Its time to leave the Capital! We are heading north towards the Carpathian Mountains, with final destination Sinaia resort. Following the signs for Ploiesti and "airport", we got out of Bucharest riding on the national road D1. We covered around 30km when we turned right for Snagov, following the provincial road that leads to an artificial lake. Snagov is the nearest to Bucharest resort with hotels and cottages. In the lake there is a small island with a monastery. According to the legend the headless corps of Vlad Tepes – Dracula is bared there. His head is said to be transferred in Istanbul, as revenge from the Turks for his cruel attitude towards their troops and prisoners.
To visit the island there are to choices: either you rent a boat and row, which takes from 1 to 2 hours and costs 45Ron per 3 persons, or you board the craft and go, which takes 15 minutes and costs 80Ron per 3 persons. The heat and the lack of time helped us taking the decision. A beautiful church with plenty of interesting frescos is hosting Vlad Tepes’ grave. Despite the fact that the tomb was once opened and proved to be empty, the legend is still deep rooted in the conscience of population. The church constitutes one of the protected monuments of UNESCO.
Remember to ask the boatman if there is a ticket to enter the church. When we visited the island the monk in charge was hospitalized and a charlatan took advantage of the fact. So he insisted on getting money from us. We were duped into paying 13Ron per person! Peeved enough we returned back to the national road D1 with destination Sinaia.
We are following the signs to Brasov passing outside Ploiesti. The landscape is rather indifferent for the moment. But entering the national road E60 things are changing... The road is climbing up to the mountains, the asphalt is in good condition and the landscape is alpine especially after Cimpina’s node. Having covered around 100km, from Bucharest we entered in Sinaia. I have been here several times in the past. I love this place. We reached hostel La Dorado (str. Avram Iancu 14) where we already had a reservation. It is very cheap (30Ron per person) but the rooms are shabby. We were rather disappointed especially after the hospitality and the ambience we experienced in Lucky Hostel, in Bucharest. Anyway, if your criteria are based only on the price, this is the cheapest motel of Sinaia.
After we settled in our room we went out for a brief walk. The weather was very cloudy. The heavy rain made us run in the "Restaurant Bucegi" to have our lunch. Just before midnight we returned at the hostel and had the chance to talk a little bit with the owner. The rain wouldn't stop until very early in the morning.