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Europe map
to Romania...
The journey from our home in The Netherlands to the border of Romania did take 2 days and was 1400 km. long. We drove through Germany via Dortmund, Frankfurt and Nurnberg were we passed the border of Austria via Passau were we stayed for the night. Then we drove via Vienna to Hungary which we have to cross via Budapesth to get to the Romanian border at Battonya. We ended our trip late in the evening in the Romanian city Arad nearby the border were we had a appointment with a very nice Romanian family who had invited us in their house for staying our first night in Romania.

see more photos of Petris Petris
The next day they invited us at a farm in the little town Petris about 100 km. eastward from Arad where the rest of the family is living. When we arrove there, it was if we had gone 100 years back in time. Petris is a beautiful pictoresque country-village which 19th-century lookable houses and farms with farmyards were all kind of animals are walking free scratching for food. There are almost no cars there, they are using flat carts pulled by horses.The people on the farm were very hospitable and welcomed us to spend some days with them on the farm. Those days we learned a lot of Romanian people and their customs. Until late in the evening we talked about their country and our western society when we sat around the kitchen-table eating the delicious meals and drinking their strong homemade alcoholic drinks.

see more photos of Hotel Dracula the Borgo pass
After spending a few days at the farm we started our journey by taking the same route as it was written in Bram Stoker's "Dracula" novel. We drove to the east of Romania and passed the cities Deva, Alba Julia, Cluj-Napoca, Dej and Bistrita. By then we had arrived in Transylvania, the nothern region of Romania. At the end of the day we drove over the Birhau-pass (also know as the Borgopass) to the Carpathians. When we reached the Carpathians it was almost dark. We were very excited to get at the point were Dracula's castle should have been located according to Bram Stoker. You have to know that driving in Romania when the sun is down is not advisable. It is an absolute adventure, because the roads are very, very bad (more holes then road), there is no street-lightning or marks (so you have only your carlights) and after every corner you can expect a cow, goat or farmer right on your way.
So at that point we soon had to find a place to stay because driving was not safe. And then at the top of a mountain we saw the dark silouette of a castle.
It was not Dracula's castle, but it turned out to be a hotel with the appropriate name of "hotel castle Dracula" were we spend the night.

Lake Muntelui
The next day we continued our trip through transylvania via Viatra Dornei to the lake Muntelui in the East-Carpathians. We enjoyed the most beautiful landscapes we have ever seen; we saw magnificant green glowing valleys surrounded by forests and mountains. Regulary we had to stop for cows or goats who crossed the road. There was so much to see that we drove less then 90 km. that day and when we arrived near the lake Muntelui it was almost dark. For the second time on our trip we were concerning about a place to stay for the night. We did not find any hotel and the campings we passed were full. See more photos of Lake Muntelui We also did not find any restaurant or other place to eat that day, we had only bought some bread in one of the little country-villages we passed. After it had become totally dark we decided to use our tent we had brought with us (a big decision for me because I absolutely can't sleep in those things). We drove over a very small cart-rut into the forest which ended at the top of a hill. It was a beautiful open place surrounded by the forrest with a stunishing view over the lake (although we saw that just the next morning). However when we tried to put up the tent there was no straight spot to find so we had to put our tent (with the help of our carlights) on a sloping place. You can imagine that I slept terrible that night. The next morning we enjoyed the location were we had put our tent up. From that point we had a great view over the lake and its surrounding green hills. Because we did not eat much the former day and also did not have anything to eat for breakfast we decided to move on fast.
We went down the path and arrived at the road below. Besides the road we saw a giant plate with the picture of a bear on it and a romanian word on it which looked a lot as "reservation"! We absolutely hadn't seen that sighn the evening before although the plate had a big size which can't be missed. You can imagine that we were very glad we did not had any visitors that night.

After we brushed our teeth in a little waterfall and bought some bread in a village (I forgot the name) we resumed our trip through the Carpathians. We drove south-west in the direction of Gheorheni over the beautiful mountain-pass Lacu Rosi, a small passage through straight and high mountain-ridges were you can smell the sulphur-fume. After we left the mountains and came at the central part of Romania which is dominated by green fields with grazing sheeps. We ended our trip in the city of Sighisoara were we stayed for two days.

see the photos of Sighisoara Sighisoara
The city Sighisoara is one of the touristic highlights of Romania either or you are interested in Dracula. Sighisoara is a city with a magnificence medieval center located on a hill surrounded by old citywalls and has romantic narrow streets and passages, a beautiful 14th century clocktower and... the birthplace of Vlad Tepes. From the clocktower you have a beautiful view over the city-center as you can see on the photograph on the right.

Vlad Dracul house
One of the medieval-houses in the center of Sighisoara is the Vlad Dracul house, the birthplace of Vlad Tepes Dracula. A plaque at the front of the house gives notice of the fact that Vlad Dracul, his father, had lived here. Inside this house (see below) there is a restaurant nowadays were we eat our meal that evening. As in many Romanian restaurants they had no menu; they only servered soup, pork-meat with chips and some vegetables. It tasted very well by the way. There is a fascinating thing on the upper corner of one of the walls; a part of a mural that was recently discovered under another layer of covering. It shows a figure that experts believe is Vlad Dracul. If this is so, it is the only known visual representation of him. Vlad Tepes' birthhouse at Sighisoara

We enjoyed ourselves very well while we were walking through the narrow streets in the authentic center of Sighisoara. We visited some nice shops and also inspected the clocktower where a beautiful science museum is located. They showed medieval surgery tools in there including scary amputation equipment.
At some places in the city we saw some beautiful plaques with the Dragon (Dracul) sign on it; the same sign they had on the plates in the Dracul-house restaurant. But we could not buy any souvenirs there with the 'Dracul' on it, we even could not buy one plate from the restaurant. The only souvenir I bought that day was a bottle of 'Dracula spirit'.


We spend two night in a cabana at a camping on a hill from were we had a great view over the city. A cabana is a little wooden hut often with a small verandah, mostly exists of one (sleeping-) room. But the cabana we slept in had also a seperate-toiletroom, a luxury we did not find anywhere else. Besides the touristic guests the camping was also populated by various wild dogs who were regulary fighting with each other, even in the middle of the night. Sometimes some cows were grazing beside our cabana and at the second day a horse was inspecting our grass late in the evening when we were dancing (half-drunk) on the music from our carstereo. That was the legendary evening when I was trying the Dracula-spirit which had big consequences. The whole evening we were drinking and dancing before our cabana and had big fun. Annicka and I were drinking from a bottle of currant-wine, Barbara was not in the mood for that and was only drinking lemonade. Later on that evening we talked with some spanish guys who also were traveling through Romania. At the end of the evening (when the spanish boys were already gone) I discovered that I also had drunk the entire bottle of Dracula-wodka empty by myself and Annicka a entire bottle of Martini; something that turned out to be not a very good idea.
Annicka and I were feeling a little dizzy and Annicka deceided to go to bed. She walked inside the cabana and felt straight on her bed. When Barbara and I entered the cabana Annicka had already vomited her entire bed and Barbara asked me if I also was feeling sick. I said I was allright but a few seconds later I suddenly felt very sick and also started to vomit. Barbara drove totally mad: in the middle of the night she had to clean all our bed-sheets in the little sink in our cabana when Annicka and I were totally unconscious. And after that she decided to go to sleep inside our car, because the cabana smelled so bad that even the musquitos didn't try to get in it that night.

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