A Transylvania Halloween!

October 31, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are well. Happy Halloween! For the festivities, and because the timing worked out well, I headed to Transylvania to see Dracula’s castle. 20131031_110557I started my journey by waking up at 5 in the morning. The train to Brasov, the town nearby, takes almost three hours and I arrived just before 10:00 AM.  At the train station, I got a homemade pretzel with sesame seeds on it and coffee because that’s what everyone was eating. Pretzels  are a thing here. On the train, I dozed a little and read my book Rules Of Civility. I got to Brasov and used the nearby mall bathroom. Train station bathrooms are usually terrible. It seems I had the right idea, because I recognized a bunch of people from my train at that bathroom. I found a taxi that was the right price, and luckily, the driver spoke English.

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Doral became my driver and guide of Brasov. We first went to Bran Castle, Dracula’s castle. It was cool because there were great views, but it was very touristy. Yep, that’s a stray puppy. I know. I found this puppy hanging out in the souvenir section of Bran Castle. 

After that, we went to Poiana Brasov ski resort to check it out. Unfortunately there was no skiing (none until December) but we got to drive through the woods in the Carpathian mountains. I really wanted to get a pullover or hat that said “Poiana Brașov” on it because I’ve started a collection of ski wear from obscure mountains but they didn’t have any. Boo! 20131031_121627Doral even helped me search for the gear shop. It was closed for renovations. In the third picture, you can see the view of Brasov from above. Near is the old town, and further is the new part of town.

 I got dropped off in the old part of town, and walked around and lunched before it was time to get back on he train to get home to Bucharest. For lunch, I had a delicious home made pasta dish (caprese pasta) from a fancy Italian restaurant. It was the fanciest meal I’ve had yet this survey. 20131031_112250I ate outside. At first I ordered some other pasta and a side of veggies and the server did not let me order it because she said veggies did not go with it. I took her rec and it turned out for the best. The ride home was just shy of three hours. I finished Rules of Civility and started the Joy Luck Club. Lev and I have decided to read the Joy Luck Club “together” this week. I think it will be so nice to do that and feel like we are having a shared experience, something we don’t get to have right now, so I was very excited to start it. And become more educated in Chinese Culture.

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At Gara de Nord, the Bucharest North train station, I tried to get a taxi outside and it took me some time to find a guy that wasn’t going to rip me off. They saw I was not a local and offered for me to pay 30? 25? No way. I told them I’ve been here before and know that It costs less than half of that but still many drivers refused to take me if I wan’t going to overpay. 

20131031_110309I ended up paying 9, with tip, when I finally found a guy that would use the meter. He asked me what the deal was because he saw me get in and out of a bunch of cabs before his. I got back to my hotel safely, collected my laundry (one of the best things about hotel living is getting my ironed underwear back in little plastic bags) and had some dinner and wine. I’m definitely excited to keep moving on with the survey, but slightly sad to leave Bucharest, I Loved it here!!! Time to catch up on Nashville 🙂

Love, Annie 

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One Response to “A Transylvania Halloween!”

  1. Marlene clayton Says:

    Sounds like you had a real Halloween treat and all I got to do was give out oodles of cavity makers to oodles of beautiful made up kids. Had between 65-70 kids and closed the doors at 8:00 as it’s a school night. I am thrilled you really enjoyed Bucharest. I read the Joy Luck Club many years ago when it was on every book club list and enjoyed it but I don’t know how much Chinese culture you will learn except that most ethnic groups are quite alike. At least the mothers of first generation of American kids, seem to be quite similar. Love you and thanks for that nice blog..


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