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.
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”.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.