We woke up around 9 o’clock in the morning. We had already talked with Florin to help us with Giorgos Z's motorcycle. The last days he had problems with the battery and upon our arrival to Brasov; the battery was "over." We saw the previous day a shop and had found a new one; we just wanted to confirm that it was the appropriate.
For today Mihai proposed to visit Bran by car. This was convenient for me and Giorgos Z, as we both couldn’t move our bikes. Giorgos Z had to charge the new battery, and I had to fix my bike’s tire.
So we decided to take a walk in the historic city center and at noon we would meet Mihai to go to Bran. The girls, who had day off, volunteered to accompany us to the center. We got 7 people (!) in a car and ended up outside the beautiful town hall located in the square Revolutiei (= Revolution Square). In this part of town most buildings are old but well maintained! Both the town hall, as the post office and county are real gems. As green and public gardens, making their presence felt in.
From the square begins a downtown pedestrian street that ends at the square Sfatului, central to the historic city, home to the characteristic yellow building, the old town hall. Just below is the church Biserica Neagra, impresses primarily for its size but also its history. Originally it was black (as the name says), but covered with gold leaf. Burned to melt the gold, resulting to have the current color. On the reverse side is a statue of its creator, and exactly opposite the German school.
Wandering around the small cobbled streets, we arrived in strada Sforii, claiming the title of one of its closest European roads (length 85m., Width 1,3m). Continuing, we met one of the oldest bastions of the historic part of Brasov, on the south-east side of the walls. From there we moved around under the shade of large trees, with an impressive panoramic view of old town! We met towers and other bastions, each with its own name. Re-entered the walled city, near the bastion of hunting, Stratos didn’t lose the opportunity to be photographed wearing the traditional hat and holding a weapon.
We had now reached the time to take a break for rest in one of the many cafes placed at the main pedestrian street. There we met Mihai, coming from work. We decided that it would be better to visit Bran, instead of continuing our walk around Brasov. We could do that some other time.
Bran is about 40km away and is known for its small fortress-tower. There are many people who call it "Castle of Dracula”, but actually has no relation whatsoever! The confusion has been created as some of the shots of the famous movie have been filmed there. Of course the locals made sure to maintain this situation because it suits them (tourist’s attraction). Apart from this, the small fortress is impressive and perhaps this is why the film's director chose it.
By paying 20RON per person, we entered the courtyard and took the short uphill road to the entrance of the main building. The location was strategic as it was a passage. By 2009, the operator was the Romanian state, but after some courts, the members of the royal family of Romania managed to win. Today, the profits from ticket sales but also its maintenance, has been undertaken by the royal family. The truth is that since the last time I visited the place, there have been several changes and additions in a positive way, making the visit more interesting! Apart from the items included in various panels, enough information is given about the history of the castle and the life of Vlad Tepes.
Before leaving we made a stop for coffee and Mihai proposed to visit his country house in Bod, which he had built himself with his father. The weather had changed and Mihai mentioned a strong rain in the city, at times accompanied by hail! Fortunately we escaped the rain for many days and did not get wet at all (!). Although most of the route was mountainous!
The time had passed ... our friends in Brasov were waiting us for dinner and had already started to give us phone calls. This time the girls had cooked a traditional Romanian food consisting of meat, tomatoes and peppers, accompanied by rice. It was wonderful and everyone liked it. As expected, the evening passed by with talking, teasing and enough alcohol. Again, Florin was the focus, he got a little drank and went soon to lie down and everybody started to tease him...
When most of us left, we stayed with Marcel telling me stories from his trip to Norway, a country that he loves and considers unique ... unlike Mihai, who does not want to go anywhere else except Greece! Is it a coincidence that his nickname is: “grecul” (= the Greek)…