Nat in Romania

7:59 AM

View of the Black Church from Mount Tampa in Brasov
Well, I didn't see ALL of Romania, I've only been to few parts, such as Arad (since we came by train from Budapest Keleti), Brașov (pronounce bra-shov), and Bran. This time, I'm not alone! 
We travelled to Romania by train from Budapest, it only takes around 3-4 hours, in which an hour or more is spent at the border towns of Lökösháza, Hungary, and Curtici, Romania. They will check everyone's identification/travel documents on the train, that's why it takes a while.

Snapshots around Bran and Brasov

Mine took a bit of time, since I was coming to Romania with a Schengen visa. Romania isn't a part of the Schengen area, but allows Schengen visa holders to stay in Romania as long as it is a multiple entry visa, and the days have not been exhausted. Mine took time, which I think was because the border guard wasn't too sure and had to talk to another guard. I got a bit nervous there.

Bran Castle, aka Dracula's Castle

I stayed in Arad to spend Christmas there. As usual, there are Christmas markets around the city- Hot mulled wine, sausages, and to my surprise, they also have kürtőskalács and langos. From my previous visit in Budapest days ago, they had these. My friend told me that this part of Romania was once in Hungarian occupation.

Anyways. I just have to say first that Romania has some incredibly good food. I always thought East Europe is highly underrated (and more beautiful) than other parts of Europe.  

Few nooks and Corner in Bran Castle
We rode the train from Arad to Brasov. It took us 9 hours, but it was a scenic route anyway! As I said earlier, you really can't get lost in Europe, since they have efficient and scheduled systems. I just followed what was in Google maps, and it was accurate. We went directly to Bran, which was an hour away by bus from the city. Another scenic route, as for the first time, I saw snow capped mountains from afar! (forgive me, I had never seen snow at this point).

Inside Bran Castle.
We went to Bran Castle, or more popularly known as Dracula's castle. Nothing scary about the place, and nothing Dracula related was there. Though not as majestic looking as other castles, it wasn't too bad! The view from the castle was really pretty. Entrance was cheap, maybe around 1-2 pounds, and I even got a student discount (show your ID). Below the hill, as usual, Christmas Markets!

On top of Mount Tampa, overlooking the city
After Bran Castle, we went back to Brasov. Though it may be a city, it really feels like an old town! Cobbled roads, beautiful old architecture, and a lively city centre. Of course, since it's winter season, they had an incredibly huge tree in the middle, surrounded by shops- mulled wine, sweets, kürtőskalács, langos, sausages, cheese, crepes, local knit goods, name it, they have it!

Lively winter market in Brasov's city centre
Brasov looks very warm, by warm,. I mean most houses are in warm hues, red roofs, brick houses. There's a lot to do in Brasov, such as food tripping (Romanian food is increadibly affordable), and my most favourite part was mount Tâmpa! It's a high mountain in Brasov which offers the view of the city. You can either hike, or ride those ski-cabins (very cheap). 

The Black church's clock tower.

But before I go to mount Tampa, besides the city centre, there is the Biserica Neagră, or the Black Church. It's a really massive church- a Gothic styled one. Worth the visit because you won't miss it by its size.

View of Mount Tampa from the city centre.The photo below is one of the views up in Mount Tampa. Be prepared! Climbing mountains in 5c weather is quite harsh! If you don't want to be sweaty or cold, I'd suggest taking the ski cabins. Up in the mountain, they have a pub, and a small outdoor restaurant serving up grilled sausages and Brasov's local brew: Ursus.

What I've noticed in Romania is that people can smoke indoors. To be honest, as a non-smoker, of course I don't like it because whenever we were eating in a restaurant, you'll always smell that cigarette smoke. Not as if we have any choice, it's their law after all.

Panoramic View of the City

And that's it for Romania! Too bad it was a short trip, because I also wanted to check out Bucharest, as well as some more castles, plus the beautiful hillsides. Romania and Hungary will be those two countries I'll be back to explore some more (hopefully)

Next stop: Hamburg, Germany.

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  1. Old world charm! I've never given Romania a thought until I've seen your photos, Nat. If I were to go on a trip to Europe, places like this and Prague are what I'm most excited about.

    Sobrang bet ko yung silhouette ng mountain from a street view, pls!

    1. I recommend both Romania and Hungary. So pretty, lots of street food, things to see, presyong pinas pa!


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