Hotel Cota 1400
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... through here everyday. Of course, you can't blame locals for doing so - we've all fallen for the myth, at least on some level. Though we knew that there really isn't anything significant about Bran Castle, we still made a dedicated trip out here anyway, simply because it's a place that all tourists are supposed to visit.
The crowds inside the castle were unbearable but thankfully, we managed to make our way through the gauntlet, and were on our ...
... up the cable car was an experience in itself, in a cramped Communist-era rust bucket that seemed to be held together by thumb tacks and duct tape - we were quite happy to have actually survived the trip without plummeting to our deaths! The advantage of taking this death trap to the top was that we saved a ton of time and energy on the hike, making our journey much easier, at least in theory.
However, we should have learned by ...
... as we had a similar time frame of reference, but because we grew up on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain, we had very different viewpoints. I learned a lot from Bogdan. He was, as I soon found out, a walking history book. My head was soon swimming with dates, battles, names, places....I loved it.
The first thing we had to do was sign papers. At first I didn't find anything unusual in this - we have paperwork to sign in Canada ...
... the basis of a lot of the characteristic traits of vampires. Look up Strigoi. As for the story themselves, well it was all fiction and Bram Stoker used count Vlad as the basis of his character. A bit sad yes, no coffins in the basement or towering spires with lightning or bats but it was interesting to see the man behind all the stories.
Headed of to Rasnov next for another trip to a castle...only to find out that this was a ...
... are far more effective at getting noticed that the real deal. It's all part of an elaborate evil plan!
Transylvania in summer is gently rolling, forested hills under the bright sun. It is small Gothic (the architecture, not the culture) towns filled with cobblestones and colourful buildings. It is so un-vampirey that if you somehow teleported here by accident, you wouldn't even guess you're in Romania.
Our train was late, but we got off at the ...