Bucharest and Transylvania

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Our trip to Bucharest and to the castles of beautiful Transylvania.

1 day

We leave with Wizz Air from Rome Ciampino airport on the morning of March 4th, and arrive at Bucharest airport. Are we moving to the city? with public transport, and precisely with the 783 bus, which takes us to the center in about an hour of travel. The city? ? very chaotic and the traffic makes all movements very slow. From the stop it takes about 10 minutes on foot to reach our hotel, the Banat hotel, located in Piata Rosetti. The hotel? without infamy and without praise, but we certainly did not expect super luxury from the reviews we had previously read. However, we chose it for its proximity to the center, and the very cheap price (40? / Night / double room). The rooms are spacious and clean enough, although in need of updating. The breakfast ? the only sore point, due to the slightly limited choice.
We leave the suitcases in the rooms and immediately set off to discover this capital. First we try to recover a map of the city, which is not very easy, but in the end we manage to buy one in a small newsstand inside the Universitate metro stop. So we head towards the old part of the city? and so? we can immediately admire the statue dedicated to Count Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as Dracula. The statue is located in Strada Franceză, not far from the pi? old hotel in Bucharest, the HANUL MANUC. Also nearby we then visited the Biserica Sfantul Anton, the orthodox church of Sant? Antonio, the most religious monument. ancient city, built in Vallachiano style.
We then continued our tour of the city? and we went in search of another Orthodox church, which unfortunately had all the facades under restoration and therefore we could not admire what they say is the most? beautiful church in Bucharest, the Biserica St. Nicolae (Strada Blanari). However, we entered and we were able to admire the interior.
The next step? the Romanian Athenaeum, in Str. Franklin 1. From outside the structure? majestic and very well kept. We approach the entrance to be able to enter and visit the interior, but we are chased away by some ladies who are cleaning the stairs. We try to ask for some explanation, but the English here? little known, especially by the most? large, and therefore we can not understand anything. The only thing we can understand? that we cannot enter.
The day is not? she was very lucky and in the evening we decide to console ourselves by going to eat something good in a restaurant near the hotel. Shall we go to Hanu like this? Berarilor (Casa Elena Lupescu) in Bd. Pache Protopopescu 51, where we can eat deliciously typical Romanian dishes, all accompanied by a fast and impeccable service, for an affordable price.

2 day

In the morning we wake up calmly, have breakfast and then go out to the city. Today we travel by subway. Distances in the city? they are huge and walking around is not convenient. So let's go and see the Arcul de Triumf, what not? it can be visited internally, but only from the outside.
Let's take some photos and then walk towards the village museum (Muzeul Satului? Kiseleff Road 28-30), an interesting reconstruction of the various Romanian villages, consisting of almost all furnished houses, open and open to visitors, dating back to the various historical periods of the country and from various areas of Romania. A visit to this open-air museum is worthwhile. The cost of the entrance ticket? derisory.
The morning continues with the entrance to the Peasant Museum (Muzeul Taranului -Şoseaua Kiseleff 3), a museum which contains all the characteristics of the society. Romanian peasant of the past, from equipment to clothes, way of life, religion and housing structures. Honestly the visit? a little? boring, also considering that there is no ?? the possibility? to have a guide. Were we for? lucky why? in a room we were accompanied by a lady in charge of surveillance who hearing us speak Italian yes? approached and gave us some explanations about some objects on display.
Let's take the metro again, and this time our destination? pi? sporty. In fact, we go to see the National Arena (Stadionul Național), and we discover that this evening will be held? a friendly match between the Romania-Argentina national teams. Unfortunately for? we can not enter to visit the stadium precisely why? there are preparations for the game.
So we decide to go to the cemetery where? Dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife were buried. Getting to the cemetery not? very simple, in fact we had to change 2 metro lines and then from the Politehnica stop take the bus 93. We arrive at the civil cemetery Ghencea, and not knowing the times we find it already? closed, so we can only peek over the walls, but there? can you define which is the tomb of the former president, why? the cemetery ? vast and the crosses on the ground are lost visibly. Let's go back to the center and go to collect the car we rented. In fact, tomorrow we expect a long day to discover Transylvania and the car in our opinion? the best solution to visit these places which are several hundred km away from Bucharest.
In the evening we go to dinner in another restaurant in the center, the Caru? cu Bere (Strada Stavropoleos), where we eat very well, also here all typical dishes of Romanian cuisine. Quality / price ratio in our opinion excellent. To try!!

3 day

Wake up very early this morning. We have to face many km by car to reach the Peles castle and then immediately after that of Bran, the latter known as Dracula's castle.
At 8.00 we leave and it takes about an hour to get out of the traffic of the city, then the road goes by quite quickly, while always respecting the speed limits. At about 10.00 we are at the Castle, park and walk up to the entrance. We pay the ticket which includes the visit of the ground floor and the first floor -50 Ron per person- (there are 3 types of visits: 1) Ground floor 2) Ground floor and First floor 3) Ground floor, First and Second floor, and have a different cost. Furthermore, each visit has a different duration). At about 10.30 the tour of the castle begins with the guide in Italian, who for about an hour and a quarter takes us for a walk in the immense halls of this magnificent and enchanted place. The castle ? a succession of wonderfully furnished rooms and inside it seems as if time has stopped. Also the Castle? immersed in a huge park, which gives it a truly splendid location. A must see !!!
After the tour of this fantastic castle we leave again, direction Bran. After about an hour of driving through the mountains we reach our destination. Here it is in front of us, the famous Bran Castle, the Castle of Count Dracula. In reality? according to the story, in this castle, the fearsome Count Vlad Tepes would have slept only one night, but the famous novel by Bram Stoker helped to grow the legend of this place, setting the story of Dracula in this castle. Here too we park, pay the entrance ticket (25 Ron per person) and begin our visit. Not here? guide and the castle, although beautiful and well maintained,? much less fascinating than the other. In about an hour we can visit it all and take lots of beautiful photos.
Once out of the castle we return to our car and leave for a small town which is located about 30 km from Bran. Let's go see Brasov. We arrive for? in the late afternoon and so? we can visit very little. The Black Church (Biserica Neagra), the main attraction of the place,? in fact already? closed to the public, and we can only admire it from the outside. Also the museum of the first Romanian school (Muzeul? Prima Şcoala Rom? Nească?)? closed. No way? the only nice thing we can do in Brasov? a very nice photo in Strada Sforii, which is the most? close to Europe.
For dinner we stop to taste some delicacies at the Restaurant Sergiana (Muresenilor 28). Here, too, excellent traditional cuisine and very competitive prices.

4 day

Last day in town. In the afternoon we have the flight to return to Italy. We dedicate the morning to visit the Palazzo del Popolo, the second largest structure? largest in the world after the pentagon, visible to the naked eye from the moon. Find the entrance? no easy feat, and once inside we discover that there are several tours to visit the palace. For obvious reasons of time, we choose to follow the first tour available which includes a visit to the palace and the terrace at 9? plan, what for? ? in English. The visit lasts about an hour and a half and gives the possibility? to see only a very small part of the entire building. You pass through huge halls, many of which are empty, which are striking for their vastness. The point pi? beautiful ? the panoramic terrace from which you can? admire a splendid view of the city. Even if the visit inside the palace did not impress us particularly, it is still worthwhile to dedicate a couple of hours to this gigantic monument that represents the madness of a dictator.
After the visit to the people's palace, we spent the last moments in Bucharest to buy some souvenirs to take with us.

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