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Selcuk

We arrived in Selcuk early in the morning and after a bit of difficulty, we managed to get in contact with our host Veysel who brought along his roommate and business partner Reco. They are opening a hostel and so we stayed in the building that they are transforming into a guest house – it was beautiful, large and filled with antiques. It also had a beautiful view of the town and valley, but this meant is was up a hill and a pain to walk to from town. But no one can really complain about free accommodation! The first night we gathered stuff for barbeque and headed up the mountain in an ancient Jeep to one of the guy’s summer places where we met up with his uncle and a couple of their friends. It was quite the ride on some of the worst roads I’ve ever been on, but we somehow made it up. I was a little more concerned about how we were going to make it down again (again we somehow managed). We had a fantastic evening with lots of food, playing with their dogs and watching a sheep give birth – yay? Late that night we drove down to the beach and hung out for a while before crashing back at the guest house.

Main street

The next day Janice and I decided we wanted to explore the town, so we headed down to the old Aquaduct and the Church of John the Baptist, which if it was still standing, would have been one of the largest churches in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately it is in ruins now, but it is apparently the burial site of John the Baptist and thus a big pilgrimage. We were lucky enough to have it pretty much to ourselves, and the sky was full of threatening clouds making for some interesting photos.

Aquaduct

Resevoir ruins

Entrance of the Church of John the Baptist

Arches

Out the old main entrance

After the church, we wandered up the road to the Temple of Artemis – one of the seven wonders of the ancient world but now to do earthquakes and the pillaging of stones for the John the Baptist Church, is reduced to just a column and a half with a few scattered stones. Sad really but something about it still feels like an impressive site. On the way out, we ran into the Australian doctor we`d met in Goreme and had a nice chat with him – it’s fun running into people you know in new places! We decided to walk down the road to the Ephesus site, but we underestimated the time it would take to get there and by the time we arrived, we would have only had an hour to explore the site. We decided to come back the next day and were advised to wait for a minibus that would run us back into town for 2 lira. While we were waiting for that, a white minibus pulled up (which we thought was the minibus) and offered us a ride. I realised once we had hopped in, it definitely wasn’t the minibus and was full of broken furniture and five large tattooed Turkish men, who turned out to be very nice. One was in the process of getting his visa to move to the USA and had lots of questions for us! They dropped us off right downtown in Selcuk and we realised that we had accidentally hitchhiked again!

Single column

We stumbled upon the big market in Selcuk and wandered through for a while before picking up stuff to make a treat for our hosts (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles) and a couple bottles of wine. After a gruelling hike up the hill, we made it back and had a lovely evening with our hosts! The next day we got up and decided to go back to Ephesus just in time for the sky to open up and a huge storm to roll in off the sea. The house slightly flooded and so we spent the next few hours running around with towels and mops. By the time it cleared it was quite late so we just hung around the house, cooked with our hosts and had an easy day.

Church of John the Baptist again (the gravesite)

Archways

The next day however, we managed to find a clear day and off we headed to Ephesus. It was pricy to get in, but so worth it. It’s an incredible site with another big ruined church, an amazing amphitheatre, a bath complex, a couple temples and the amazing and iconic Library of Celsus. It’s all been so well preserved that it’s not hard to imagine what it would have looked like when the city was occupied. Again photos can never do it justice, but I’ll try. We played on the stage, sat in the city council seats (we would have made great councillors!) and walked along the old processional road. The only unfortunate incident was two Turkish guys we kept passing as we wandered around. As we were walking back towards the entrance to leave, we passed the one last time and I smiled, thinking that it was friendly as we’d been running into each other all afternoon. Unfortunately that was perceived as an invitation and they proceeded to grab my ass before running away giggling like 12 year olds… I can’t say I’m a fan of Turkish men.

Amphitheatre

The main processional

Library of Celsus

Two levels!

What the fountain used to look like

What it looks like now...

Follow the yellow (white?) brick road!

