Castle Dracula And Questionable Road Surfaces

Castle Dracula welcome the Bristanbul tour
Castle Dracula welcome the Bristanbul tour

Tuesday, 24, Apr 2018 03:36

By William Coleman

While in Romania I was totally surprised about how good the road conditions were until I ventured off the beaten track into farmland. On top of that we took a tour of Castle Bran AKA Castle Dracula.

Bran is a very rural part of Romania surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, miles of thick woodland which have a good amount of bears and plenty of farmland. There are clear divides between poverty and prosperity in this part of Romania. It is not third world but there road signs have cars, Lorries, busses and a horse and cart on them.

Another thing that Romania has, something that is a constant trend since Greece, is lots of wild dogs. Everywhere you go there are wave after wave of stray dogs walking around, all of which seem pretty relaxed and friendly. At Vampire Camping there was one dog chained up in a field that we were warned to stay away from. I glanced over to see this large handsome pooch, so I went over to say hello. I am not sure why this dog was so angry but my god he had an attitude. His chain did not allowed him to come all the way to the fence but I went over and had a chat with him and he calmed down a bit, not enough for me to get any closer though.

Before the convoy left Bran we made sure to visit The Castle Bran. The castle is stunning both inside and out and is a must visit location. We were given a personal tour of the castle which cleared up a lot of the misconceptions we have about Dracula, the castles ownership and the origin stories of vampires and ghouls. Did you know Bram Stoker has never stepped foot on Romanian soil?

As the convoy left Bran to head toward our site for that evening the road conditions soon became dreadful. The size of the potholes are so big and frequent that if you dodge one you will run into about 2 or 3 more, borderline unavoidable. Some of the lumps and bumps felt like they were going to gauge chunks out of tires and wheels. After a few miles on the back roads, that were more like a bombed landing strip, I hit a pothole that took off the grey waste pipe. All I saw in my wing mirror was an object projectiling from underneath the Bailey Advanced. I grinded to a halt and then went searching for the missing part.

Before long we made it to the motorway, which was where the bulk of out 145 mile journey would take place. The motorways in Romania leave the UK ones standing in the dust and were a pleasure to drive, following the country back roads we travelled through.

The site we stayed at was a little bit of an odd one, goes by the name Camping Aurel Vlaicu. Located out in the sticks of Romania right in the middle of farmland. The first thing that struck me was the smell of farming going on around us, stings the nostrils. It is a very basic site and would recommend this for a 1 night visit.

The highlights of the day by a long way was the visit to Castle Dracula. It was a destination I had always wanted to visit but could not justify going all that way for one building and an hours tour. Now that we have used vehicles to tour round it has made it that much more possible, the beauty of touring is doing things like this while passing through.

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