Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Brasov, Romania

I arrived in Brasov from Budapest and I'm still here. Was planning to spend about 4-5 days here but fatigue and the flu has kept me in one spot a little longer. I'm feeling better today so tomorrow I will probably head to the Black Sea coast.

If I thought that I had time-travelled in Budapest, the effect has been even greater in Romania. Brasov is a modern town but in the villages nearby people still use horses on their farms. Very small tractors (like a lawn tractor with a cab) seem to be used for the rougher work and then horse-and-cart is used for tasks like gathering up piles of weeds or transporting things. Older people wear "traditional" clothing - I spied several middle-aged women hoeing weeds in a field with their skirts hiked up over their knees.

There's a lot more old cars of the like that I saw in Hungary. Lots of Trabants, plus a Romanian make, the Dacia.

I was out to Bran Castle, the one that Bram Stoker based his Dracula castle on. It's nothing like how I would have pictured Dracula's castle, but it had a secret staircase and seats built into all the windows so I liked it for those features alone. It was filled with Romanian schoolchildren and other tourists so that was a bit annoying.

I think I have a short right leg or something. A lot of my photos are coming out slanty when I don't intend it. So here's Bran Castle on a slant.

You know you have a lot of rooms when you have a "Waiting Room For the Music Room" (hey, you can see the top of my head in that sign!)

Houses in the hills as seen from the castle.

I took a walk up some of the hills around Brasov - there's a Hollywood-like sign of the town name that I walked up to with some French girls. I fell off the trail twice, proving that I can't (yet) speak French and walk properly at the same time. My hostel was down a street to the left of the square that you may be able to see in the centre of the picture by the church steeple in the picture below.
The hostel staff here are Romanian and I've hung out with them plus their in-town friends. It's astonishing to me to see someone who can hardly speak English sing along perfectly to song-after-song of English-language pop music.

Finally, here's a close-up of a standard roof with the red-brown tiles.

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