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Cool Geological Formations and Interesting History (Also entitled: Turkish Men Suck)

The overnight bus was not particularly comfortable but I managed to sleep quite a bit. We drove through the snow and cold (quite the change from Istanbul) to the middle of Turkey and finally arrived in Goreme, a small town in the middle of the Cappadocia region at around 10am. Our hostel arranged for us to be picked up and upon arrival informed us that we had been upgraded to a private room – actually a cave room carved out of the rock! It was really nice and we immediately passed out for a couple hours. When we woke up we headed out to explore and found (with some difficulties and much help from the locals) the Goreme Open Air Museum – an amazing old religious community that’s been carved out of the soft rock of fairy chimneys. It was pretty incredible to think of people living in these buildings! We decided to try to walk to Cavusin, a recommendation of the hostel owner but by the time we got half way there it was getting dark so we turned back. The beautiful coat-not-needed weather we experienced during the day quickly disappeared at night as it dropped to -3 and cold we went into a restaurant where the owner started about three fires in the place to try to warm us up. One was right behind me, which I very much appreciated! We had delicious lentil soup (heart lentils!) kebab of various types – pretty tasty! We walked back to our hostel and ran into the cutest puppy ever (again) that we would have stolen except that we found its owner just in the nick of time!

Our room

Most adorable puppy

Building at the open air museum

Outside one of the Churches at the open air museum

View out the door of the main kitchen

Ruins of one of the churches at the museum

The next day we signed up for a tour of the Cappadocia area that we couldn’t visit on our own – turned out to be a great value and an amazing day! First we collected all the members of our little group (12 in total) and drove to one of the highest points around the town, an area called the Goreme Panorama because of its spectacular views over the valley. Photos don’t do it justice, but you can see for yourself! Then we drove about forty minutes to reach Derinkuyu underground city – the deepest in the region reaching eight stories below ground. These structures were likely never intended for permanent occupation, but were fortified areas for the local people to hide in during raids and attacks. The city is highly complex in order to confuse anyone unfamiliar with its layout and has very small corridors to prevent easy movement of anyone carrying weapons. There were about 600 entrances to the city, many located within individual homes so people had easy escape routes. It’s not a place for the claustrophobic, but very cool.

View off the Panorama

Panorama

Tiny staircase going down 5 stories

The old meeting hall

Next we drove to Ihlara Valley, the deepest cut valley in Anatolia where there are the ruins of almost 100 cave churches. It’s thought that at one point 80 000 people lived in the valley, and everywhere you look there are openings cut high up in the caves. We walked about four kilometres along the beautiful river and stopped in at one of the old cave churches (The Church of St George) to see the very well preserved old frescos. After lunch where we made friends with an Australian doctor who was on our tour, we drove a little ways to Selime Monastery.

Church of St George

Ihlara Valley

The monastery was carved out of the rock by monks in the 13th century and is an incredible place to scramble around an explore (so long as you’re not afraid of heights). It has one of the largest churches in the area, a two story cathedral as well as extensive kitchens, but unfortunately most of the old frescos have worn away.

Monastery

Church at the Monastery

A smaller chapel

In the Cathedral

The next day we decided to walk to Cavusin again, this time with more success. However, as we set out along the highway accidental eye contact made us a friend – a very cute black and white dog that decided to accompany us the entire four kilometre walk, acting as our guide dog and making us worry when he chased and barked at speeding cars. In Cavusin we stumbled across this teeny restaurant with two men sitting outside (the owners) who called for us to come and have tea. Hoping to ditch our doggy companion, we agreed, and were brought apple tea. One of the men offered to take us to the church of St. John the Baptist, the ruins of an old and mostly forgotten church on top of the hill. The church was built in the 5th century and it is the biggest cave church of Cappadocia. Unfortunately an earthquake in Cavusin in the 1970s made the church hard to get to and drove away tourism, although the town is hoping it’ll pick up again in the next few seasons. We were lucky he took us, because it is quite tricky and dangerous clambering around the rock structures, but our guide knew all the best and safest ways.

How do we get rid of our friend?

Fairy Chimneys

Climbing around the ruins

Face of the old church

View out of the Church

When we got back we were pushed into staying for lunch which we were not allowed to pay for, and the other man played music for us and tried to get us to show him our musical skills (of which there are none). We were feeling like we should get going, so we said we were going to head to Rose Valley to see the fairy chimneys. Unfortunately it would prove harder than that to escape, as they said that they would come with us and proceeded to shut down their shop! We again tried to pay them for being our tour guides, but the absolutely refused to take the money. They walked us to the valley, which was incredible, but I began feeling a little uncomfortable. My feeling was confirmed when one of the men (who were much much older) started making inappropriate comments and getting touchy. We got out of there very quickly after that! Our bus was later that night, so we just went back to our hostel and packed before grabbing a quick dinner (Turkish ravioli) and getting on our bus to Selcuk.

