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Rachel and Stevey’s Travel Diary

Friday, 25 Mar 2011

Location: Brasov, Romania

MapA few new travel adventure updates...
~We went to Borsec, a place famous for it's spring fed water that is bottled and sent throughout Europe. It was a bustling resort town for several decades and included a spa and a ski area. It was abandoned (for reasons we never totally came to know) and left to fall into disrepair for about 20 years. We wandered around the abandoned and dilapidated buildings, played in the six inches of snow that fell during our stay, and drank the healing Borsec waters.
~Our two days in Sighisoara were a hightlight. It is a breath-taking town with red clay roof tiles, a citadel wall and clock tower to rival all others, and interesting history at every turn. Many of the houses and buildings are historic landmarks and painted brilliant colors with intricate hand-carved wooden accents. It is known for being the childhood home of Vlad Tepes "Dracula"
~Our second day in the area we drove to the Breite Ancient Oak Tree Reserve "nearly 70 hectares of land. The largest, most representative and beautifully preserved wood pasture habitat with multi-secular oak trees in Central and Eastern Europe. From the point of view of its origin, the Breite Plateau is a “culturally modified forest”, created not only by eight centuries of local Saxon culture, but also by a rich and diverse natural environment. It is this dual origin that gives the Breite Reserve its multiple and exceptional values – historical, cultural, ecological, aesthetic and sentimental. A rich natural heritage and living evidence of the history of Sighisoara, Breite represents a unique treasure of European value." It is managed by the Mihai Eminescu Trust and the Sighisoara Local Council and was saved from becoming a Transylvania/Dracula theme park! It was a highlight of our time here in Romania.
~Yesterday we spent the afternoon checking out Vlad Tepes Dracula's infamous castle in Bran, Romania. Turns out that he wasn't a blood-sucking vampire and spent only a short time at the castle. However, the history is fascinating and the legend rich. He did gain quite a reputation for impaling Turks and being a masterful warrior and protector of his land and assets. It was the most touristy place we have visited but well worth the small crowd.
~After our castle visit we drove up into the mountains to Poaina Brasov, the largest ski are in Romania. The skiable snow would have allowed us to make it about a tenth of the way down the slope and we are coming to wrap our heads around the fact that spring is here and we can start to plan how to dump our winter/ski gear and travel light, finding other ways to explore the mountains and get some cardio exercise.
~We plan to visit Sinaia and Sibiu before dropping off the rental car and heading to Belgrade, Serbia for a few days. After that it is on to Sofia, Bulgaria to visit our friend Slatka. Good times.