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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Transylvania and Dracula

We headed northwest from Bucharest this morning.  It is a bit over a hundred miles to our destination, The city of Brasov.

Along the way, we passed through farmland for about thirty miles to Ploiesti, home of one of the world's largest oil fields.  There were two allied bombing attacks on these fields and refineries during World War II.  One was launched from Egypt, the other from Italy.  Put those on your WWII reading list if you don't know about them.

A few miles after Ploiesti, we reached the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains.  We passed several ski towns as reached higher altitudes.  The Carpathians mark the beginning of the Transylvania region of Romania.

A few miles short of Brasov, we took a detour west to Bram, where a famous castle is located.

If you don't recognize it from my picture, you might remember it from this older version.  Think pitchforks, torches and wooden stakes.

Signs inside provide a bit of family genealogy for the Dracula family and remind us just what a vampire is.
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The castle tour is interesting from a historical view as well as from the Dracula legend.  Romanian royalty lived here.  I'm not sure what they did with this secret staircase where you can see Linda enter and me emerge.
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Just outside the castle, a local vendor provides a sample of cheese to Linda and our tour guide, Eduardo.

And, the nearby mountains form a pleasant background for the castle tour.

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