Peles Castle and Zarnesti Gorge

An early morning scooter ride in the cold mountain air, took us across the mountains to Sinaia and the Royal Castle of Peles.
The castle was built for Carol I.  Construction took place between 1873 and 1914.  It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style and no expense was spared.  We entered the property from the inner courtyard which was decorated with murals.

The first room we entered was originally another open courtyard but now has a retractable glass roof.  The carpentry in this room was outstanding.  We were particularly taken with the spiral staircase.

Around the room were marquetry pictures of German Castles.  King Carol was German, he was born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, and one of the marquetry pictures was the castle he was born in.

The castle is now a museum and each room full of treasures and art from around the world.  The weaponry room contained weapons which had been used in wars.

The family moto was on the ceiling of this room, it roughly translates to "Nothing without God".

The stain glass windows were exquisite.  This one which was in the music room shows scenes from fairy tales.

The assembly rooms were very ornate with gilded wooden ceilings and Murano glass chandeliers from Venice.

The ornate mirrors also originate from Venice.

Here are two shots of the first room we came into.  This time from the second floor.  This is the retractable glass ceiling.

Again, that superb spiral staircase.

Most of the second floor was for the bedrooms and private apartments.  There were 80 of these rooms, we only saw a few of them.  The one below was a royal guest bedroom.  All of them had electricity, bathrooms and central heating, as well as an elevator to reach the second floor, all the mod cons you don't normally see in castles.

Within the Royal Complex there were several other buildings, the most important one of these was Pelisor Castle built for King Ferdinand.

Back to the scooter for our return journey and a second attempt to find Zarnesti Gorge.  Armed with a map and verbal instructions from the Tourist Information Office we went back up the road we tried yesterday and this time persevered with the gravel road and finally arriving at the start of the gorge.
A stroll through the narrow gorge and beech forest made a fitting end to our stay in this area.


Rasnov Fortress and Bran Castle

After an early start and an abortive attempt to find the Zarnesti gorge walk, we made our way to the Rasnov Fortress.
Also known as Rasnov Citadel, this impressive defensive system began life in about 1331 and was built by the Teutonic Knights to protect them from the invading Tartars.
It had nine towers two Bastions and a draw bridge.
The last siege of Rasnov was in 1690 during the final Ottoman invasion.

From here we returned to our Campsite for lunch.
Later walking into the village we decided to Visit Bran Castle.
This castle was originally built by the Teutonic Knights in 1212 AD but has seen many changes over the centuries. Despite its supposed linkage to Vlad Tepes alias Dracula, it is mostly myth.
It is however well worth a Visit.
Most of the rooms had been adapted between the wars to accommodate  Queen Marie of Romania.  Granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

On our way back we saw this cow trying to cross the road much to the amusement of the two motorhomes.


Having settled into our campsite at Camping Vampire in Bran and had a couple of days relaxing we set off today for a city tour of Brasov.
Brasov is known as the Crown City because its cultural centre and its monuments and architecture.
The main focal point of the town is the main square which has beautiful buildings surrounding it.

The History museum (The old Council House)
 The Orthodox Cathedral

and in the south corner stands the Black Church.

After picking up a tourist map and taking a quick coffee break we set off in earnest.
First stop St Catherines gate.
Next stop down to St Nicholas church with its pretty towers.
We then passed the Synagogue and Rope street (The narrowest street in the Old Town)and headed up to the Promenade which overlooks the city walls.

Along the walk we passed the Weavers Bastion and then to the cable car to take us to the Panorama.

Just a few of the lovely buildings in this peaceful city.
Hollywood style sign.


The Tourist Office

A strangely wonky door.

The Citadel is in the top left corner of this picture 
Its as near as we got as someone refused to climb any more steps.

The Black and the White Towers
A little back lane.

A Great day out, thoroughly recommended