14 signs it’s your first time in Romania

Peles Castle_firma
Ranked 6th most beautiful castle in the world, Peles is certainly one of Romania’s gems. It also cost Romanians a fortune to build

Sure you heard of Romania Transylvania from Bram Stoker’s bestseller but here are 14 things that probably surprised you once you entered Dracula’s land.


1. Prior to heading to Romania you had no clue Transylvania is actually one of the country’s regions. And as a matter of fact, you didn’t know where Romania was either.

2. You were surprised to find out that Bran Castle is not exactly Dracula’s place but just a money-making foreign tourist attraction.

Bran Castle. Romanians have better castles but this one makes most money.
Bran Castle. Romanians have better castles but this one makes most money.

3. You didn’t know Bram Stoker’s Dracula was inspired by a ruthless medieval lord and you secretly still hope the vampire story is real.

4. When hiking you often see signs with “Atenţie, zonă frecventată de urşi!!!”. If you ask your Romanian friend what it means, he will casually answer “Oh, it just says there’re plenty of bears around”.

Quoting a great philosopher of our time:
Quoting a great philosopher of our time: “Can’t touch this” (M.C. Hammer)

5. No matter where you go you see people making barbecues – it can be by the side of the road, in a river valley, on the mountaintop, at the seaside, in the delta, in some random wetland or even on the top of one of those nice communist blocks. Wait, and of course on their balconies!

Romanians are big about their barbeques.
Romanians are big about their barbeques.

6. You can make out quite a lot of the language when you read it but really, Romanians sound like some French who lived in Italy and were eventually captured by Russians.

7. First day in Bucharest and you’re a bit disappointed. By the second day you can’t remember what you did the previous day. Must.cure.hangover…

8. You’re naïve enough to think Bucharest taxi drivers can be honest, although you’ve already been warned by your friends.

People's House in Bucharest is only second in size to the Pentagon. And yes, sometimes Romanians throw a huge bbq party there.
People’s House in Bucharest is only second in size to the Pentagon. And yes, sometimes Romanians throw a huge bbq party there.

9. You’ll see horse carts everywhere on the road. Sometimes the cart is full of hay and on top of the hay there’re kids. Sometimes the cart is full of scrap metal and kids. Sometimes you’re in the cart if hitch-hiking was not that productive.

Top class horse cart in Busteni, Romania. VIP exclusive.
Top class horse cart in Busteni, Romania. VIP exclusive.

10. You’re bewildered when someone comes to you holding a lamb in his arms and asks you to pet the poor animal in return for some change. Irreversibly, the lamb’s name is “Vasilică” and “he’ll bring you luck”.

11. You might have expected stray dogs running free, but stray cows?

12. You’re excited about the low train fares but your excitement soon fades out when you’re spending over three hours for a 100km ride.

'High-speed' Romanian train.
‘High-speed’ Romanian train.

13. The rate of people getting excited when you tell them you’re a foreigner is very high. So is the alcohol content of the brandy they’ll continuously feed you with as a sign of hospitality and friendship.

14. Although you can camp pretty much anywhere, you’re always thinking back at point 4.

Afraid of bears? Try a campfire.
Afraid of bears? Try a campfire.
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