Transylvania the home of “Dracula” – Romania

draculas castle branJust about everyone knows of, has read or watched the horror story of “Dracula” written by  the Irish novelist Bram Stoker. Some even ask the question was he REAL or fictitious. Many believe he was real. We can see why people think that. Bran in Transylvania can be a spooky and scary place with mist and orthodox castles. It is the perfect setting for such beliefs.

vlad the impaler by wikipeadia

Vlad the Impaler by wikipeadia

Folklore has it that Dracula ( Vlad the Impaler ) who was a warlord was the inspiration of this story.
It was believed that Vlad  had spent time locked up in the castle. It has been recorded that Vlad killed over 100,000 civilians by impaling them. (Not a nice man) Thankfully this is only a small part of Transylvania’s history in Romania. This castle is actually called “Bran Castle”.

Romania is very rich in culture,  history, tales and folklore. It has the most spectacular scenery.

sunflowers

Fields of sunflowers with their bright golden heads held high following the sun, then at night bowing their heads down. It is a beautiful sight to see.

I loved the fields the way they strip plant their crops. There was corn then sunflowers, then wildflowers in long skinny sections. It is a breathtaking sight.strip agriculture

We chose to go to some places that aren’t frequented by tourist so that we could soak up the culture and countryside.As we drove along we came across many fortified churches and castles.fagarus

Some places in Romania are still very poor. Fuel is very expensive in Romania, so many people walk and do not own a car. Driving through some of the villages, we saw many horse and carts, still being used by families to get around in. They use them to transport hay, rocks and crops off their farms.

horse and cartThe people are very friendly and helpful even though many did not speak English. They have a simple life. During the day it was not uncommon to see them sitting outside relaxing on benches in front of the houses. Talking and watching people and traffic go by. As I waved to some of them they would happily wave back.sitting relaxing outside.

At Curtea de Arges one of the places we stayed were some Romanian visitors who go there every year for holiday. They were such a friendly helpful family. They recommended places for us to go. One of them was Viscri which is also known due to the work of Prince Charles foundation in restoring buildings in Viscri.  It is a very old village from the 12th century with stone roads.  The day we went there happend to be a day when a cyling event was being held. The village had many neighbouring people that had travelled to the event along the skinny, winding, bumpy, potholed roads to get to the event. (As did we unknowingly). As we got out of the car we saw bicycles and their riders going through a finishing line. They were covered in mud from head to toes. The village had old water troughs in the main street mean’t for the animals to drink out of. The men were in them washing themselves and their bikes. When I took this photo of this man he first of all looked up and then laughed at the sight he must be.

DSC08455 DSC08456

Many of you guys would have heard of the program “Top Gear”.  Well as far as they are concerned the Transfagarasan Hwy is the best in the world. We went on it. What a thrilling, beautiful drive  it was.

We travelled over 800 kms and saw so much and yet so little. We mainly concentrated on central Romania. There is so much more we would like to go back and see.

As they say in Romania when you are leaving a village – Drum Bun – which translates to “we wish you a good road” – or as we say, “seeya latar”!

Romania

Advertisements

14 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Dear Lyn, how are you? Are you still in Jeddah? I would like to ask you something and tell you about an idea that I have, regarding a sort of Romanian cultural gathering that I plan to do there. Could you please send me your email address on er.lazar@gmail.com if you are still in Jeddah? Thank you, I am looking forward to hearing from you! Raluca

  • Daniel says:

    Buna dimineata
    Incerc sa imi dau seama de ceva vreme cum ar fii lucrand pentru Aramco (sunt in preliminare deocamdata) traind in Rabigh si nu am reusit si mai ales sa vin cu sotia.
    Poate ma ajuti cu ceva detalii despre subiect.
    Daniel

    • Sorry Daniel I tried to translate what you said but don’t understand what you are wanting. Perhaps you could go to expat blog or internations chat discussion where someone may be able to help you.
      http://www.expat-blog.com/
      http://www.internations.org/

      Lyn

      • Raluca Lazar Blanck says:

        Dear Lyn, Daniel wants to find more about life in KSA, working for Aramco and bringing wife here. I replied to him, both in Romanian and English. Thank you for making this possible here on your blog!

        • That’s great that you were able to help Daniel. It is a good place to live here in Jeddah. The main thing is attitude and a willingness to learn about the culture. Thanks for your reply. – Lyn 🙂

    • Raluca Lazar Blanck says:

      Dear Daniel, eu sunt in KSA din august, sotul meu lucreaza la Petro Rabigh (joint venture Aramco) si, daca vrei sa vorbim, scrie-mi pe er.lazar@gmail.com. Viata aici poate fi comoda, daca vrei sa o faci comoda, placuta, daca vrei sa o faci placuta, insa diferita mult de Romania si mai ales de Bucuresti. Sper sa ne citim curand!
      English translation:
      Dear Daniel, I live in KSA since August, this year, my husband works for Petro Rabigh (Aramco joint venture) and, if you want to talk, please email me on er.lazar@gmail.com. Life can be very pleasant here, if you want to live it like that, but all in one, very different from Romania, especially Bucharest. Hope to hear from you soon!

  • Raluca Blanck says:

    Hi, Thank you for writing such beautiful words about my country! I am a Romanian, currently living in Petro Rabigh Community (150 km North of Jeddah) and I will gladly recommend many other wonderful places to visit or just answer to questions regarding places to see, places to eat or simply places to feel true Romanian atmosphere in Romania. I am very happy to read that other people had good time in Romania, as it is truly a beautiful country, with unspoiled nature everywhere, with people still living like 100 years ago, eating all natural and having their own vegetable gardens, with amazing views in the country side, but also with a vibrant cultural and night life in Bucharest, the capital, also in cities as Brasov, Sibiu (just google Romaniacs :), Sighisoara, Cluj Napoca. Thank you, such a nice surprise! Raluca Blanck

  • sana says:

    Ooh wow, Romania looks like an interesting place to visit.

  • Carol Henderson says:

    Muy bonita. Bon viajes.

Please comment.