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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Dracula Has Left the Building

Dracula Has Left the Building

Posted by MydeaMedia
Dracula's castle, Bran 
 
Dracula's castle, Bran
We couldn't have asked for a more perfect autumn day; sunny skies and cool temperatures, great fall colors and wonderful places to visit. 
Bran Castle was the setting for Bram Stocker’s Dracula, despite the facts that Stocker never visited Eastern Europe and Vlad the Impaler, the model for Count Dracula, may have been held prisoner at Bran but never lived there.  But the castle was the real home of several members of Romanian royalty.
We stopped for a brief visit to the Curteadearges Episcopal Church on our way to Horezu.  Despite its name, the church, where King Carol I is buried, looks Ottoman.  It is probably the most pristine church we have seen.
The Horezu Monastery, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in a word, amazing.  The dark wood trim stands in contrast to the whitewashed plaster buildings.  Everything is adorned with bright red geraniums, probably a touch from the nuns who wander around.  The one with the key allowed us into the church, every inch of which is covered with icons. 
Days like this, however, come with a price.  We drove more than 500 kilometers on some pretty rough roads.  But they took us through some spectacular country, rich in fall colors and colorful people.  We saw carts drawn by donkeys, horses and oxen, peasant women selling fruit, home-made sausage and local fruit drinks, and even a couple of romas, Romanian gypsies.  Even though most Romanians live in urban areas, the peasantry is alive and thriving.

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