Count Dracula's Imposter Castle in Bran

Trip Start Jun 20, 2011
Trip End Jun 27, 2011

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Where I stayed
Pensuinea Cojanu

Flag of Romania  , Transylvania,
Sunday, June 26, 2011

My final day in Bloodsucking Transylvania - sniff!  After finishing my journal entry, I had breakfast which was the same old, same old, and then went for a two-hour hike.  Basically I walked the final hour of the hike I'd skipped the day before but in reverse, walking as far as the skiing resort car park and the national park reserve.  I encountered a group of three gypsies there in the forest searching for wild mushrooms.  Wishing to be friendly, I greeted them with a smile but then, of course, they started begging for money.  I didn't mind giving them some at first, but after handing over 11 lei, they kept asking for more which I felt was pushy so I walked away in a bit of a huff.  I should have known better than to be friendly - all they saw was a dollar bill instead of my face.  

I got back to my pension at about 11:15 and had a bit of a rest before what would be the highlight of my day - a visit to the 13th century Castle Bran, nicknamed "Dracula's Castle" even though its claim to do so has little validity. It cost 20 lei to enter and there were hoards of tourists milling about, mostly Romanian.  The castle is quite impressive from the outside but its interior is nothing special, a mishmash of furnishing, some of it 20th century, most of which pales in comparison to castles I've visited in England as well as the Czech Republic.  There were a couple of rooms with information/history about Vlad Tepes (aka the Impaler), Bram Stoker and his novel, "Dracula," as well as vampires, all of which I read avidly while learning relatively little.  Mind you, I was ever so stoked to just visit the place as I'm a castle "slut," but I wish I could have visited Vlad's actual residence, the Poenari Castle in Wallachia!

Before heading back to my pension, I bought a couple of cheap pastries for lunch from a bakery kiosk and then returned to my accommodation at 3:15.  My lower back was troubling me and I needed to lie down.  I spent the remainder of the day relaxing, reading my mystery novel, playing Angry Birds (Snort!) and editing photos on my laptop.  My final meal was a hearty soup plus chewy cheesy spaghetti. 

Lights out at 10 PM for tomorrow I'm off to Bucharest! 
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