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Traveling in Transylvania

Most North Americans have an impression of Transylvania – dark, eerie, horse-drawn carriages and vampire legends – but it is so off base its unbelievable. We toured through the very heart of Transylvania between Sinia, Brasov, Sighişoara and Sibiu and never once found anything remotely related to vampire legend besides a couple cheesy tourist T-shirts. Even the “Dracula Castle” aka Bran Castle has nothing to do with the ‘real Dracula’ Vlad Tepes.

Despite the initial shock to my Hollywood vision of Transylvania, it is an absolutely lovely area. The forests are dense and lush, the castles and medieval town centers are beautiful and the people are very kind. This is a well tourist-ed area where people driving around in expensive cars, school kids have iphones and everyone wheres designer jeans. Its a definite clash of the old and new.

This is one of the most touristed areas of Romania and there are many great ski resorts and outdoor sports here. We spent about a week traveling between some of the major Transylvanian cities and I found it to be one of the prettiest and most enjoyable areas of Europe.

Here are some of my favorite highlights:

  • Wandering Sighişoara a 12th Century Saxon town with a historic center and birthplace of Vlad Tepes
  • Shopping in Sibiu, a beautiful city with a lively historic center and named the European Capital Of Culture in 2007
  • Watching the sunset over beautiful Braşov
  • Taking the Cable Car to the top of Mount Tâmpa for incredible views over the mountains
  • Visiting the famous Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle)

Photo Gallery:

[slickr-flickr tag=”transylvania” items=”16″ type=”gallery”]

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