Dracula’s birthplace

The real one, apparently. Vlad Tepes, also called Vlad Dracul and Vlad the Impaler, lived in a little house in Sighosaura until he was around four years old. It’s now a restaurant. He must be rotating in his grave. Or on a stake. Or whatever.

The old city, the interesting part, is very small and can be wandered round in an hour or so. It’s very gritty and atmospheric with three museums which don’t take too long to visit. The main one is in the clock tower and worth the entry to get to the top for the view. Most of the main signs are in Romanian only with smaller ones being in a random choice of others. Bizarrely the first floor had a lot of rocket ships in it. It seems the chap who pretty much invented rocket-based propellants and got the US to the moon was born in a nearby town but grew up in Sighosaura. Very rightly, they’re rather proud of him.

The other two museums are the smallish armoury and the tiny torture museum (one chamber, 8 exhibits) but you can get one ticket that covers all three for a tiny price. They’re meant to open at 10:00 but don’t expect them to stick to it. The torture museum didn’t open until almost 11:00 and that was after I’d asked someone at the armoury where it was twice as I couldn’t find it.

For lunch I had a chicken roast and chips and I’m sure I was overcharged for it. I sat at Joe’s and it took ages getting served. The chicken seemed a cheap option until I came to pay for it and found that the price was “per 100g and you have had 300g”. It still didn’t ad up mathematically but it was too hot to waste my time arguing over pennies so I walked off.

A quick internet check and then I walked to the train station via the hostel to pick my bags up and jumped onto the 14:28 to Brasov. As I got on the train, several people I’d met in Cluj were coming the other direction, doing the same route as me but a day behind.

At Brasov, I was met by a nice girl from my hostel who made sure I got the right bus there. Checkin was quick, the staff superb and I was shortly settled in, showered and heading out to dinner with some people from my dorm. We found a nice pizza place where we supped wine, ate cracking food and chatted.

Afterwards we grabbed some beers from the nearby supermarket and sat in the hostel nattering until we started to drop from exhaustion.

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