Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Romania Day one: a visit to Bran Castle

 Now back home after spending 5 days in Romania.  This was my third trip to the country, and my first overseas trip since January 2020, when I was in Bucharest for the 30th anniversary of HM Margareta's Custodian of the Crown's first visit to Romania.

I flew on British Airways to Heathrow and then onto Bucharest.  I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, which is located in Lipscani, the Old Town area of Bucharest.   Very convenient to good restaurants and a clinic for my Covid test, which I had to do the day after I arrived.  The hotel concierge recommended a clinic on Coltei street, just a few minutes away.  Convenient.  Cost me 199 Lei.  I had an 8:30 appointment and I had the result in less than 6 hours. Headed back to the hotel to grab my camera and a few other things, walk to the subway to go to the Gare de Nord train station, where I purchased a first-class round trip ticket to Brasov.  The cost of the ticket was about $24.00.  

A two hour train ride to Brasov, where I got a taxi to Bran (30 minutes).  Overcast, rainy day, which made the walk up the stone path to the castle a bit treacherous for me.   I had to show proof of vaccination (CDC card) at the ticket window.  

Castle Bran capitalizes on Dracula and Queen Marie and Princess Ileana.  The Castle's restaurant is closed due to COVID-19.   Plenty of visitors to the Castle, however.  I came home with a guidebook, a few postcards, a key ring, which will be turned into a Christmas ornament) and two fridge magnets, the castle and Queen Marie.

As the castle's restaurant is closed, I decided to have a late lunch in one of the local restaurants before getting a taxi back to the Brasvo train station. As I had nearly 2 hours to wait, I walked over to a local shopping center to have dessert at the Karma Lounge (on the top floor) before catching the train back to Bucharest.

Castle Bran was on my bucket list, now crossed off.  This was my third visit to Romania, and the third time was the charm.  

It rained every day ... from the time I got off the plane and until I got to the airport to return home ... rain. 

the new tourist attraction - a clinic where I got my PCR test

Archduchess Elisabeth, Archduke Dominic and Archduchess Maria Magdalena, the owners of Castle Bran.  The two archduchesses are deceased.

I bet the gardens look even nicer when the sun is shining

the stairs lead to the Music Hall

Being short does come in handy at times

the stairs to the entrance 

Hot chocolate and white chocolate cake


cbegerton said...

So glad you were able to travel again and finally visit Bran Castle! I love all the pictures of Queen Marie and Princess Ileana.

Christina O. said...

Thank you for "Day 1" posting, excited to read more. It inspired me to read more about Bran Castle. After your trip to Transylvania you can check the "celebrate Halloween" box off!

Royalwatcher said...

...the dessert looks delicious and decadent. Did you have it all?