#bran

A day trip outside Bucharest // October 2021

A little under a year ago we (My boyfriend Frederik and I) decided, during our vacation in Bucharest, that we needed to see more of Romania than just the capital Bucharest. I am so glad that we made that decision. I still remember that day – as if it was yesterday – and all the beautiful nature pictures are still in front of my eyes every time I think about that day. 

I feel that as a tourist – including myself – you sometimes forget that the capital doesn’t show the whole country. Capitals are often full of tourists and attractions – which of course also is amazing because the capitals give us a little taste of the country if the time isn’t in our favor. But we wanted to know more and to get a bigger impression of Romania. 

We, therefore, decided at the last minute that we should leave Bucharest and booked a day trip with a tour guide out of the city to the region of Transylvania. We had three stops for the trip which were Peles Castle near the city Sinaia, Bran, and Brasov. 

One day we got up early and went out to our pick-up spot, where we got picked up on a little tour bus. We were 8 tourists in all. Us two from Denmark inclusive two other danes. 3 from the Netherlands and one from Romania. Frederik and I were so excited for this day – we love adventures and seeing new places. 

Already outside of Bucharest and after around 1 hour of driving we were deeply fascinated by the amazingly beautiful nature full of autumn colors which we saw. But that was only the beginning – we didn’t know at that time how amazing the trip was going to be. We drove through the Carpathian Mountains. The mountains were covered by green, yellow, and red tree tops. It almost looked like the sea with big red, green, and yellow waves. It felt like we were driving through an enormous and beautiful painting. Now, a year later, I still remember sitting behind the car window and just enchanted looking out at the mountains.

The first stop on our trip was the beautiful old castle called Peles Castle. Peles Castle lies in a little valley surrounded by beautiful hills. It was amazing to experience a part of Romanian history in these environs with the fresh forest and autumn scent on your face. Peles Castle was commissioned by King Carol in 1873 and completed in 1883. The castle was the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. It has 160 – which are adorned with the finest examples of European art, Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows, and cordoba leather-covered walls. The castle is worth a visit. It is a must-see and a sight that you will never forget. It feels like stepping directly into history. While you step through the many wonderful decorated rooms, you can only imagine how many people who through the years have been going through these rooms – all the beautiful middays and magnificent balls which have been holding here. 

See the full photo album here: https://www.aishashakoor.com/2023/01/14/peles-castle/

Before we stepped into Peles Castle, we didn’t even know what we were doing there. Our highlight on the tour- as we had imagined it – was Bran Castle – also known as Dracula’s Castle. But Peles Castle ended up being the highlight of the tour. It is now time to tell why Bran Castle was the highlight of the tour. 

The next stop on our tour was precisely Bran Castle – also called Dracula’s Castle. We – two movie and myth lovers and the world’s biggest play children – had pretty big and maybe too high expectations for exactly this stop of the tour. We had been looking forward to this for a long time and to be honest from the outside the mythical castle did not disappoint us from the outside. 

Disclaimer: It was of course not Count Dracula’s Castle and inside it was a tourist trap only to honor the myth about Dracula. But the Castle was beautiful and the actual history of Bran Castle was interesting. The actual reason that the castle is connected with the Story about Dracula is that the Castle is the only castle in Transylvania which fits Bram Stoker`s (the author of Dracula) description of Dracula’s Castle. This is why Bran Castle is known all over the world as Dracula’s Castle. 

Read more here: 

http://www.bran-castle.com/dracula.html

Read the whole story about Bran Castle here:

http://www.bran-castle.com/historical-timeline.html

See the full photo album here: https://www.aishashakoor.com/2022/02/17/bran/

We then drove on to see the last stop on our tour – the beautiful city of Brasov. The city is ringed by the Carpathian Mountains. This city was without a doubt one of the most beautiful European cities I have ever been to. The mountains around the cities were filled with the most beautiful autumn colors which gave the most beautiful pictures of the streets and set a fantastic atmosphere. We were only in the city for maybe an hour – but it made an incredible impression on both of us. It is a city we want to visit again as soon as possible and it is still on our to-do list for cities we want to visit. We actually can’t wait to visit the city again and go on a real exploration.

See the full photo album here: https://www.aishashakoor.com/2022/02/17/brasov-in-the-autumn-light/

After spending a few days in Bucharest it was definitely what we needed and we now can’t wait to visit Romania again and explore even more.

//Aisha Shakoor

Sources: 

https://romaniatourism.com/castles-fortresses-romania-peles-castle-sinaia.html

Bran