Captive?

More fairy chimneys...

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Istanbul

We took a very long bus ride into Istanbul from Thessaloniki. It took about 10 hours, including our stop at the Turkish border where we got a pretty new visa! By the way, thanks Canadian government for screwing over those of us who travel! Bloody expensive 45 euro visa. At least we’re getting to spend two weeks in the country, which makes it more worthwhile. We arrived at 6pm and spent about 3 hours trying to get to our hosts’ place. Istanbul is a huge city – our only complaint while there is that its long and frustrating trying to get anywhere, especially anywhere out of the way. We finally arrived and our host, Bahadir was nice enough to order us adona kebab at it was late and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.

New Mosque

In front of the Egyptian Bazaar

The next day Janice and I headed across Bosphorus to the main touristy section of town. It took over an hour to get there by bus but we finally got there and arrived at the fish market. After a couple minutes figuring out how to get across the street we finally made it to the New Mosque to look around. After finding a bank to break our enormous bills we headed into the Egyptian Spice Market to look around and pick up some spices and Turkish delight. I have never liked Turkish delight outside Turkey, but in Turkey it’s actually quite nice! Full of nuts and not too sweet. After the market we wandered up to Topkapi palace and looked around the magnificent buildings before heading to both the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque – both magnificent buildings. We also managed to sneak in a visit to the cisterns which were incredible. After a less than stellar meal in the least touristy restaurant we could find (which was lousy) we headed back to our hosts’ place for the night. After meeting him we headed out to the main bar district and saw a live performance of Turkish folk music (which was good but loud) and then wandered home through the busy plaza.

Inside Topkapi Palace

Aya Sofia

Interior of Aya Sofia

The cisterns

The next day we headed back to the touristy side of town and wandered through the outdoor market first and then into the Grand Bazaar – the biggest indoor market in the world. It’s enormous and we couldn’t find our original entrance so we exited at the opposite side of the building and wandered into a café (we tried to find the least touristy) but we still ended up eating over-priced unappetizing food (wet kugel being the worst). We met Bahadir later than evening and he took us on a tour of his favourite mosque before taking us to a cool shisha café with an amazing over the city and the Bosphorus. We sat on the balcony in the warm evening air and had rose and mint flavoured shisha – which was actually pretty nice! Then we went to a bouza store – yes, there is a Turkish version of the Bulgarian drink, but its much sweeter and eaten for dessert, not breakfast. It tasted a bit like rice pudding without the rice, which I very much enjoyed (for everyone who knows about my rice pudding obsession!) We went back to Bahadir’s place and met up with a friend of his (Ondatje) who drove us down to Bebek (a posher neighbourhood of Istanbul). On the way, we had a little accident as he was backing the car out of a very tight alley; Ondatje sideswiped another car and took off its side-view mirror. Once we got to Babek we stopped for a common street food – a baked potato topped with the most outrageous items – pickles, peas, couscous, hotdogs and cold potato salad are all options. It was enormous but very tasty and we drank tea before walking along the river.

Blue Mosque at Night

In front of Aya Sofia at Night

Epic Baked Potato

Our last full day in Istanbul was mostly taken up with a cruise of the Bosphorus – very pretty and we saw the sunset – and then walking among the fish stalls and restaurants. We had delicious lachmacun for dinner (like Turkish flatbread pizza) and hung out with Bahadir and his roommates for the night playing Turkish monopoly. The next day we had to leave on an overnight bus to Cappadocia later in the day, but we wandered through a couple more mosques, looked at the ruins of a bath complex and headed to Galata Tower where we were able to see the sunset from nine stories up before collecting our things and heading back to the bus station headed for Goreme.

Bosphorus Cruise

Sunset over the Bosphorus

Bath Ruins

View from Galata Tower

Last sunset in Istanbul

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Thessaloniki

The first nasty thing to happen on our trip happened on the bus from Bulgaria into Greece – my ipod was stolen. But if that’s the only bad thing to happen on the trip, I’ll take it! We arrived in Thessaloniki and set out to meet our host at the main square. Mirsini is a university student studying to be a veterinarian and she was an incredibly gracious host. She also had the most adorable 3 month old Pug puppy. I should correct myself and say the most ugly pug puppy – so ugly it was adorable! Our first night Mirsini took us on a night tour of the city (the new town section) and showed us our way around. We also stopped to have the most delicious pastries that are a local specialty of Thessaloniki. Their name translates as ‘triangles’ and essentially they are triangle shaped phyllo pastry filled with pastry cream. So rich and sweet but delicious!

