After our explorations of the fortified church in Saschiz we got back on the road. I don’t think we got very far before the GPS had us take a right turn… Which took us through the absolute middle of nowhere, down rough, broken pavement, and gravel roads. Of course, it was an absolutely beautiful drive with plenty of scenery along the way.
Unfortunately, this way seemed to take forever, and it was a long while before we finally got back on a main road and started seeing signs for Bran Castle. It was a bit of a relief when we started seeing those!
The town Bran is a tourist trap. It was overcrowded with people running everywhere, cheap souvenir shops/stands, and far too many buildings featuring the word Dracula somewhere in their names. It was pure chaos after the days we had spent driving throughout the countryside of Romania. Thankfully, these were the only major crowds we ever encountered, but for this period of time, it was horrifying to us.
Still, we wanted to see the castle, it is after all, a beautiful one, so we made our way to the base of the hill it is located on and bought our tickets. We climbed the steep hill path up, and went into the castle.
The first room you find yourself in leads to a very narrow “secret” stairway up a floor or two. This becomes a major traffic jam as you wait for people to stop taking pictures in its entrance and make their way up. All the while dealing with the ignorant people behind you trying to push past you, uncaring that there is a line, of sorts, more like a blob honestly.
Once you get up the stairwell, it opens back up into a series of rooms you have to follow a path through. One in particular amused me, it was apparently the royal chambers of somebody. The room was quite simple, but the bed was small and so short! It was not at all what I would have expected to see in a royal’s bedroom!
Eventually you find yourself on a balcony that wraps around the inner courtyard. A beautiful scene to behold, but good luck getting any shots of it without people in them. I had to wait a very long time to get mine.
From there you pass back down some stairs, through some rooms talking about the history of Dracula and Vlad Tepes (who never actually lived in this castle), and then you find yourself on the bottom level, entering out into the courtyard. From here, we quickly left the castle, and walked back down to the bottom of the hill. Outside the gates was a good size market of sorts, with various stalls selling clothing and other odds and ends, trinkets and souvenirs. We did have fun wandering through all of these, finding some neat things to take home with us.
Outside of the market, I spotted a little food stand selling langos, and made a beeline for it. I had a langos once before, in Budapest, and absolutely loved it. Think of the fried dough you would find at an American fair, yet thicker, almost more like a pizza dough (but fried like a fried dough), with toppings similar to a pizza (or different, they’ve got a lot of options). It is so incredibly yummy! After dealing with the jostling crowds of Bran, nothing was more satisfying than to just sit and chow down on a nice, hot langos.