Balkans: Romania: Brasov

Brasov in Transilvania is pure medieval magic and it’s the first of the Transilvanian towns that we’re visiting. Settled by the Saxons in the 12th century (explains the German flavour), it boasts well maintained former merchant houses transformed into cafes, restaurants, guest houses, hotels and shops.

The three hour train ride from Bucharest rendered these beautiful views of villages framed by the Carpathian Mountains (easy to see why this area is popular with skiers). Lucky Brasov -it appeals to both summer and winter visitors.

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We took the cable car 940 metres to the top of Tampa Mountain to get this photo of Council Square (once used as the meeting place for trials and executions) and to the left, Black Church.

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Below is the view of the cable car route from the Square – the car is Italian made – it’s clocked up some years, but still gives a smooth ride. There’s a myriad of hiking tracks through the mountain.

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Black Church, a wonderful German Lutheran Gothic church built in 1385, so named because the walls were blackened by fire in 1689.

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These pics are of Brasov Old Town – our three nights here was far too short.

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Our stay coincided with a car rally. We found it interesting that all and sundry could walk through the pit area, even when cars were entering, exiting and being repaired.

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Brasov’s fabulous cafes for coffee and bars for negronis were a big hit!

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We stayed in this extremely well maintained, comfortable hotel right in the hub on Strada Republici.

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From Brasov, it was an easy bus ride to Bran Castle, home of the legendary but fictitious Dracula. Vlad Dracula (Vlad Tepes/Vlad the Impaler – he did impale a number of people) was the real life ruler of this area from 1456-1462. Bram Stoker, the novelist creates a rather bloodthirsty story of a vampire who continues to seek out new blood. Interestingly, his novel was first published in 1897, but not published in Romanian until 1990. Bran Castle is very impressive, but also very much on the tourist map!

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View of the countryside from a window in Bran Castle
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A small village lies at the base of Bran castle and this stall sells shirt size sausage sizzle!

On the way to Bran Castle is Rasnov Medieval Fortress. Fewer tourists come here so it’s the perfect place to brush up on some medieval history and check out the incredible methods of construction from 700 years ago.

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Fortress at the top of the hill

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Put Brasov on your bucket list, but don’t do the day tour from Bucharest – make sure you spend a couple of nights here.

Next stop – Sighisoara

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