Puppy!

Triangles

The next day we had breakfast (yum baklava and Greek sweets) at a nice bakery before heading to the White Tower (which is no longer very white) to have a look around. There was a storm coming in off the sea and it was drizzling a bit but it was a lovely walk. The tower got its name from a punishment in which a prisoner whitewashed the entire tower in return for his freedom. A big task for one person! Inside the tower was a museum about the history of the city – a good starting place for looking around the city. It has a rich history as a major trading hub and was influenced by the major powers in almost every era.

Breakfast

The White Tower

Shoreline

We then went a checked out several Greek Orthodox Churches as well as a Mosque and the old ruins of the Agora and the ruins of the old city gate. Lots of old ruins and buildings in Greece! We also managed to stumble on the beginnings of a riot (although we missed the tear gas that happened later in the evening) and with our luck we also managed to end up in between the protesters burning dumpsters and the riot police. We got out of there rather quickly and Mirsini explained later that there are always riots on that day because a few years ago the police killed a teenage boy on that date. Luckily we missed the worst of it!

Ruins of the Gate

Janice at the ruins

We headed to a café and had enormous salads for lunch before having the owner of the café enforce free dessert on us. This happened quite frequently in Greece – I suppose in the north they aren’t used to tourists, especially in the winter so people were very excited to see us and often we were offered free food in restaurants – the owner would bring over a plate with their favourite dish and offer it to us “this is from me!” was the common refrain. The hospitality is really quite wonderful – as was the food!

Inside the Orthodox Church

Market

The next day we took the bus up to the Old Town – built up on the hill after we explored the market and had breakfast. Once we found the Old Town, we wandered around the walls for a while before getting horribly lost. Eventually we sort of figured out where we were and decided to have some lunch at a tiny little empty restaurant. After a huge lunch (the problem with free food) we set out to find a church we saw. Unfortunately, because we were looking for it, we couldn’t find it but we did find a lovely little wilderness area up a hill and saw some traditional Greek topography before giving up on the church and deciding to wander home. Of course the minute we gave up on it, we turned the corner and there it was! It was a very lovely example of Greek Orthodox churches and I’m glad we found it at last! We wandered back down to the New Town and found a pet store selling all sorts of unusual creatures – most strange were chipmunks. I’m not sure that they’d be good pets and I’m not convinced they wouldn’t carry disease – but I suppose they’re a novelty here! That evening we went out with Mirsini to meet some friends at a bar and have some drinks which was lovely until Janice got a migraine from all the smoke and loud music, so we headed back early and I caught up on some business before heading to bed in preparation for our trip to Istanbul the next day.

Old Town walls

Pretty wild areas

The church we found

Bye for now!

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Sofia

We arrived in Sofia quite late in the evening after missing our first bus from Veliko Tarnovo. We were staying with a host in Sofia, but we couldn’t contact her because our cellphone had died. Quite a story. We left our original charger in Nottingham and had to buy another in Heathrow airport. The we found in Veliko Tarnovo that we’d lost that one – we think in Brasov, but we’re not quite sure! So our phone died by the time we were heading to Sofia! (In a continuation of this story, we bought a new one in Sofia and then left it at our host’s place – we took another by mistake! But the phone was charged enough that we made it through the rest of the trip without a charger!) Our host Rada was very accommodating when we finally arrived though and took us out to get something to eat at a nice restaurant. We all had Bulgarian style pizza and salad (quite yummy, but I’m not sure I like hard-boiled eggs on pizza). Then we headed back to Rada’s lovely and spacious flat to await the arrival of her other couchsurfer – a guy from Brazil. Tiago turned out to be lovely and an architecture student – we spent quite a lot of time with him, wandering around the city looking at pretty buildings and getting him to tell us about the various styles and histories!

