Stage 4 – Bucharest

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Arriving at the concert monstrosity that is Bucharest Kelpsi Station in an old old train was an experience, followed by a dodgy taxi diver and a extremely hard to find hostel…but the location of the hostel was a perfect find. Bang I’m the heart of the city.

While Bulgaria uses the cyrillic alphabet for their signs Romania uses the latin one…so I can read them….when I can find them! The Romanians like to hide them!

Bucharest is odd, there is graffiti everywhere even on the older buildings. There’s a strange feeling here, it’s definately not as comfy as Sophia.

Walking around the city…well marching if you’re me…showed lots of odd things. Beautiful buidings mixed with old crumby ones and alot oc reconstruction. What that says about the state of the nation I am not sure but the people seem to be a mix of young party goers and older people with sad eyes.

I felt happiest I the Carpathian Mountains.

I chose a day trip to the Carpathian Mountains because I have always wondered if they would match my imaginings of them.

They were not what I expected. Towering trees covered them like a thickly woven blanket. The low Carpathians begin from the palins and slowly rise to meet the Great Carpathians. Thickly meshed woods with a air of mystery.
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The romance of the area explains alot of the stories and mythologies that have grown from from these mountains.

SINIA MONASTRY: An old church and a new church all surrounded by a monastry of beautifully crafted with frescoes and detailed wood work. There is an air of calm – no tranquillity – here that soothes the soul.

PELES CASTLE: The summer home of Carol 1 and his wife is a stunning Germanic Estate house nestled in the dark woods of the Carpathians. The out side is stunning stonework while the inside blows the mind with it’s intricate woodwork and attention to detail worked into each room stole my breath each time I looked.

BRASOV: An eclectic little town with a large market square turn into a piazza. With my tour mates I sat down to a slow yet authentic meal sadly not comparable to Rila. It has been so dicficult to eat local here in Romania but I have tried. It’s as if the young locals only want a western life style.

The Black Church
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BRAN CASTLE: a simple fortresz built by Teutonic Knights – order of the dragon.It was home to The Dragon Dracu and later his son Vlad Dracular meaning so of the dragon! There is actually very little left from that time althought nestled in the Carpathians and surrounded by woods and mist, you begin to see the inspiration behind the legends as you look out over the amazing views of the ancient borderlands.

Mostly stunned I returned to the hostel to rest.

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