When I think of Romania, I think of Transylvania and of Dracula – and I bet most people do too! A visit to Romania would not have made much sense without a stop (or two) in Transylvania, a large province of the country. Located in the mountains, it consists of many cobblestone towns and of course, a few castles as well.
Today we woke up early to head to Brasov, the popular launching point for the region. As we love train, we decided to take the train from Bucharest. I was excited to see that our train would be one of the fancy ones we had seen: it looked so modern, so Westernized. We had 2nd class tickets, but still our seats and wagon was the best we’d have since Japan (and we’d been on long-distance trains in 7 other countries since). It was so lovely that I had a hard time trying to figure out what first class would be like.
With a table and power outlets, we both couldn’t resist working / watching movies but our eyes were still glued to the scenery. My favourite were the rapeseed fields, oppressively yellow, flanked with trucks full of colourful beehives.
We also past mountains playing hide-and-seek in the clouds, building up our anticipation for creepy Transylvania.
At the train station I was hoping to step off the train and be given a garlic lei and a silver cross, but it didn’t happen. There also were no giant Transylvania signs, but we’re here, and so excited!
We arrived in Brasov in the newer part of town, which never makes for a great impression. But a bus ride later, we were in terracotta tile, cobblestone streets, quaint squares and funky churches heaven.
After a hearty lunch of meat at Casa Romanesca, we explored the church and cemetery close to our hostel. Everything is so picturesque, and the weather even held out for us.
Our hostel is a bit strange – we arrived at the hostel in our guidebook to find a building without signs that looked like a recent construction zone. We were told that they had just opened (read: probably just opened because we showed up) and that we would be the only ones staying. Everything is new and freshly painted. We have a private room for the cost of bunk beds, with a private balcony. The kitchen is large, the view is great. What’s the catch: it isn’t really ready yet (no trash cans, no curtains, no Wi-Fi and a door handle that stayed in my hand). The other catch: we spotted a killed a bug that really looked like a bed bug. Apparently the hostel from the guidebook moved and this one took its place – we got worried that they might have moved due to an infestation problem.
We’re taking a chance, and hopefully it was nothing and this hostel will turn out to be fantastic. Otherwise, it might not be vampires that we have to worry about tonight…