Do you ever feel that traveling is hard work? Early morning starts, miles and miles of roads, skipping meals, trying to communicate with show and tell, trying to do what locals do, taking photos, finding interesting and unique places…. Well, one thing is for sure – traveling is no picnic! Of course traveling is different from one to another and according to the travel style, someone chooses. Our travels definitely look like some ultra marathon, where we are fighting against time, attractions and what places to see and for how long.
Today morning was no different from others. We had to say goodbye to a lovely town of Sighishoara, but what can we do? There are so many other Romanian places, which we still have to visit and explore. A long day is ahead of us, as we want to spend the night in Brashov. Before reaching our final destination, we will be driving on the best road in the world – or at least the UK TV show Top Gear says so! Ever since the show was on TV this is for sure a must place to visit, when traveling to Romania.
When driving to the top of the mountain pass, we were passing by many cyclists and honestly say, I was pretty jealous, as they were able to cycle up there! They have to be in a good shape and I could not leave without asking myself, where did I lose my cycling shape from few years back. Ok, I know – it is 4×4 fault, as now, we can reach almost impossible places with it and that is for sure a good excuse to be less active or in other words lazy.
While driving, we were looking with our eyes wide open, if we could spot any bears, as it is said, there are many in the Transylvania forests. But instead of bears, we noticed many stands, when coming to the top of the Transfagarasharan pass. Locals were selling their products like cheeses, salamis, sausages, jams, honey and some strong alcoholic drink brandy alike, which is called tuica. We could not help ourselves and immediately bought some cheese and salami – perfect for a snack! The high altitude (2.030 m above the sea level) and fresh air make you hungry for sure!
Driving down, into the valley, and after a powerful local snack, we got lots of new energy to spend, so we decided to use it for an unknown turn. From the nice asphalt road, we found ourselves on the off-road path. We loved every minute of it, as there was not a single person around. This is for sure the one and only way to know the wilderness, which Transylvania has to offer. Stunning views, peace and quiet… Do we even need to add anything else? From time to time we noticed only few hikers, what is a popular way for Romanians to spend their free time. Next time, we will visit Romania, packing will include good hiking shoes for sure!
If we would be traveling with one more 4×4, we would most definitely drive further into the wilderness, but being alone, this is never a very wise decisions, as you never know what surprise can roads bring.
We reach the town of Bran late in the afternoon, which is known for one thing only – the castle of Count Dracula. Even though the castle has his name, Count Dracula never really lived here. But who cares, if you have a good story behind!
There are crowds of tourists here every day and no wonder everything looks like in an amusement park. The stands sell everything, just the Count Dracula things can be rarely seen anymore.
We came to Bran only 30 minutes prior to the closing of the castle, so we decided to skip it and just take a peek on it from the outside. And honestly told, crowds of tourists are not really our thing, so we rather continue our travel to Brashov, our final destination for today.
Bran Castle: 8 LEI/pp + 5 LEI (photo), 6 LEI (video)