Most people come to Transylvania for one reason.
The area’s largest city, Brasov is usually used as a base for which to explore Bran Castle. This is supposedly where Vlad the Impaler, who Dracula was based on, lived.
We didn’t go.
Instead, Dave and I decided to visit Rasnov Fortress, 15km outside of Brasov. This was for several reasons. The incredible views, the lack of tourists and the fact that the fortress is a lot better preserved.
Unable to find much in the way of directions on how to get to Rasnov, our morning was spent trying to figure out which bus to take, wondering if we were actually on the right bus and attempting to guess which stop was the right one to get off at. As always, my inability to commit and make a judgment call resulted in us missing our stop and having a long walk back into the Old Town.
As we approached the fortress, I gazed up at the 150 metre climb and for the first time in my life I was filled with confidence. Having spent the past few weeks wandering around European cities and lugging my backpack from hostel to hostel, my fitness levels were at an all time high.
For the first time in my life, I actually felt healthy. I knew Dave hadn’t yet noticed the change in me and knew this would be the perfect opportunity to impress him.
“Dave! What would you rate my fitness level as?!”
Smiling slightly, I knew what the answer would be before the question had even left my lips. As I listened to Dave unfairly compare my fitness levels to that of a sloth, rage and fury begin to bubble up inside of me.
I wasn’t that unfit. I wasn’t.
Taking a deep breath, I swiftly raised my hand to silence Dave and began to run. Climbing higher and higher, I tripped over rocks and stumbled up steps. I was determined to reach the top in minutes.
For that very short moment in time, I was a beast. I was a beast of fitness and I was absolutely massacring anything that stood in my way.
With my sides feeling like they’d ripped in half, my lungs burning, my eyes weeping, my clothes drenched in sweat, and my hair the size of a small bush, I conquered the hill and arrived at the fortress.
“HAHA! Bet you didn’t see that coming!” I turned triumphantly to face Dave, cheeks flushed, fingers jabbing the air.
And then my legs gave way and I fell over.
…And then I felt so dizzy that I had to sit down for over an hour because my legs were so weak that I couldn’t move. Dave explored the fortress. I hid in the watchtower and sang Bob Dylan songs.
Eventually, my legs started to strengthen and the room stopped spinning. Gingerly walking outside and up to the fortress walls, I found a view that made all of the trauma worth it.
Rasnov was so adorable!
And then I found the Hollywood-style sign… slightly less adorable.
Wobbling back down the hill again, it was time for us to head back to Brasov. There was just one problem though.
We didn’t know how.
Yet again, we had been given very little information about how to get back. We had found a sentence on WikiTravel informing us that there was a bus leaving every hour.
Picking a random bus station, we stood for exactly 59 minutes while we waited for the next bus. I kept myself amused myself by making up songs about Romanian drivers and singing them every time a car passed.
“Boy racer! He’s racing! Racing along at the speeeeeed of light”
Dave went for a lot of walks.
When the bus finally arrived, we were both exhausted. My vocal chords were strained and Dave’s eardrums had split. Arriving back in Brasov late afternoon, there was only one thing on my mind.
And fortunately our apartment owner knew just the place to get it.
Oh. My. God.
Sergiana is a traditional Romanian restaurant, which basically means that there is a 40 page menu consisting of meat.
So. Much. Meat.
With our mouths salivating from the incredible smell our waitress then brought over the definition of heaven.
It was a plate of pork fat.
For the first time in my entire life, I literally cried with happiness over food. I sat there and for five beautiful minutes I sobbed.
It was life changing, and it was the perfect way to end our time in Brasov.
As Dave and I packed up our bags the following morning, we both agreed that we would be returning to Brasov for a few months sometime in the future.
And we would definitely be eating at Sergiana for every single meal.