Although Bucharest was the starting city for Blake and I in Romania, we soon realized it would be more fun to see other parts of the country, and were recommended this small Transylvanian city. Bucharest had a nice old town center, but it did not have a particularly welcoming feel, but when we stepped off the train into this city, things immediately seemed better in all the best ways. Green trees lined the roads, the buildings appeared far more cultural and rustic, rolling hills surrounded from every side, and the hustle and bustle of the big city was replaced by calm residents and fresh air.
But there was something that particularly stood out about Brasov. Maybe it was the architecture, maybe it was the surrounding nature, or maybe it was the fact that everyone seemed to be tall and thin with pale skin and dark hair. But for some reason, Brasov looked and felt exactly as I had imagined Transylvania. It just had a certain lore to it, and it was amazing. Whether it was walking down the quiet city streets with the baroque architectures or climbing through the forests on the outskirts of the city, this feeling seemed everpresent. Except for one feature.
Overlooking the city on a green mountain covered in trees was a large sign that read BRASOV in large white block letters, similar to that of the HOLLYWOOD sign in Los Angeles. It seemed very out of place, but none the less, I thought it was hilarious, and on our first day there, Blake and I decided to climb up to it. We thought it would be awesome to get as close as we can (which apparently turned out to being on it), and it was. But we didn't consider the views that we would see on the way up. About twenty minutes into our climb, I decided to look out over the city and was mesmerized by what I saw.
Down below, in every direction, little red roofs covering the old city buildings turned hear and there in interwoven spirals and patterns, cobblestone roads crawled here and there like snakes through the grass, and green trees sprouted up from the ground nearly everywhere. And it got even better. Every step further up, more and more was visible, and soon, the open country, beyond the city confines, came into view as well. The only downside of this whole experience though happened to be the existence of a cable car that went from the city to the top of the mountain, which to me was cheating. It was an affront to nature, getting a chance to see the views without putting in any of the work.
But regardless, the city and surrounding country are both incredible and worth a several day visit. The mini old town is so picturesque and the restaurants there are delicious and very very very affordable. Plus, being in Transylvania, the city is pretty close to Bran Castle (the inspiration for the novel Dracula) which is definitely worth a visit, even though the actual man, Vladislav Dracul/Vlad the Impaler, did not actually live there.