28 October 2010

Halloween in Transylvania

When thinking of Halloween many people think about Vampires, Dracula, Transylvania.

While Transylvania can be as spooky without any Halloween celebration, the mystery of Halloween enriches the experience. Before continuing I have to mention that all the points presented here are just some ideas and you should be accompanied by locals, or at least play common sense, take caution for wild animals and badly intended people, as well as other hazards, like for example fast-driving people on narrow roads.

The top places to visit in Tranylvania for Halloween would be:
  1. Bran Castle. This article tells more about Bran Castle
  2. Râşnov Fortified citadel - visit it by day, as a walk from the parking to the stronghold during the night is subject to encounters with bears, and this can be more than scary.
  3. Sighişoara, birth place of Vlad Dracula. You can walk through the medieval town but also go up to the church on the hill as the night falls. The German cemetery is open only during the day, pay respect when visiting it.
  4. any small villages, visited by night. Go for example to Feldioara and walk up to the ruins of the fortification, but also visit the church and the cemetery.
  5. Take/rent a bike and ride on a local road connecting two small villages, by the sunset. Wild animals are still plenty in Transylvania, so I would always suggest being accompanied by a support car.
  6. Visit any Gypsy village close to the towns, this can be more spooky that you are looking for.
  7. Go to the cheapest possible pub in Braşov, Mediaş or other town and try to resist there for more than one hour :)
  8. Go to Sibiu and take a walk on the narrow streets around the historic center be amazed by your own shadow projected by old lamps on the walls of medieval houses and try to distinguish voices in the wind.
Romanian tour-operators offer tours that can take you to all this places, but I would suggest NOT buying a "Halloween Tour", as this can indulge quite a strong feeling of "fake", "made for tourists". I would instead go to a company offering custom made tours and ask them for a tour around Transylvania and maybe other parts of Romania, with a bias towards spooky things. I would recommend Outdoor Holidays for the experience they have with Transylvania as well as for the fact that they do offer many custom made tours and can customize existing tours.

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