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Hear about things to do in Transylvania in Romania as the Amateur Traveler talks to Ela Palmer from WhereNextNomad.com about this historic and beautiful place that has much more to offer than Dracula stories.
Ela starts this itinerary in Bucharest but immediately hops a train to Sinaia, a beautiful mountain town in the Bussegi Mountains. Sinaia is known for its stunning fall colors and is home to two magnificent castles from the Romanticism movement of the 1800s, Peles Castle and Pelesor Castle. You can explore these castles, enjoy the charming town, and visit the 17th-century Sinaia Monastery.
After Sinaia, you can take a train to Brasov, a city in Transylvania that Ela fell in love with.
Brasov offers a variety of museums, and Ela suggests getting a ticket that allows access to 11 different museums in the area. Some notable museums include the Black Church, the Museum of Ethnography, the Museum of Urban Civilization, and more. The Black Church is known for its display of Turkish rugs donated by Saxon guilds in Brasov. Saxons were brought to the region to aid in the defense against the Ottoman Turks.
Brasov serves as a convenient base for hiking in the surrounding mountains, with cable cars available for easy access to stunning viewpoints and rock formations. Poiana Brasov, a ski resort located about 20 minutes from Brasov, is recommended for both skiing and hiking. Ela mentions enjoying hikes between Tampa and Poiana Brasov.
The best-known site in the area is Bran Castle. Ela does think this stunning castle is worth seeing. The castle is sometimes called Dracula’s Castle but has little historical connection to Vlad Dracula who was an actual Transylvanian ruler. Ela advises against visiting during Halloween due to crowds.
Sighișoara is a smaller city compared to Brasov. It is a complete Saxon citadel with medieval streets, towers, and museums. Ela recommends the the Mystical Transylvania Museum where you can learn more about the actual Vlad Dracula and decide for yourself if he is a hero or villain.
The Carpathian Mountains and heavily forested Transylvania surrounding Brasov are home to one of the largest bear populations in Europe. Ela shares their experience of bear watching from a hide near Zărnești.
Ela suggests continuing the journey to other places like Cluj or visiting the Turda Salt Mines.
This region of Romania has become one of Ela’s favorite places in Europe. See if you don’t respond the same to the mountains, forests, castles, and picturesque cities of Transylvania.
This episode is sponsored by MasterClass. With MasterClass, you can learn from the world’s best minds – anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace. Get 15% off an annual membership. Go to masterclass.com/traveler.
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Astra Trans Carpatic (train)
Regio Calatori (train)
CFR Calatori (train)
Carol I of Romania
Sinaia Cable Car
Busteni Cable Car
Babele-An Unusual Rock feature in the Bucegi Plateau Romania – Geotourism
Cofetaria Caramello (Sinaia)
Biserica Neagră (Black Church)
The Etnography Museum of Brașov
Museum of Urban Civilization
Brașov County History Museum
First Romanian School
Tales of Communism Museum
Citadel of The Guard – Brașov
Vlad the Impaler
Solomon’s Rocks (Pietrele Lui Solomon)
Am Rosenanger (Brașov) for schnitzel
La Ceaun (Brașov)
Restaurant Brașov Four Roses
School on the Hill
Church on the Hill (Sighișoara)
Lángos (Hungarian Fried Bread)
Sighișoara Clock Tower
Turda Salt Mines (Salina Turda)
I also listen/watch the chapter photos, using Podcast addict.
After Cruise to Greenland – Episode 866
I heard from our guest Rebecca Merrell
Thank you again Chris for the opportunity! It’s funny but I forgot to mention that originally, we planned to go to Gabon this month until our travel operator told us they were having elections and the lodges would most likely close in case of any troubles…well you probably saw the news that the army overthrew the President and they closed the borders…guess it’s a good thing we chose Greenland!
Stay tuned for Gabon in another few years!
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