Dracula’s Casa. Way more of a fiesta when he’s around.

If that sounds like a complaint, it’s not. I’m pretty thrilled I’m planning this trip for myself, never know two days in advance what country I’ll be in and I still end up at places known as Dracula’s Castle.

I’m just saying, to take a bus to the bus station to take a bus to a castle to take a bus to a bus, it was a journey for a couple cool photos, which as always are below.

Learned I’ve learned something, and that’s always fun. Always buy bus tickets in pairs. Big deal if you never use the second one. Bad deal when you get caught on the bus without one. See, we’d left a main city bus stop in Brasov to get to coach bus station to get to Bran. Upon our (me and my bus friends of one hour) return to the coach bus station, there was no vending machine for city bus tickets, and me, a young couple and a normal adult regular person couple got on through the back entrance. I’m not sure the other four even knew a ticket was required.

Except I was the only one with a ticket. And no one on any city bus yet has checked to see if I’ve actually had a ticket stamped by the little machines throughout the bus. But they were checking this time, and all four of them got hauled off by two attendants to the police station, passports requested and everything. The one couple didn’t understand what was going on, I had the full idea of both sides (what they didn’t have, what they were supposed to have)… The attendant saw me explaining to them, thought I was Romanian, thought I could translate, which led to me waving off with a “no, no, American” and moments later waving with a sad and useless “good luck.”

Overnight train to Budapest, Hungary tonight. Learned that other lesson, reservation bought this time. 12 hours in a window seat. Off to my sixth country and twelfth city, for the first time hostel friendless on a leg of a journey. I’d had Jay Plovdiv to Veliko Tarnovo, seeing him again in Bucharest. Alex, Veliko Tarnovo to Bucharest, arriving one day later than her in Brasov to sleep (or Skype rant home about snores) in the bunk below her.

Not this time… Wish me luck. 🙂

Bran Castle













And goodbye, Brasov… I climbed 183 steps to take some of these photos. Yep, I counted. Lots of free time to think, folks… Gotta keep busy.







“Probably” Perfect


These umbrellas are everywhere in Brasov, and they crack me up. They want to make such a profound statement, but with the slightest insecurity, they don’t want to disappoint anyone. I think they’re brilliant. Today, I wandered the streets thinking of where else “probably” would be great to use. I ended up at the altar, letting go of my soon-to-be husband’s hands just long enough to properly air-quote as I stare into his eyes and tell him in my vows “you’re ‘probably’ the best one for me.”

I spend a lot of time alone lately, wandering, thinking, smiling and laughing at myself. Some call it “endearing,” others “unsettling.” I sat in the town square for awhile, eating ice cream and staring up at the Brasov letters in the hills, wondering how long it took to put each letter up. For how long did the hill say BRA? A couple hours, a couple days? And then BRAS?

So much thinking time.

Today was a great day to arrive in Brasov. An autumn Saturday, so many weddings. So many people in traditional Romanian formal wear, suits, tuxes, carrying canes. Really played up the whole “Transylvania” idea everyone has. A cloudy day here, it didn’t make me crabby like in Bucharest. The sun peeking through clouds just made the architecture all the more old-fashioned and mysterious.