. Out the back some men were building these tee-pee like things of twigs (no idea what they are for) and we found donkeys and the craziest dog ever. He would bury himself literally in the hay piles roll around and usually go rolling down the hill at some point – it was hilarious.

It was then back to the hostel, and down to ‘little Italy’ – this little side street filled with Italian restaurants – for a very funny pizza. We thought we were ordering a supreme type pizza but when it came out one slice had mushrooms, one had ham, one peppers etc was really quite strange but very nice. Goes to show what is normal for us is not so normal elsewhere even with a simple pizza.

We headed back to the hostel for a few drinks with our freebie vouchers (how sweet is that), caught up with two pommie girls who had been at our hostel in Bucharest that had just arrived – Can you believe they had never heard “pommie” before! – and chatting with others in the hostel.

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