Brasov, Bran's Castle, and Fagaras

Brasov is a great town to visit and should be high on anyone’s list of places to go in Romania. It is relaxing and very picturesque, with a lovely square full of restaurants and old buildings. We sat, watched a sad clown, ate some ice creams, and watched the world go past.

Brasov has a Hollywood style sign in the hills and you can take a cable car to the top and get a view of the whole city. It's a lovely way to spend a few hours.

There is some distinctive architecture in the town as well, such as the black church. There's also a white church – guess which is which in the photos!

From Brasov, we set off early for a day trip by car to Bran castle, hoping to beat the queues. It was a cool castle but we preferred Peles. And although we beat the queues, it was still fucking rammed inside. There were school trips and busloads of tourists that filled the narrow corridors. This took something away from the mystique of the whole place. The castle has no official link with Bram Stoker or Dracula, but for some reason has become known as the Dracula castle to tourists - a fact that the gift shop definitely reflected.

What was nice was this little park area outside where we sat, had a drink, and could enjoy a view of the castle from the outside. Our ongoing mantra is that castles, churches, and other famous buildings are often better from outside than in. This was true of Bran castle.

Next up on our day trip was a scenic drive to a nearby town called Fagaras. Fagaras has a huge, old citadel which occupied all of our time there. We wandered around the outside and inside, looking at all the treasures we could find. It was a hot day and it was nice ducking in and out of the shade of all the different rooms and buildings. It was definitely worth a drive and we were really starting to get a good feel of what Romania has to offer; beautiful ancient towns, harking back to a simpler time.

We also saw a pair of black swans! One to tick off the bucket-bird-list. And while we’re talking about birds, we noticed quite a few storks that were nesting on telephone poles. We saw this in multiple town and it was very bizarre.

You can just about see the Brasov sign on the hill towards the top left corner of this photo

This was the view from behind the B

We climbed the hill opposite the sign to see an old fortress

There was a market and music festival happening in the grounds which was hectic and loud!

Another shot of the not-black church
Bran castle looked pretty foreboding from the outside

But it was really quite quaint in the central courtyard

The inside looked almost livable in some places and it had been occupied until relatively recently (1930s)
Doing my best vampire impression - just call me Drusilla!

Try saying "citadel" and not thinking about Game of Thrones

Dave fancied himself a member of House Tully for the day!

Beautiful courtyard but the roof had those creepy eye windows!

I spied something unusual in the maot around the building...

Not quite as pretty as Natalie Portman

There was also this beautiful church in Fagaras town

One of the many beautiful views we had during the day of driving