I showed up to the cute little town of Brasov knowing that I wouldn’t have nearly enough time to see it properly. I only had a few days to explore, and I had to go see the castle of Dracula (even though I knew it wasn’t the real castle) which I knew would be an entire day trip. I think seeing it had turned more into an obsession than an actual necessity, but I was going no matter what.
Part of the joy of traveling alone is doing whatever sounds fun at the moment. If I feel lonely I can make friends, if I want solitude I can spend the day with myself. No one is there telling me what I have to do. I am responsible for only my own wants and desires. So when I made a friend for the day in Brasov, I decided to embrace the company. My new Australian companion was a strange soul to say the least. As someone who loves anything and anyone abnormal we got along just fine. It wasn’t until we started to talk about traveling alone that he actually started to annoy me.
As soon as he found out I was traveling through Eastern Europe on my own he went off on a tangent of ignorance; asking me questions which all centered around organ snatching. To him apparently, the greatest danger for traveling alone was the fear that someone would steal his organs, which in his eyes I was also especially vulnerable to considering my lack of brute strength to overpower the boogie men who steal rich tourist organs. Now, I am not going to say that this has never happened in the history of world travel, however, I will add that organ stealing is not even on my radar of possible fears. People in this trade would have to be immense idiots if they thought that a tourist organ was worth more than the ransom they could get for holding me hostage. Plus why would they steal my organs when they’re are much more vulnerable victims in this country. Homeless men, women and children here are subject to violence all the time. I am a privileged white woman, the media would be on my disappearance in a second. Mostly my main concern is harassment, which happens in every space I inhabit regardless of if I travel alone or not, and regardless of which country I’m in.
Luckily our bus arrived just in time to avoid further debates and we arrived at the fake home of Dracula. The castle dominated the landscape and underneath it there was a slew of tourist shops selling anything from sling shots to maps of Europe.
Since I had just read the book, I kept repeating the phrases “the blood is the life” and “listen to them, children of the night, what music they make” just to amuse myself. Overall it was fun and the castle was pretty but I wish I could have seen the real one. I also got to learn a lot about the actual man who Bran Stoker based the book off of. All of the information provided at the castle stated that he was a violent medieval ruler, but no more violent than any other rulers of his time and he certainly was not a bloodsucker (just to clear up his name).
Since it was raining we couldn’t stay too long to explore so we headed back to Brasov. The bus did not take too long and we were able to eat a nice Romanian meal of Sarmale which is a type of meat wrapped in cabbage along with a fantastic local beer.
The city of Brasov was so cute! It had Austro-Hungarian type architecture and each building was a different bright color. The main downtown walkway had loads of people who were selling a variety of different crafts and there was many shopping places and restaurants. Brasov and Timisoara were much nicer than the capital, and Brasov had the added benefit of being surrounded by beautiful mountains.