Tuesday 23 July 2013

Our Day Off

Yesterday was our day off and it was SO nice to get away and relax as a family and see a little more of Romania. We were able to borrow a car for the day which made our day much more enjoyable!

We went to Brasov in the morning to stock up on baby essentials for the week (diapers, wipes, baby food...nothing too exciting) and to see a little more of the city. Brasov is a beautiful city with a nice combination of old charm and modern conveniences. There are a few long streets in the old town with cute little shops and restaurants and we enjoyed walking, window shopping and tasting some of the local fare. 

Jerry found a guitar shop, so of course we had to go in. It opened in 1837 and has been a music shop ever since. We're pretty sure the tile floor is original...the person who laid the tiles created a mosaic pattern of black marble in the shape of a music staff with a treble clef. It was pretty cool!

Some Brasov sights:

One "new" thing for us (or maybe old-new...takes some getting used to again) is the double and triple lane traffic circles. You're never really sure when or if you're cutting somebody off, especially when the lane markers are questionable or non-existent:

After our morning in Brasov we headed to Bran, a town about 12km past Râsnov famous for Dracula's Castle. It's a bit of a tourist trap but it would have been a shame to be so close to it and not see it. It was built in the 13th century and the legend is that Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Impaler) stayed at the castle for a short while on his way to Brasov. Vlad and the castle were the inspiration behind Bram Stoker's Dracula, but the connection is a pretty loose one. Stoker never actually visited the castle or Transylvania.

The castle belonged to the Romanian royal family until it was seized by the communist regime in 1948. It was restored to the royal family after the end of communism and opened as a museum shortly after that. 
The inside of the castle is very beautiful and we had fun walking through its tiny passageways and secret staircases:

The inner courtyard:

The outside of the castle:

We told Miriam to say goodbye to the castle, so she waved bye-bye:

After our tour we took a micro-nap on the grass outside:

And because one castle just isn't enough for one day, we drove to Râsnov to see if we could tour the castle there as well:

We drove part of the way up and were informed that the castle was closed to the public because of a movie shoot, but we were allowed to walk the rest of the way up and tour the outside of the castle, so we did. And we are so glad we did! Check out these views:

(Just to give you a frame of reference, the big V in the RÂSNOV sign is right outside the doorway above and about 6 feet down)

And we managed to get a somewhat-successful family photo:

By this point we had had enough castles for one day and decided to grab some dinner in Brasov:

It was tasty! And it totally redeemed Romanian pizza for us...Romanians like to put ketchup on their pizza and in restaurants it is sometimes served with ketchup instead of tomato sauce (yuck!). We discovered this the hard way once, and thankfully this pizza was made with real tomato sauce. Even Miriam liked it!

Jerry is on an 8-hour hike today with the teen camp and Miriam and I decided to stay back to recover from yesterday's excitement and to help with some of the housekeeping while the centre is quiet. His head is feeling a lot better and Miriam only woke up once in the night last night which allowed us to get a little more sleep than we have been getting. 

We hope you're all enjoying the sunshine and summer as much as we are!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chrissie, Jerry & Miriam!

    What an amazing experience you are having! Thank you so much for sharing your stories and pictures and the amazing things God is doing in your lives and all those lives you're touching along the way! Many blessings to you all! I am "traveling through Europe" through several Blogs of people I know......it has been a great distraction for me as I work my new knee back into good functioning order! I've also been blessed by your music as I listen to your CD regularly as I do my exercises! Thank you so much for sharing of yourselves with others......true inspiration to the rest of us!

    Praying good health, lots of sleep and safe travels on those gravel roads!