Day 10 – Vlad’s Castle
May 30, 2012
So up with the lark for another day of riding, and it is STILL RAINING – we had to leave in the rain – it has rained continuously for 48 hours, they should call this place Soggysoara. Rode into Brasov, road goes through a few villages, some farmers still run horse & cart (pneumatic car wheels on the cart) – most drivers are very kind to us, but there are a few speed maniacs.
From Brasov on to Bran, famous for its castle which is associated with (a) the royal family of Romania (b) Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a. Count Dracula. There are displays on both these topics, the Romanians would rather attract attention to their royal family but visitors want to see the vampire stuff. Apparently there are several castles with similar claims to fame … anyway we saw & photographed this one. In pouring rain. Here’s the crown & sceptre of the local royals:
The enclosed courtyard of the castle. This was a peaceful place but outside, indeed the whole town, is awash with tacky tourist stuff.
Suits of armour, 17th century or so. If you go out wearing the armour displayed on the left, don’t forget the crossbow.
Early wooden curtain in the castle window. Nobody casts a silhouette on this one:
Compass Expeditions laying on their daily lunch, in the castle car park. Yes it’s raining.
We moverd on and THE RAIN STOPPED. Went over a stunning mountain road with views comparable to Switzerland – here’s my colleague Rhys, with his F800GS motorbike at a roadside rest stop.
In the afternoon we blew into Bucharest, well, actually, we didn’t – we went around the entire southern half of the Ring Road, as our hotel is way out to the east. The Ring Road has traffic jams, but we can ride along the dirt at the side. People standing selling plastic shoes (all the same make), umbrella hats, a chainsaw, and, er, there are ladies evidently selling something …. Wild dogs are everywhere, the junctions have no traffic lights or traffic guidance whatsoever, and the stench of the city dump …? So we won’t be going into Bucuresti, capital city though it be, with Ceausescu’s Palace and possibly other sights, although none come to mind. Tomorrow on to Nessebar in Bulgaria, possibly without any rain; the hotel tonight is nice but here’s the view from my window: