I got back to my pension at about 11:15 and had a bit of a rest before what would be the highlight of my day - a visit to the 13th century Castle Bran, nicknamed "Dracula's Castle" even though its claim to do so has little validity
. It cost 20 lei to enter and there were hoards of tourists milling about, mostly Romanian. The castle is quite impressive from the outside but its interior is nothing special, a mishmash of furnishing, some of it 20th century, most of which pales in comparison to castles I've visited in England as well as the Czech Republic. There were a couple of rooms with information/history about Vlad Tepes (aka the Impaler), Bram Stoker and his novel, "Dracula," as well as vampires, all of which I read avidly while learning relatively little. Mind you, I was ever so stoked to just visit the place as I'm a castle "slut," but I wish I could have visited Vlad's actual residence, the Poenari Castle in Wallachia!
Before heading back to my pension, I bought a couple of cheap pastries for lunch from a bakery kiosk and then returned to my accommodation at 3:15. My lower back was troubling me and I needed to lie down. I spent the remainder of the day relaxing, reading my mystery novel, playing Angry Birds (Snort!) and editing photos on my laptop. My final meal was a hearty soup plus chewy cheesy spaghetti.
Lights out at 10 PM for tomorrow I'm off to Bucharest!
My final day in Bloodsucking Transylvania - sniff! After finishing my journal entry, I had breakfast which was the same old, same old, and then went for a two-hour hike. Basically I walked the final hour of the hike I'd skipped the day before but in reverse, walking as far as the skiing resort car park and the national park reserve. I encountered a group of three gypsies there in the forest searching for wild mushrooms. Wishing to be friendly, I greeted them with a smile but then, of course, they started begging for money. I didn't mind giving them some at first, but after handing over 11 lei, they kept asking for more which I felt was pushy so I walked away in a bit of a huff. I should have known better than to be friendly - all they saw was a dollar bill instead of my face.