Peles Castle

Trip Start May 31, 2007
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Trip End May 20, 2008


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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Lets see, more rain, a glimpse of blue skies then wind and more rain...and fog.  We are in the mountains right now for a couple of nights at this very posh hotel...I guess the SRO at our last stop was so we could afford to stay here!  Saw the spectacular Peles Castle, about a century old masterpiece intended to be used as a summer residence for King Carol I.  It's 3500 sq metres built in the predominately German - Renaissance style.  Construction started in 1875 and it took almost 40 years to finish it....quite believable when you see the design and the intricately carved wood everywhere...even had a nargile room with some small old pipes.  It was used as a hotel during Ceausescu's time and apparently there were a few US presidents who stayed there.  The photo fee or 'tax' as they like to say it was extortion so I snapped over a 100 photos of the place...which I will post later.  When we emerged from our self guided tour...even got our own stylin protection booties to wear...it was pouring and slight wisps of the fog were starting to cover the mountain forests surrounding the castle

Had lunch at a non-descript place later on, listening to Mexican Cumbia music and enjoying an actual 'non-smoking' section.  I was going to whip out something sharp if anyone dared to light up..but fortunately didn't have to.  It was a brief respite from the typical Romanian culture of do whatever you can get away with...which apparently is rubbing off on me.  I was waiting in a bit of a group for a coffee near the Castle at this cafe and suddenly this long line of well-behaved English tourists queued next to me...and of course, I was suddenly the person who wasn't in line.  After a brief pleasant chat, one of the ladies let me when it was my turn and I got my cappuccino.   Aside from the smoking issues, people are quite nice here and it really reminds me of Latin American...and all of you know how much I like Latin Culture... 

We also saw the Sinaia Monastery today which had a large Orthodox church (biserica mare) built around 1846. As with most of the Orthodox churches I have seen here, there were spectacular (although a bit dark) paintings on most of the surfaces.  Snuck a pic here and there and then wandered over to the smaller church built in the 17th Century which was unfortunately closed.  Shoved my camera through one of the side windows and got a bit of a record of the interior.

Last night my roomie and I relaxed and watched our extensive satellite stations...Grey's Anatomy..one of the best over-the-top american dramas, Scooby Doo and The Flintstones in Romanian...adds another dimension...and then Oprah...an amazing show about something called "The Forgiveness Project".  Check it out here:  http://www.theforgivenessproject.com/
Quite timely since yesterday was the anniversary of 9-11 and I think most of us would benefit from more forgiveness and compassion in our lives...

Head to Bucharest tomorrow and then on to Bulgaria...
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