Impressive locations in Romania for a trip
Bran and Peles castles, Transfagaras mountain road: what to see in the country during a trip …
The Budyansky family from Energodar, Zaporozhye region (Ukraine) and returned from a tour of Europe, in which they visited several countries at once, traveling as budget as possible. Having visited Albania, Greece and other countries, they finished their trip in the countries of Eastern Europe. Having visited Bulgaria, the Budyanskys traveled home through Romania – one of the colorful EU countries, which has not yet become the center of mass tourism for Ukrainians.
What to see in Romania and how much you should have time to visit one of the country’s locations in October – in the material by Natalia Budyanskaya.
Transfagaras alpine trail: spectacular landscapes:
Unfortunately, Romania was not considered a tourist country for many of our tourists for a long time. Many of our compatriots will never exchange a vacation in Turkey or Egypt for Romania.
Nevertheless, this country is capable of surprising, and many times over. Even an experienced tourist who has traveled all over Europe, like me. I can confidently say that there are many very interesting places in Romania. I’ll tell you about some of them.
In Rumuni there is an alpine trail through the Transylvanian Alps. The road was built during the time of Nicolae Ceausescu. They say that the dictator was so scared after the introduction of troops into Prague in 1968 that he gave the go-ahead to build Transfagaras in case he needed to escape from Wallachia to Transylvania.
It is not known what he was counting on if the road is open only 4 months a year. The rest of the time, Transfagaras is covered with snow. But dictators have their own quirks, after which we, travelers, get such tracks with stunning views in the mountains.
The road is fully open only from July to October. In 2021 – from July 1 to October 31, so there is still time to visit it. We drove the winding path 100 kilometers long in five hours. Everywhere I wanted to stop and see the stunning landscapes.
There are many 180 degree turns, tunnels and waterfalls. The road passes through the Fagaras mountain range, the maximum height point is 2034 meters above sea level. It is 30 meters lower than Hoverla, but the mountains around are higher than the Ukrainian ones.
The highway was built by soldiers for four years – from 1970 to 1974. To pave the road, it was necessary to blow up part of the surrounding mountains, it took 6 thousand tons of dynamite. Unfortunately, 40 people died because of this.
At the highest point there is a bazaar, parking and a paid toilet. Corn is fried, chicken is smoked. Magnets, plates, beads, sandwiches – a bazaar in the best traditions of the Carpathians
In my opinion, now among the motley variety of jackets, hats, honey, cheese, sausage – the authenticity of the mountains and the winding road laid through the pass is lost.
Transfagoras is a unique highway that is at the same time one of the most dangerous and most beautiful in the world. Travel along it is free.
Dracula’s castle in the middle of a dense forest:
Romania is a land with ancient history. Dacians, Saxons, Turks fought for the lands of the modern country in different ways, leaving their architectural heritage here. And only this country can boast of the most famous vampire castle, which has been legendary for centuries. Films and programs have been shot about him, many books and articles have been written. This is Bran, also known as Dracula’s castle.
The castle was built in the XIV century by the inhabitants of Wallachia for their ruler Mircea I, who, as a token of gratitude, freed them from paying tribute. Built on top of a cliff and having an unusual trapezoidal shape, Bran Castle served as a strategic defensive fortress. It has 4 levels which are connected by stairs.
In the 15th century, Vlad III Tepes became the master of Wallachia. Impaler (Impaler) – a nickname given to him for the fact that he was extremely tough with his subjects and enemies, impaling them. And he received the nickname Dracula (son of the dragon) from his father, who was a member of the famous knightly order of the Dragon.
Glory to this architectural structure came after the publication of the novel of the 19th century writer Bram Stoker “Dracula”. In this work, Count Dracula first appears, which later becomes the most popular cinematic and literary image of the vampire.
In a series of constant wars and palace coups, Count Dracula was killed. After the death of Vlad Tepes, a legend appeared among the people that he allegedly turned into a vampire. The body of Tepes after the funeral was not found, which was the reason for the birth of the legend of the vampire Dracula.
