We got moving reasonably early this morning, as today would be another road trip. So having had our breakfast which was a fine array, we packed the car said farewell to Brasov and head towards our destiny - Sighisoara and Vlad Tepes.
Before we go any further, let's set the record straight on this Vampire thing. Dracula that blood sucking fiend has nothing to do with Vlad Tepes, or Vlad with Drac. If there is any association at all, Dracula ate people whereas Vlad Tepes ate his dinner in the company of his enemies who were in the process of being impaled!
We head forth under a cloudless sky with a build up of thick haze. However, this doesn't thwart any keenness to photograph unsuspecting subjects. Passing through small hamlets and fields with colours resembling splinter camouflage. We come upon the occasional farmer with his dray, workers tending the fields and trucks carrying a kaleidoscope of timber.
As we pass through the town of Saschiz Keisd we see two distinct styles of architecture. A medieval walled citadel perched on a high vantage point, and the other representing a more later age. Vacant, abandoned and available for rent!
Hang about...what's this - a shepherd asleep on the job!
We finally arrive in Sighisoara. Now, here's a cool Vlad Canon fact. The name 'Sighisoara' was provided under a first document listing by that Wallachian warlord Vlad Dracul, Vlad Tepes' father. The Romans had referred to it as 'Castrum Sex' or Six-sided Fort.
After we've made our way to the Sighisoara Citadel, we're suddenly made aware of two possible issues: parking and walking.
Alas, all is not lost as Maria's Parking Djin has guided us to a
car full of visitors who are vacating their parking spot. Parked, now to purchase a parking billet which is obtained
from a swarthy Romanian who arbitrarily informs me: "5 Lei all day!" Obviously, the parking ticket dispenser has had a fit?
Returning to Maria I inform her there may be a stiff walk up to enter the citadel. However, that would not be the case for as we neared the incline we noticed a community bus prepared to convey passengers into the citadel square at 3 Lei pp. Gladly, we flash the cash for a quick dash!
The Citadel is boiling with humanity, and it is a hot day. We have a bit of a wander and make our way to the Clock Tower. It's my turn to do be adventurous, so I pay the 6 Lei and begin the climb into the Clock Tower.
The stairs are narrow and creak. The floorboards on all levels creak as well. The climb is fascinating and each level has a story to tell. I finally reach the hoardings at the towers peak, the view is just amazing.... There is even a reference to Sydney, Australia.
The day is getting on and upon returning to ground level, Maria and I go for a further wander through a couple of smaller museums.
Settling upon where to have lunch depended upon the availability of vacant tables. Fortunately, we came upon a small cafe which appeared to have just set up its tables. so, we sat down to pizza (me) and chicken (Maria).
Oh, during lunch we were entertained by a Ukulele band and a troupe of Morris Dancers. Now, both Maria and I are confident,
if Mick were with us he would no doubt have joined the dancer
With lunch and the entertainment over it was onto the next POI of the Citadel - 'The Church on the Hill'.
The only way to access the church is via an upward direction and by foot. Access is possible by climbing the 'Scholars Staircase' which is a covered flight of stairs, some 400m in length. I climbed those stairs
which was worth the effort.
Fortunately, the church was open as was the crypt
and photographs were permitted. I won't bore you
with unnecessary specs and stats - but, should you
journey into Romania ensure 'The Church on the Hill' is part of your itinerary. Here are a few pics.
I finish with the 'The Church on the Hill', its cemetery and return to Maria. Here we say farewell to Vlad and his cohorts and catch the bus to the base of the hill and head on towards our next destination - Sibiu.
Now as a prelude, Sibiu is regarded as being Romania's most important cultural centre and designated as being the European Capital of Culture in 2007.
Albeit, the drive to Sibiu is uneventful. Apart from stopping by a LIDL store to stock up on water and other essentials. Waiting at a level crossing for an age waiting for a coal train to pass through.
Finally, we arrive at Sibiu and our hotel, the Hotel Parc, which is very nicely appointed. However, this hotel does not provide dinner which requires us to seek alternatives. We eventually settle on having dinner at a Best Western Hotel restaurant, and we are not disappointed.
Michael: Entree - Bruschetta
Mains - Pan fried Sea Bass, broccoli, Duchess potato and orange jus.
Maria: Entree - Bruschetta
Mains - Chicken