Romania trip report

 

Romania



Romania is best known for Transylvania's most famous export - the legend of Dracula.

 

Timisoara

Timisoara is a studenty town full of cute town squares, pricey cafes and countless pigeons. Like seriously, some parks and streets were full of pigeon droppings everywhere - a sea of droppings. It's the also the only place in the world where they will pour hot tea on pot noodles.


 

Orsova

Orsova is a sleep little town near the border with Serbia. It's the base to take boat trips along the Danube Delta, one of the most beautiful places in the Europe.


 

Brasov

Brasov is a city in Transylvania ringed by the mountains. It's known for its well-preserved Medieval architecture, cobbled old town, lively cafes and the Black Church - a huge towering church named for the dark color left by a 17th-century fire.


 

Bran

A short bus ride away from Brasov is the Bran Castle, supposedly home of Vlad Tepes. Also known as Vlad Dracul, he is touted by the Romanian tourism industry as Dracula. In the legend, Vlad was a ruler whose wife committed suicide after she wrongly thought her beloved husband died in a long war. When Vlad came back to his castle, he cursed God who in return punished Vlad by turning him into a vampire. Vlad was infamous for impaling war prisoners earning him the nickname Vlad the Impaler, likely the main inspiration behind the legend.
In reality, the historical connection to Vlad Tepes is very thin, it was not his castle and it's not even sure he has even been to Bran.


 

Rasnov

Halfway between Bran and Brasov is Rasnov, a historical little town with a hilltop citadel.


 

Bucharest

Bucharest is a rough and acceptable city that pales in comparison to other Romanian cities. The premier attraction is the gigantic uninspiring Palace of Parliament which most Romanians hate. It was built during the Communist reign of the country's own cult-of-personality dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu. He ruled his country with an iron fist, making his own people starve while spending exorbitant sums of money on megalomaniacal construction projects, the most drastic exemplification being the Palace of Parliament. In 1989, a bloody revolution toppled Ceausescu who was swiftly executed.
The Dracula myth is also capitalised in Bucharest, there's a "Dracula" themed restaurant that looks like a vampire movie set. They also feature the main man himself; when the lights get dimmed a Dracula impersonator appears, then vanishes inside a coffin mounted on the wall.


 

Train ride through Transylvania

The Transylvania train journey from Timisoara to Brasov is very scenic, passing through lush green mountains and traditional Transylvanian villages. When I took the train, there were some Roma gypsies in a nearby compartment, apparently they were following people into the toilets and trying to extort money, the local Romanians were quite scared of them although I did not experience anything myself.


 

country.php?c=romania