Sighisoara, a medieval town in Romania. The birth place to Vlad Tepes, Vlad III, the Prince of Wallachia, also known, as Vlad the Impaler or using his patronyamic as Draculea or…
As you can imagine Sighisoara is a little preoccupied with Dracula, although in some ways I’d like it better if they’d concentrate on Vlad III.
We woke up without any Vampire incursions that we were aware of and had breakfast in the hotel. We stayed in the Hotel Korona. Not sure what I can say about this place. It gets a top rating in Booking.com yet I find it laking. The room was superb, really could not fault it. There’s a pool, gym, bar and restaurant with reasonably priced food but where they let themselves down is the service. Or rather the lack there of.
Still after the buffet breakfast included in the room rate we walked into the old Citadel. One of the so called best preserved UNESCO world heritage preserved citadels of its kind in Europe. It did not disappoint. We spent quite a bit of time just wandering the streets of the old citadel.
We did pay the entrance fee (including the ‘photography’ charge of 30 LEI) and climb the Clock Tower which includes a ‘history Museum’ on the various levels as you wind your way up to the upper level for an amazing lookout over the town.
While I took some photo’s I mainly took them since I felt I’d paid for it so I was going to take some. Not sure I’d really recommend paying for it (given the price tag) unless there was something you really want to take a photo of. Most of the exhibits are behind glass so you kind of get the glare and reflection from the display case. For a couple of local dollars, sure, for 30, well not sure I’d pay it if I knew what I do know. Still its easy enough to go back down the stairs and pay to take a photo if there really is something you want a photo of.
After that one we entered the Medieval Arms museum for 6 LEI – we didn’t pay the somewhat exorbitant price take to take photo’s this time being forward from our previous experience. So no photos. Its a small little museum containing an exhibit of well, as the name suggests, medieval arms. Kind of interesting and doesn’t take long consisting of three small rooms. Still one of the things that struck me was on of the descriptions regarding Vlad joining the Order of the Dragon which it sated was in order to fight against the heretical beliefs of the muslims and christians. I found that interesting because I always thought that the Order of the Dragon was founded among other things to defend christianity against the ‘eastern empire’. Perhaps it was just a mistranslation, perhaps not, interesting anyway at least to me.
Besides our semi aimless wandering we also made our way to the covered walkway leading up to the church on the hill. The covered walkway was kind of interesting, thankfully, because when we got to the top of all the stairs to the ‘church on the hill’ we found, as has been our luck, a hand written sign in english declaring ‘Closed Today’. What could we do except make our way back down the stairs.
We decided since we were in the old citadel that we should have lunch in the aptly named Casa Vlad Dracul. So named because apparently the restaurant sits in the very house that Vlad Tepes was born. Somewhat of a shame its a restaurant however I can not faust the service or food. Both were top rate.
One of the funny things, or so we though was when we were told on asking for ‘non smoking’ (Romania still has that disgusting habit of allowing smoking indoors at restaurants) we were told that it was booked. However they gave us a table in the corner. So we entered to see an empty non-smoking section.
Of course our sense of humour intervened and led us to speculate that ‘obviously’ the non-smpking section was filled with vampires which is why the room appeared empty in our photo’s and they had ‘glamoured’ us which is why we couldn’t ‘see’ them.
The conversation went down hill from there, but we found it terribly amusing….
After lunch we paid to go up to see the room where Vlad was ‘allegedly’ born. Now I’m thinking they should have warned us. You see we got up there to find a ‘dracular’ themed room with a film crew. We immediately tried to excuse ourselves only to be pushed forward and told, ‘no please go in..’
There was a fake dracular in a coffin who ‘suddenly’ sat up hands doing that whole claw thing and unfortunately we both laughed. The poor guy’s face beneath all that makeup was woful. Then the film crew pounced and started asking all these questions regarding if we’d known about Dracular. Of course we both thought at this point they were taking the piss. Um, so that Australian sense of humour kicked in and Cass started with the whole
‘…dracular? no he’s not real surely? We thought he was just a story, what about werwolves, are they real too…’ and it went on from there.
Until we discovered they really did want to know if we knew about the legend of Dracula/Vlad Tepes…….
Words fail me.
Still it was a fun counterpoint to the day and I enjoyed our visit to Sighisoara even if I do wish they would concentrate more on Vlad than Dracula.