Onward I go! My time in Bucharest is finally over and it’s time to move on. There was one thing I really wanted to see while being in Romania and that’s a castle. Fortunately, Romania is not lacking when it comes to castles. So with my bag packed I headed north. My first stop was Brașov and afterwards I headed west to Sibiu.
Brașov is a small town. This is the gateway for Bran’s castle, other castles, and outdoor activities. I stayed at Kismet Dao hostel. The train ride was excruciatingly hot. It was sunny and hot in the car but at this point you’re used to it. I arrived in Brașov and thankfully it was only a 15 minute walk to the hostel. I stayed a Kismet Dao for a few days and it was a great time. The hostel having a garden really made it social. Everyone was just hanging out and chilling. Socializing was very easy and people were all cool. I stayed for about four days in Brașov and that was plenty of time.
I arrived close to evening time and the first thing I wanted to do was eat and at this time I just wanted rice. On the way to the hostel I passed by a Chinese restaurant and that’s where I went. I was not as ashamed ordering my fried rice and chicken with cashews. It tasted exactly like American Chinese take out and it was glorious. After filling myself up I wanted coffee. It was great that Cipriani from T Zero recommended Croitoria de Cafea. With this in mind and with directions from Google maps ready I was on my way towards (hopefully) great coffee.
This place was recommended to me by a few people in Bucharest. Arriving there and having their espresso I can see why. They roast their own beans and source it from the same places the shops in Bucharest do. If you’re in Brașov this is the coffee shop to go to.
Charged with an espresso, I started walking around town. The place is beautiful it really has an old world charm to it. In truth though I was just killing a bit of time because later I was going to have a mini reunion. The time has finally arrived I got a message with an address and a few minutes later I met up with Tamara, Tara, and Sam!!
The Hwajeong South Korea crew is here in Brașov, Romania! This was surreal to say the least. I’m so happy that I was able to have another South Korea reunion. First, with Dimitri in Bulgaria and second, with the Hwajeong crew in Romania. We set out and had dinner then went back to their place and caught up with each other’s lives. Unfortunately, we only had that one night together. They’re headed to Bulgaria and I just started my stay in Brașov. While our time together was short it was still awesome. It was just like old times. Reuniting with friends you made during your years abroad is always a privilege.
The next day I had a mission. One of the main reasons I came to Romania was to see a castle and I was going to see a castle no matter what. The first castle I went to was Bran’s Castle aka Dracula’s castle (maybe, not really, it’s a long story). Yes, this is a tourist trap, and yes it’s overpriced and yes you will be in line most of the time jockeying for position to take pictures and yes you’re still going to do it. As I mentioned in my FB post; lower your expectations, be prepared for long lines, have a big bottle of water, and prepare a classic metal playlist and listen to it while going through the castle so you can pretend you’re invading it.
For more pictures of Bran’s Castle click here.
After being done with Bran’s Castle I wanted to go to a citadel so afterwards I headed to Rasnov’s citadel. The Citadel is great I had a lot of fun looking around taking pictures soaking in the history etc. It’s the bus ride that’s the most interesting. The bus stops in these small towns are not the best marked. With the help of Google maps I got out where it said Rasnov and I walked and walked and walked. It dropped me off in the town and the Citadel is a bit of a distance away. The upside of this is that I was able to explore Rasnov thoroughly.
For more pictures of the town of Rasnov and The Citadel click here.
I was disappointed with Bran’s Castle so I headed to Sinaia for a day trip to see more castles and a monastery. The first place I went to was Sinaia Monastery. The artwork in the monastery is beautiful and I felt a calmness while walking around.
For more pictures of Sinaia Monastery click here.
The two castles that I wanted to see was Pelișor and Peleș castle. Unfortunately Pelișor was closed and I wasnt able to go in. Peleș Castle didn’t disappoint. This is what a castle should look like. You’re suppose to pay extra to take pictures here so all of these pictures were taken either secretly or while being yelled at. Siniai was a great day trip.
For more photos of Peleș Castle click here.
For more photos of Pelișor Castle click here.
I saw castles, citadels, and I was reunited for a short while with some old friends. I was done here and it was time to move on. The next stop for me was Sibiu.