Viviamo Summer School: Day 10 – Habitat and History (Cultural Trip: Brasov, Peles Castle and Bran Castle)

26th July 2006

07.00 – Depart from Targu Mures

Cars packed and travelling companions chosen, our convoy of 5 cars went on its way from Targu Mures to Busteni in the heart of the mountains. Winding our way through the roads in Transylvania, we were able to appreciate the beauty of the rustic landscape which was lit by the early morning sun.

10.30 – We arrive in the beautiful town of Busteni. We are lucky enough to have the whole villa for Viviamo use. With the incredible mountain views and to the sound of classical music throughout the building, we rush to arrange rooms and have brunch.

12.00 – We leave the sights and sounds of Busteni to make our way to visit Peles Castle. On arrival the sound of music floats from the forest and as we walk in the direction of the castle we are suddenly faced with the spectacular sight of the castle. Following the guided tour, we were able to appreciate the rooms which were luxuriously decorated in different themes; oriental, French or Italian renaissance and even Indian influence.

15.00 – On arriving at Bran Castle, we were once again welcomed by a tour guide and were told that we had arrived on one of the busiest days ever recorded for 20 years.

Not only was the history of Bran Castle explained throughout the tour but also the connection between the castle and the legend of Dracula. The simple yet comfortable architecture of Bran Castle was in direct contrast to the architecture of Peles castle. Discussions on the aesthetic values of both castles took place as we had a quick coffee break.

17.00 – Our next destination was that of Brasov. Given the short amount of time we had to see Brasov many of the participants split up into groups.  Many were happy to appreciate the beauty of the town from the main square while others explored the narrow streets and small gifts shops.

Like Hollywood, Brasov had their own name sign welcoming those to the area. The town is also very popular during the winter for the ski-slopes and it considered as a popular destination for the young people.

19.30 – We leave Brasov and make our way back home to Busteni for a Barbeque and a well deserved rest. The villa is once again full of activity as the barbecue is lit and the games room is opened. With the backdrop of the mountains and the fantastic smell of the flowers, we eat together with the owner of the hotel. Following dinner, spontaneous dancing takes place with attempts at the tango and different variations of salsa. The day finishes off with games of table tennis, pool and football. After we have spent all our energy we head to bed in the early hours of the morning.