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Aug 27, 2013 - Saxons, Castles, Monasteries and Mishaps – Romania 2

Saxon Lands, Castles, Painted Monasteries and Mishaps – Romania 2 18-23rd August Some way north of Bucharest you enter the Saxon Lands. Towards the end of the long running Crusades several homeward bound groups of Germanic Crusaders (including some Teutonic Knights) decided that Romania was not a bad place to settle – which they did. To protect themselves they built castles and to help them do that they brought in labour from their homelands. Significant parts of Transylvania have Saxon villages, churches, monasteries and castles. 20th C...

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Oct 3, 2012 - Brasov, Romania

I am up around 06:00am a quick check of emails, then out for breakfast before starting my day exploring the town of Brasov. It starts with a trip to the cable car station and a ride to the top of the mountain for a great view of the old part of the town. Back down the mountain and walk to the Black Church one of the largest in Romania very nice but no pictures inside,:( then I am off to the Black Tower (it is actually white lol) could only go to the steps as it is closed for the season, a nice walk through the forest to the white tower...

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world trip 2012

Oct 2, 2012 - Romania

I leave Athens after spending the night in the airport at 06:30AM heading for Zurich, Switzerland my first stop for the day spend 4 hours there before my next flight that takes me to Bucharest, Romania. Getting into Bucharest around 04:00 PM I am off by express bus to the main train station for a 3 hour train trip to Brasov in the land of Transylvania and the castle of count Dracula, getting into Brasov around 09:00pm a taxi to the hotel, get checked in and then out for a bit of dinner at a local pub and of course a beer from Romania. Then...

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world trip 2012

Aug 24, 2011 - Brasov

We then moved north into Transylvania to the small town of Brasov. A picturesque town set in the mountains of vampire country, it was here we explored the origins of Dracula. "Dracula's castle" in Bran, was somewhat of a disappointment as it wasn't nearly as scary as expected and actually only briefly visited by Vlad the Impaler. So pretty much the Rasnov citadel down the road was a million times better. While is Brasnov we met plenty of Australians, one of whom, Christie, was possibly the most knowledgeable people and we learnt the entire...

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May 13, 2011 - The sun shines in Brasov

I thought it was impossible, but today the sun was out and so were the people. The sleepy town of Brasov was transformed into a bustling town. Making use of the good weather, I climbed the hill to the Citadel. This was built in 1395!!!! Apparently there is a church that i've not found that was built in the 1200's. Obviously a lot of restoration work has been performed over the years. There was a great view of the old town, with the black church dominating the view. I'm not sure what was happening in town, but it started with a lot of car...

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May 12, 2011 - The Fake Castle Dracula

I awoke to another cold wet day in Romania. Generally I don't have an issue with this except that my clothes I've dropped off for laundering were not dry so i'm wearing the same clothes again today. Also the only remotely warm clothing I bought was a jacket and long pants. I'm heading towards the coast of the meditteranean over the weekend, so things should startt to warm up again. Still the weather is only a minor concern, I had another castle to visit. Bran castle, is often referred as Draculas castle. I can certainly see why this might...

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May 11, 2011 - Peles, the modern castle

Today I went for a train ride back toward Bucharest to a town called Sinaia. I planned to stop there yesterday, but bad weather and tiredness got the better of me and I stayed on the train to Brasov. I've now come to the conclusion all Romanians are really nice people except for Romanian taxi drivers. As soon as I left the train station a friendly taxi driver offered to take me to the castle for 10 lei. I declined as I knew while being an uphill walk it wasn't going to kill me. I did think the fare was rather cheap and wondered what the...

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May 10, 2011 - Transylvania is real.

Unfortunately I left Bucharest after only 2 night there. I really didn't expect I'd like it that much. But it grew on me despite the communist ugly that still exists the city really is just as great as any other city. Better still I didn't attract a single pickpocket. Maybe it says something about the locals and how kind they are. Except for the taxi drivers that is. So I farewelled Constantin who is a wonderful host, made me many cups of tea and cooked me omelettes for breakfast both days. I told him I'd recommend his hostel to anyone who...

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Nov 1, 2009 - Back to Brasov

I woke up late and everyone was gone. I decided to head back to Brasov and meet up with Marseille. She had been in Brasov a few days and knew the lay of the land pretty well. We had a very mellow night of watching football and movies. Still worn out from Halloween.

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My European Trip

Oct 30, 2009 - Transylvania

We booked an all day tour of the Castles in the area. The tour turned out to be a taxi driver who spoke absolutely no English and drove us to all of the castles. It took a while because we were in the mountains and it snowed last night. We started in Sinaia an visited Peles Castle. It was absolutely beautiful. I guess the king at one time built it as a summer home and spared no expense. The whole interior was carved out of wood. The guy guiding our tour was maybe the creepiest guy I have ever seen. He looked like a vampire with fangs and...

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My European Trip

Oct 29, 2009 - Romania

I got into Bucharest about 6 am and I have to meet some friends at the airport. I now have about 9 hours to kill and I have so many backpack on, it's ridiculous. I went with some Australian girls that I met on the train to their hostel in hopes that I could leave my bags for a few hours. They let me store all my bags and I took about a 4 hour nap on their couch. I worked out really well for me. I met up with Jaime and his friend Pete at the airport and we went straight to the train station to catch a train to Brasov. Brasov is a small town...

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My European Trip

Sep 16, 2009 - V. Turnovo to Brasov

Left Veliko Turnovo on 10 am train to nearby Gorna Ob.... )something. Then on 3 hour ride to Bucharest, Romania. Talked with a couple from Sidney Australia for a couple hours; they also were just beginning a 3 month European journey. Exchanged addresses and mutual invites to our respective homes. Crossing the Danube is reminiscent of the Mississippi; southern Illinois/ northern Kentucky / northern Bulgaria is rolling hills. Once you cross the Danube/Mississippi into Iowa/Romania the land becomes billiard table flat. Didn't spend time in...

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