One of the remaining mosques

The next morning we all headed to downtown Sofia to meet up with a free walking tour group, after grabbing a traditional breakfast of bouza and cheesy Bulgarian pastry. Bouza is a sweet and sour fermented wheat drink – Tiago and Janice didn`t like it at all, but I thought it was quite nice! The walking tour took a couple of hours and took us by almost all the main buildings in downtown Sofia. We saw …….. While walking by the Parliament we saw a changing of the guards and then the newly elected President walked out the front door with a single bodyguard and aide and walked right by us! He even nodded and smiled at us – which made everyone very impressed! A little later we were looking at a 4th century church that had been excavated with its roof intact and we ran into a Kiran Aluwahlia – a Canadian-Indian artist who was performing at the ongoing music festival. Unfortunately we`d missed her performance the night before!

Changing of the Guard

4th Century Church

Alexandre Neveski

Theatre

We went for lunch at a nice modern restaurant with some friends we met on the tour and had a traditional mixed grill – lots of meat and very Bulgarian. That afternoon a few of us wandered through the enormous outdoor Ladies Market (where we bought our charger) before going to a pub for a couple drinks. We cooked dinner at home that night (lentil and carrot soup) and we had a baking session, which I`d been dying for! After some decent chocolate mint cookies and a session of listening to Rush, we headed to bed.
The next day, Tiago, Janice and I took a day trip to Rila Monastery which is a couple hours out of Sofia. It’s the most beautiful monastery (still operating as such) set is the gorgeous Bulgarian countryside right on the edge of Rila National Park (which has beautiful mountains and hiking). It`s hard to describe how beautiful it was – so I`ll just show you a bunch of photos instead!
After we got back we met up with Rada at the city library to watch a performance of Native American song and dance (performed by a Bulgarian fan club essentially). They were quite good and a few looked very Native even! It was interesting to see the reception of the music and ideas about Native culture in a foreign country. Then we met up with another couchsurfer at a cute little teahouse and had lots of tea and food hanging around chatting and listening to music. Stef (the couchsurfer) has us promise to come visit her in Holland while she’s there on her Erasmus project in the spring.

Rila Monastery

Rila

At Rila

Our final full day in Sofia Tiago, Janice and I wandered around some more and went in to a bunch of the churches we weren’t able to see inside of on our walking tour – such as the Hagia Sofia and the Alexandre Nevesky Cathedral. We also wandered around the Christmas Market and had some hot wine before picking up groceries for dinner and heading back to Rada’s place where we cooked pasta and had salads. We stayed up quite late talking and the next morning we all headed out to our next destinations!

Outside the culture building

Janice and Tiago

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Bucharest, Romania – land of the stray dogs

On the train to Bucharest, we were overheard speaking English by an older Romanian woman travelling with her granddaughter who decided to take that chance to practice her very limited English by telling us all about her family (with pictures!) including her brother who lives in Toronto (everyone has a relative in Toronto apparently). This seems very typical of Romania – although we were warned repeatedly before coming here that we had to be careful and that people here weren’t trustworthy, we’ve found exactly the opposite. People go out of their way to be friendly and helpful, and will come up to you on the street if you’re holding a map to help you figure out where you are. Even those with a limited grasp of English will try to help – warnings about caution with our personal possessions abounded and offers to show us how to get places were always forthcoming. The only challenge we experienced was the tendency to get ignored in less touristy restaurants – we once sat an hour with our waitress completely ignoring us. In Bucharest we stayed at a nice hostel (but nothing to compare with Gabriel’s in Brasov) in a slightly seedier area of town (of which there are many in Bucharest).

Our first Christmas Tree

Russian Church

Beautiful old Orthodox Church

Bucharest is an interesting city – modern in its young population and vibrant nightlife, but it lacks the charm of many other European cities which can only be attributed to years of communism and earthquakes. Much of the pretty old town was partially destroyed by an earthquake and then dismantled to build the enormous Palace of Parliament – the second largest building in the world, after the Pentagon. Bucharest does have some very pretty buildings, but those are interspersed with the solid concrete blocks typical of communist architecture. We still managed to find some gems – a night market, some beautiful churches and a lovely old hospital. We ate dinner at a cute jazz restaurant owned by an Irish guy – who heard English and gravitated towards and then picked up some homemade caramels at the night market before heading back to our hostel.

In front of the Palace of Parliment

The Grand Staircase

Ceiling of the Ballroom

We headed out on the train the next day for Bulgaria – first stop, Veliko Tarnovo!

