Some of my fondest memories of Romania were on the bus to the various excursions we made with the children, across the weeks. Even though we had to repeat each excursion four times for each new group that came in, the scenery spied on those retro bus rides never ceased to amaze. As the bus rolled out of Moiceu de Jos, I held my breath as not not have it taken away by the dramatic backdrop of forested hills foregrounded by the characteristic pointy spires that seem very much a part of Romanian architecture.
This was the sign that we were pulling into Bran.
A few minutes on and we were to drive past that which (I at least once thought) was what had pulled me/inspired me to visit Romania, Bran Castle- or for the sake of tourism, Dracula’s castle.
No four weeks in Transylvania (or more accurately in the village down the road from Bran), would have been complete without a visit to Bran Castle- being one of the primary tourist pulls to Romania. And surely enough the town of Bran is a tourist trap, tiny as it is, most days it is frequented by those fellow annoying visitors, endowed with camera and eager to see where Bram Stoker got his ideas from.
As mentioned in a previous post, the tiniest bit of research will show you that Mr Stoker did not in fact base Dracula’s castle on this particular place/part of Transylvania, not only that he had also never even visited the country. Duh. Lord knows why this particular castle out of the many in Transylvania has this title- perhaps due to its dramatic, imposing nature. Built upon an impressive chunk of hard rocks, nestled amongst those eerie tree laden hills Dracula would have been sure to have flitted about in his bat shaped form.
In fact as far as Stoker and the legend of Dracula is concerned, Mr Vlad III (one of many influences to the legend of Dracula) only had extraneous connections to this castle. This was by no means his abode or regular haunt. Oh well, this loose association serves well for tourism purposes!
Inside the castle if you are expecting all doom and gloom a la Dracula/Mr Vlad, (man who liked to kill people through a massive spike through the anus) think again. Think period furniture, lots of mahogany and stunning views of the surrounds (probably the thing I liked the most in the whole place).
As far as castles go its rather good and worth a visit, just because.