A week in Transylvania

A few weeks ago, when people could still get out of the houses, when everything was still normal, we set off on the road through the mountains of Romania. I was kind of longing for my dearest country, to walk its paths up there and feel their energy and vibrations, after some years abroad. You know what they say, there is no place like home.

We made the first stop in Brasov, on the mountain roads; you could feel in the ears the air pressure as we advanced higher, towards the tall peaks, passing by the trees and the pine trees, as they began to slowly turn green; above, on the highest peaks there were white, smooth surfaces, shining in the March sunlight. The cold, clean air, way to too clean and refreshing, blessing your lungs and clearing your brain; it was such a pleasant feeling.

We had arrived around noon; I have always been delighted by the architecture of Brasov, of Transylvania in general, the shape of the houses, the windows, the diversity of colors and the eyes coming out of the large, red, brown roofs, almost looking at you, the decorations of the imposing big buildings, in German style.

The air feels different there than down south; maybe the feeling that the mountains are closer, that you are in the middle of them, that man has made a home in the wild, is once a bit comforting; we have created cities on the highest peaks, we have crossed difficult paths.

The next day we went to Bran Castle, of course we couldn’t miss it. Unfortunately, it was closed, as expected, because of Covid-19. We could at least look at it from the outside, look at his old walls, the legend that inspired so many Hollywood movies and scenarios. Every time I’ve told my foreign friends that Dracula was a real person, they were looking at me a little weird: “Ah, yes, he was a vampire!” Hmm, not really, but just as thirsty for blood for sure. We’ve tried to find an open restaurant, but we couldn’t, everything was closed. At least it was warm outside, we could walk around and take some nice pictures. Through the wilderness that was to come in a few weeks, we’ve found a very friendly little puppy that kept us company for a little while.

After a few days in Brasov, we left for Sibiu. The city founded in the twelfth century exudes beauty, history and antiquity. From the narrow, colorful, cobbled streets, to the large markets, with huge turrets and clocks, Sibiu is an architectural jewel without a doubt. Going through its twisted streets, it transports you into other centuries, long gone with other stories and other characters; the sun sets slowly over the horizon, the Bridge of Lies remains illuminated by the large lanterns, wrapped in a golden light, of historical film. You feel surrounded by a unique scenario, which makes you reflect on life itself, who you are, where you come from and what you are heading for, or it was only me…

Sighișoara (Schäßburg in German) was the next stop. The origin of the fortress dates back to Roman times, later becoming a German city, being one of the best preserved medieval cities, under UNESCO patronage. It was the birthplace of Vlad Țepeș as well, known as Count Dracula mentioned earlier. The name was given by Vlad himself, in a 1431 document, before getting the name Civitas de Seguswar. Sighisoara wasn’t one of the richest German cities, but it became the most popular, probably due to the high towers, narrow streets, the School Stairs; the magnificent views, the old churches, the colorful houses, all of them taking you in a journey back in time, to past centuries.

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