Monday 22 October
Bucharest – Bran, Transylvania.
I have never been so humiliated in my life as this afternoon; spending an hour and a half being transported around in a handbag is just not my bowlofwater. I’ll explain more in a minute…
Leaving Bucharest with only around a three-and-a-half hour journey to Bran felt like it was going to be a good day so we set off around 10am full of the joys of spring. The roads were mainly smooth and straight with views of pretty village houses and joyous Autumn colours.
Listening to my humans discussing whether to visit Bran Castle (famous for being [fictitious, I hope] Dracula’s Castle) this afternoon or tomorrow, I lay snoozing until I heard the words, ‘They say we can take Martha as long as she is carried or in a bag’. I really don’t like being picked up and I am not a ‘Handbag Dog’ – I never have been, even when they were in fashion, and I never will be. Yelp!
As they carried on talking I realised they would either put me in Leigh’s giant handbag or leave me in the car: I suffer from separation anxiety so neither suggestion pleased me. Trying to put the conundrum of our trip to the Castle out of mind I focused on enjoying the views and wondering why so many of the houses along the route had so many spires and turrets; is it so that the snow doesn’t lay for long or is it just design?
It’s a fact that most of the main roads here are lined both sides with, often small, houses. To me this seems a strange thing (to live on such a main road which has virtually no side roads off it) but I guess making a living has something to do with this; many houses have little stands outside selling fruit and vegetables, wine and other bits and pieces.
On reaching Sinaia, which is close to the large Parcul Natural Bucegi, there were little stalls selling gifts all along one side of the road.
Each stall had the same items so Leigh and Tom purchased a couple of bits from different stalls (‘It’s fairer to buy from several’ said Leigh). I had my eye on a beautiful sheepskin rug they purchased but they put it in the boot instead of on the back seat where it would have made a super-comfy base for yours truly.
On reaching Bran the decision was made to visit the Castle this afternoon. Our campsite, Camping Vampire, was only about a mile from Bran. Before setting out ‘they’ practiced putting me in the handbag. Yelp!
Bran itself is very, very, touristy and was packedtocapacity with coach loads of tourists and school-children. I did spot a pretty church with brightly coloured glass, it seems to be no longer in use sadly.
The story goes that an Irish writer, Bram Stoker, loosely based Count Dracula – a vampire – on Vlad the Impaler who is said to have lived in this castle; bear in mind there is plenty of fiction involved here.
Bran Castle is a lovely building, quite pretty and not at all spooky in the daytime.
I am sure on a foggy, dark, evening it would feel very different.
Leigh carried me for much of the tour of the interior of the Castle, including the secret staircase which is rather precarious!
Once we had finished in the Castle we explored the gardens – which was a relief! At last I could regain my dignity and walk on all four paws; I read the scents left by other animals in the area and left a couple of scents myself.
During the evening we looked at tomorrow’s route – possibly to Arad, but that may change – and went out for dinner.
I thought it was quite novel (pun intended) for,the bill to be presented inside a book!
All in, apart from the initial trauma and indignation of that bag, it’s been a good day!
Woofs, Martha xx