We are in the car again.. Heading somewhere new
Last year in March, Philipp, Bogi and two of our friends packed the car and started our journey to Transylvania, Székelyföld. The trip was long, we got there from Budapest in about 7-8 hours. One thing I always conclude when going on a longer car ride: BRING MUSIC!!!! But I never do… And let’s face it, listening to the national radio stations is not always the best idea.
The landscape in Romania was very interesting. We have come upon abandoned, beautiful industrial buildings, amazing fields of crops, majestic hills and mountains purled the road we were driving on. As soon as we entered towns and villages it made me sad. So many poor people, so many stray animals. We tend to forget how lucky most of us are, that we don’t have to bother with our basic needs. I was very overwhelmed with these feelings and I had a pretty hard time with processing it.
We arrived at our accommodation at Székelyszentlélek in the evening, a sweet little village, mostly inhabited by Hungarians. Our hosts were also Hungarian, a very kind and very welcoming family. The house they were renting out was like it was picked out directly from a children’s book. A real traditional Székely-house with the famous Székely-kapu (Székely gate) infront of it. An adorable garden with a well and an oven. We were welcomed by a good homemade pálinka(a Hungarian speciality, a short drink mainly made from fruits). Our host also provided us with flyers and maps about the area and she gave useful advise about where to go and what to visit in those few days while we stayed there. This is how we ended up in Dracula’s castle…
Arriving at Törcsvár-Bran
We were excited to get in the car and we headed towards Törcsvár (Bran in Romanian), where this absolutely stunning little castle hides. Törcsvár wasn’t far from where we stayed but I think it is important to mention that the roads are very curvy and their condition is also not very good so it is impossible to go too fast. Because of this the trip took us like 1.5-2 hours to get there. (Plus the driving style in Romania is very scary and one we had to be very cautious especially in the night when horse or cattle driven carts were on the road with no lights on the back at all!!!)
The town of Törcsvár is like all the other small towns around this area: tiny and neat. Then the silhuette of the castle of Count Dracul appears in front of your eyes, on top of a hill like a Van Helsing scenerey form a movie. Surrounded by mist while it snows and you are absolutely stunned. It is so incredibly beautiful and romantic. It is a sweet surprize. I remember it was a very cold day which gave the whole experience a nice edge. To get to the enetrance of the castle, we had to walk through some souvenir stands. Cheap thrills, creepy vampire and other horror objects, t-shirts and of course some folklore stuff as well. Maybe it is the sole place in the world where you can buy a Dracula figurine and a folk pepper-caster from the same shelf. Unique.
After buying our tickets we entered the park of the castle. Since dogs are only aloud to be in the park but not the castle, while our friends went inside, we had a nice walk with Bogi. Then we took him back to the car. We were excited to finally enter this place. Philipp loves castles. He was amazed by this one as well. So was I. The weirdest thing about it was that I could easily imagine myself living here, even though I am not sure if the previos inhabitants left the right kind of energies behind. Nice and cozy rooms, secret staircases, secret doors. Somehow the whole enterieur was so inviting and friendly. It must have been renovated not so long ago. It was more like a fairy-tale house where elves and faires and unicorns roamed, not one of the most infamous historic characters of all time. Count Dracul’s story is a rather interetsting one and it is worth to read about it in advance form other sources as well, because there are contardicting opinions about him, and in his castle he is depicted more of a war hero, than a ruthless murderer. No matter what people think of him or remember him for, this castle that was once his home, now is one of the nicest castles I have ever visited. Oh and by the way it is for sale! Unfortunately is not within my price-range, but who knows. J Maybe someone reading this blog could afford it! If so, please make it possible for the public to see, because it is a very good trip there and an amazing experience to walk within these walls! It was a short program after all I think we walked through the whole building in about an hour at most. I loved the fact that there were no random, out of context furniture in there. This place didn’t want to be anything else than what it is. A beautiful centuries old castle, sitting peacefully on top of a hill. It is restored, it is being taken care of. I liked that apart from some nearby attarctions that were built on the whole vampire and Dracula theme, this castle was preserved.
If someone is further interested to know more about the Bran Castle check out this page!