Pre exchange to Transylvania

August 26, 2016 6:01 AM | Anonymous member

25 August by Chris Budwine

Our last night in Transylvania was spent in Brasov. This was a rich medieval town with beautiful historic guild mansions as well as modern Art Nouveau fa├žades in the town square.

Returning to Bucharest to catch the train to Chisinau, we visited two castles. Bran castle was made famous by Bram Stokes' novel Dracula. He combined the life story of Vlad the Impaler with local beliefs and folklore of vampires and strigol (witches) to create his masterpiece. ( He had never visited Romania and his castle descriptions were taken from literature he had read). You can find detailed information about the castle, the writer and Vlad III on the web.

Peles castle was built 400 years after Bran. Started in the 1870's it had all the modern conveniences when it was finished in 1914( electric elevators, in wall vacuum cleaners which are still used, etc. )It's opulence was impressive. Again you can get good photos and information on The web. Peles has three main buildings. One is higher up on the hill amongst the trees, used during the time of Ceausescu as a protocol villa to entertain visiting dignitaries, including Nixon and two Qaddhafi brothers. The elder brother had a fatal hunting accident while in Romania. The younger one, Muammar became dictator of Libya.

Transylvania is beautiful, organic and rich in history. She is also endowed with brain power. I learned that Romanians were pioneers in flight, jet engine development , rockets, and computer technology .

We had hoped to get to the Gara de Nord Bucharest train station by 5 PM to meet the Mellors and have a leisurely dinner before catching our train at 7:15 to Chisinau, Moldova. We arrived at about 6:20 and barely had time to get food for the overnight train. Most of you know that Chisinau and Sacramento are Sister Cities.

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