A Visit to Dracula’s Castle

August 13, 2008

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After a morning visit to Rasnov Fortress, outside of Brasov, we continued on to Dracula’s Castle (Castle Bran).  The Fortress was cool to walk around, but not amazing.  I also learned that Cold Mountain was filmed in Romania.  After grabbing some picnic supplies, we headed to Bran Castle. When we arrived there was a massive line all the way down the hill, but our local guide walked us to the top of the hill, pulled a shady deal with the local Romanian at the top entrance, and we were on our way.  Sometimes it pays to wander around with locals.  While the castle was impressive, if I had waited for two hours in line, I would have been disappointed.

Cold Mountain was filmed in this part of Romania

So Bran Castle isn’t really Dracula’s castle, since Dracula was a fictional character, as previously mentioned in Sighisoara, but it is often referred to as Vlad Tepes’ home.  He never lived in the castle, although it’s said that he spent the night locked in a cell while they were transporting him through Transylvania when the Ottomans were in power.  Nonetheless, it might be a little spooky to visit Castle Bran near Halloween, or anytime in the fall through spring, especially at night or during a storm.  If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a good scare on vacation.

The cell that Vlad the Impaler stayed in for one night at Bran CastleThis afternoon we took the train to Sinaia, a little ski town with gondolas (plural) and plenty of hiking opportunities.  I must admit, it’s pretty darn cute.  So cute that you have to hike up 200 stairs from the train station, just to get into town. Rumor has it this is where Demi Moore vacations.  I can only imagine Ashton hosting an episode of Punk’d in Sinaia.

On the agenda for tomorrow… hiking!