Land of Dracula

Arumita Sengupta
Articles & Essays, Travel
Land of Dracula

During the spring of 2016, I had been visiting Bucharest regularly for work and that’s when the idea of venturing through the heartland of the carpathian mountain struck me. So on a sunny friday morning, my husband and I found ourselves driving towards the north bound E60 towards the wilderness of Carpathian. Our first stop was at Peles Castle, 122 KM from Bucharest, a beautiful royal castle surrounded by extremely pretty landscape and at the edge of a dense forest. We knew there were plenty of bears in the forests and got thrilled having seen a poster ‘Beware of Bear ‘. We did not spend as much time as we wished to spend because we had a long drive ahead and it was getting dark.

Peles Castel

We drove a few more hours, through the winding mountain road under the canopy of tall moss covered birch and firs while the sun was setting behind the surrounding mountains. Finally, after some difficulties we spotted our cottage. It’s a quaint self service place, overlooking the breathtaking Carpathian Mountains. The owner could only speak Magyar ( Hungarian ) and therefore the mode of communication with him was via the mobile phone with his son who worked in Bucharest. We were speaking to the son over mobile and handed the phone thereafter to his dad, who got briefed by his son as to what our requirements were. A workable solution no doubt.

Our B&B at Moieciu De Jos

Next day after breakfast we drove to the famous Dracula’s castle also known as Bran castle, as it is situated on a hillock overlooking the village Bran. The castle is the backdrop of Bram Stoker’s famous novel ‘ Dracula’. A wooden castle, completed by 1382, was built for defending Transylvania’s border. While wandering through the narrow wooden steps, the creaking sounds, the sparsely decorated rooms and the thoughts of the Dracula sent chills down my spines. Our next stop was the Rasnov fortress, which is a popular destination amongst the locals, and usually a quieter place compared to Bran Castle.

Rasnov Citadel

The horseshoe shaped fortress is strategically located on a hill overlooking the town and the plains to the north and was part of Brasov’s outer fortification system. Currently its a tourist attraction and houses a number of shops selling handicrafts of local origin. I was looking for a traditional romanian blouse and was very happy to find one here. Romania women celebrate ‘Universal Day of the Romanian Blouse’ a day usually close to summer solstice. They all wear the traditional blouse to celebrate the tradition and creativity. I joined the gang most joyously as we were approaching the end of our trip. What could be better than to end the trip with obtaining a lovely romanian handcrafted attire, joining locals to celebrate and making wonderful memories to take back with me and cherish forever. It was already the time to go back to our abode and we left with a promise to come back again.

Arumita Sengupta. Works as a software professional passionate about travelling and photography.

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