I can’t tell you exactly when I became hooked on the legend of Dracula, I can just tell you that one day I was. I have read the book once every year or so since as long as I can remember, I’ve watched everything and anything that speculates on the legend and have loved all the tales of Vlad the Impaler, even if they meant that I would hear the words that I didn’t want to hear, that Dracula was not actually real.
So you see for me, it was never a question of if I would visit Transylvania some day, it was more a case of when I would visit Transylvania.
I teamed up with the amazing Travelmaker tour company in Bucharest who booked my friend and I onto the 2 castles in one day tour. I couldn’t recommend the tour enough, and definitely want to go back and do more tours with them myself in the future.
You could usually expect to see both Bran castle and Peles, however on the day that we chose to do the tour, Peles was not open and so we were taken to explore Rasnov Fortress instead. It was snowy, misty and magical and I can’t say I was disappointed. I’ll just have to return to beautiful Romania to see Peles in the future!
When the day of my dreams finally rolled round ready to become a reality; we were outside the Atheneum in Bucharest bright and early ready to meet the rest of the group. Even the unrelenting rain couldn’t squash my excitement as we hid underneath the grand old concert hall.
Somewhere in between my dozing off on the minibus and my waking up in Transylvania; the weather clearly decided to have a word with itself as there was Snow everywhere. If you’ve seen as many Vampire related and scary movies as I have then you would know that mist and surrealness is always the start of Shit going down. So while the forefront of my mind fully understands that vampires are not real and that I’m not about to come across Dracula… the back of it is all like “But dude, what if….?”
Stepping inside of Dracula’s lair, or Bran castle, whatever you would like to call it was a pleasant surprise. Call me naive but I had always thought it was going to be old and cobwebby and lit up with nothing more than the light of candles, maybe to play up to the whole Dracula thing. But it was a lot more modern than I thought it was going to be, and was ridiculously well maintained.
Oh come on; follow me inside silly and I’ll show you what I mean…
The chandelier in this room had a slight Dracula feel to it…
Midway through taking this Image the electricity cut out and stayed that way for the rest of the time I stayed downstairs. Was it Dracula? Or maybe, it was just you know, plain old Electric problems…
Note the Bear skin rug in this room. Bear’s are extremely common in the Romanian Mountains!
My favourite part of the castle was enjoying the views over the courtyard. Make sure that you find the viewing rooms to read the history of Romanian myths and legends, and to find out about the real man that Dracula was based on – Vlad the Impaler, who whilst known to be brutal, was not a vampire at all.
Our tour was pretty awesome as we were given loads of amazing information that I didn’t know in the beginning all about the Queen and her children and what happened with the Castle. We learnt more about Vlad the Impaler and got told what to expect from what lay ahead.
From there we were able to explore the rest of the castle ourselves and spend as much time there or in the Bazaar outside as we liked. I spent as much time as I could in the castle before heading out and purchasing some vampire teeth for, you know… science.
I’M SORRY, BUT LIFE MADE!!
The Rasnov Fortress…
I have to be completely honest with you here, I knew absolutely nothing about this place before visiting. But if you’re ever in Romania then please, please try and visit here as it’s absolutely breathtaking.
As I made my way up the slippery, snowy hill to a fortress that I knew absolutely nothing about, I felt like I was in a dream. Although I still would really like to go to Peles some day; I’m also glad in a sense that it was closed as I got to go and explore somewhere that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
Wanna come and have a look around then?
The final stop of the tour was into Brasov Town to have a nosey around there too…
At this point my tummy was yelling out for me to go and fill it somewhere. Well that and the bitter cold allowed me to quickly snap off 3 terribly taken images before dragging our wonderful tour guide off for food and history stories.
Although I absolutely loved the tour of Bran castle and the fortress, I absolutely loved being recommended yummy Romanian food to try while being told millions of stories about Vlad the Impaler.
Our poor tour guide probably wanted a little rest before having to join the others again, but I probed him for as much history as I possibly could, and I’m so grateful to him for giving up his time by telling me all of the fascinating stories about that and his Country that he knew.
This was a truly unforgettable day.
It’s been one that I’ve been waiting for forever, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. If it’s not already on your Bucketlist then I would really recommend that you pop it on there, and make sure that you check out Travelmaker, Bucharest tours for a great company to do your tour with!