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.