Exactly as described in Bram Stoker’s book, the road to Dracula’s castle consists of numerous serpentines. But the beauty of nature overshadows the fear of ghosts, the car boldly moves forward, overcoming the next turn. The closer to the castle, the thicker the flow of tourists.
Now the architectural structure is a functioning museum. From a distance, it looks mysterious and unapproachable, like an illustration of a book novel about vampires. A dense forest envelops it from all sides, cutting off the approaches to the castle. There is only one official road leading to it. Sharp spiers give the building a spiky, intimidating look.
Approaching the front door, there is a slight excitement and an unpleasant frightening foreboding. Superstition is inherent in almost all of us. And, probably, if it were not for the crowd of noisy tourists with children, whose presence next to them distracts from my own thoughts, I would have been imbued with a visit to Dracula Castle to the fullest. In addition, the castle is surrounded by a large souvenir market, with the din and bustle present. Therefore, we were not at all scared.
Bran Castle is small, the interior is rather modest, but thanks to the legend of the vampire Dracula in Romania, it is the number one castle. You can order an excursion, use an audio guide (Russian and Ukrainian languages, however, are absent). Information stands are presented in two languages - English and Romanian.
The layout is impressive: many staircases, secret corridors and rooms. Inside the castle there is a small and cozy courtyard with a well. By the way, the well is also the entrance to secret dungeons.
The castle is an interesting architecturally and well-preserved medieval monument, small and beautiful, surrounded by picturesque nature.
There are no night excursions to Dracula’s Castle. The only exception is one night of the year – Halloween on October 31st. Then the castle is really restless: you can hear the heartbreaking screams of witches and the screams of vampires.
Today Bran Castle, with 17 rooms, is considered the most expensive real estate in Romania. Since 1948, the castle was nationalized from the royal family and was considered the property of the Romanian government. Until 1948, it served as the royal residence.
The current owner of the castle is Archduke Dominic von Habsburg, who took over the building in 2006. He turned it into a private museum dedicated to Count Dracula.
Peles Castle – the seat of the Romanian kings:
Who would have said before that Romanian castles would make such a strong impression on me. But in Sinai, the castle is not simple, unique! The castle has 160 rooms, of which 30 are baths. An entire power plant was built nearby for their own needs, and it became the world’s first electrified castle.
The hunting residence of the king (this is what Peles was called) Karol 1 was built for 40 years. Forty years old, can you imagine? The process involved 300 workers from 14 countries – the best designers, masons, carpenters, woodworkers, glaziers.
Peles is the most impressive castle in Romania in terms of luxury and beauty and one of the most beautiful in Europe. The former residence of the Romanian monarchs was equipped with all the technical innovations of the last century: telephone communications, a cinema, two elevators, central heating.
At the end of the 19th century, Romania became a kingdom, uniting three principalities – Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldova. The German Prince Karol I of the Hohenzollern dynasty was invited to rule the state.
They say that he liked the surrounding landscapes of Sinai so much, reminiscent of his native Germany, that he decided to build a summer residence here. Peles Castle served as a royal residence until 1947, and then, along with other royal property, was confiscated by the communists who came to power.
I was struck by how the Romanians cherish their history. I have been to many castles in Europe in different countries, this one will give odds to anyone. I remembered our Ukrainian noble heritage against its background with tears in my eyes.
The largest copy of the Eiffel Tower in Europe:
I will add that Romania also has one of the largest copies of the Eiffel Tower in Europe. And what is most interesting, we have crossed the town of Slobozia, in which it is installed, eight times already. But – only along the bypass. Unaware that this building miracle can be found in the park.
While we were taking pictures, suddenly, from somewhere in the depths of the green lawn, the sounds of bells began to be heard. In the next second, a herd of goats came out onto the park zone overgrown with uneven grass in front of the main “Parisian” building.