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Train into Romania and Brasov

The train from Budapest to Brasov is long – about sixteen hours. We took it overnight, leaving from Pecs earlier that day. When we got to the station we found we could only reserve tickets for the section of the trip to Budapest there and we’d have to wait to reserve the other portion once we got to Budapest. I spent the next couple of hours uncomfortably fretting over whether the ticket office in Budapest would be open at 10:00pm – luckily it was and the girl understood enough English that we were easily able to communicate. Of course the train was late – it is Eastern Europe after all – but we finally boarded and found an empty compartment to settle into. Overnight went smoothly, except for being woken up to have our tickets checked, then our passports checked by Hungarian officials, then rechecked by Romanian officials, and then our tickets checked again!

Frost on the Trees

Once we arrived in Brasov we followed the straightforward directions sent by our hostel to their front door, the only incident occurring along the way was a very friendly, very old Romanian man who spoke little English but wanted me to go to his church with him. A nice offer, but since our train journey didn’t leave me overly thankful I declined. At our hostel we met Gabriel and a little later, his wife Elena. They turned out to be the sweetest people and staying with them didn’t feel like being in a hostel at all! We were their only guests and Gabriel fed us large amounts of his home made prune brandy (very good) and told us in detail about the process of distilling it and gave us all sorts of useful advice for getting around. He treated us like his daughters, possibly because he has a daughter our age who’s away most of the year.

Brasov

All the kitties hanging out

Main Square

We wandered around the town that afternoon and got our bearings, and the next morning we headed back to the train station and took the train an hour away to Sighisoara – a pretty little town up in the Romanian mountains. There we explored the lovely Old Town Fortifications – went up the old town hall and explored the old guild towers. It was a grey day, so it made everything suitably creepy looking for all the Vlad Tepes mythology that exists everywhere in that area of Romania! We climbed up a four hundred year old set of covered stairs to the aptly named Church on the Hill where I made a new friend! As we were looking at the sign at the top of the stairs, a little black cat appeared and decided it wanted to take me home with him. After attempting to climb my pant leg, it climbed into my lap when i bend down to dislodge his claws and continued to follow us around for the next twenty minutes. I considered buying a basket and sneaking him home, but decided he really wouldn’t like the train that much. For lunch we tried a Romanian specialty – sour tripe soup – which is one of those dishes that’s so foreign at first you can’t decide if you like it or not. But as I kept eating, it definitely grew on me – pretty good food, creamy with a bit of a sour note to cut the cream and soft pieces of tripe (not the usual unappetizing texture). We took the train back into town (after being slightly harassed by the local gypsy population, who we also watched trying to run over a dog with a car) and headed out to an old school Romanian restaurant where food is served cafeteria style – just like during the communist era!

On the train

Into the old town

Tripe soup

The next day we had arranged for Gabriel to drive us to Rasnov Fortress and Bran Castle, an adventure that would take most of the morning. It ended up taking much longer as after we finished with Rasnov Fortress (an interesting set of very ruined buildings, improved by the fact we were the only people there aside from the staff), Gabriel decided to show up his friend’s brick-making operation, followed by a trip to his godmother’s house for lunch and then a trip to his friend’s farm to meet the animals! The Romanian countryside in the area is beautiful and the drive was lovely (less so the rather smelly cows who attempted to splatter us with feces. After our farm experience we headed to Bran Castle (of Bram Stoker fame). Really the castle was the seat of the former Romanian royal family and is not only a beautiful castle, but very informative about the royals and their lifestyles and fates (one went from being a princess, to an actress in America, to being a homemaker and then finally a nun – quite the career!). After our adventures avoiding tour groups in the castle, Gabriel took us o the local market where we bought smoked sheep cheese and delicious lamb sausage before trying another local specialty – think of an elephant ear but instead of sugar, it’s topped with garlic sauce and cheese. Terribly unhealthy but delicious!

Rasnov Fortress

Rasnov again

Bran Castle

Living space for the royal family

Our last day in town we spent wandering around, exploring the lovely architecture and getting lost as we tried repeatedly to climb the hill to Brasov Fortress – it’s in the middle of town but is derelict of signs directing you to its entrance, so we ended up trying three separate routes! It was a nice place to get a good view of the city and the park we wandered through later. We had an easy night, hanging out with Gabriel and watching a movie before packing up in preparation for our trip to Bucharest the next day.

Brasov Fortress

Hanging out in Brasov

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