Unsurprising confession time: I’m slightly obsessed with castles. Peleș Castle is a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains, near Sinaia, in Prahova County, Romania, on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia, built between 1873 and 1914.
I blame Hollywood, Walt Disney and a raging childhood addiction to turning pages that transported a young Kiwi girl from a humble New Zealand backyard to galloping around the world astride a noble steed, tresses streaming in the air.
The draw of Dracula’s Castle and the historic coup over communist tyrant Nicolae Ceaușescu was enough to fire up our curiosity about visiting Romania, but I didn’t quite expect how hard it would be to get out of my head.
Sometimes we travel to escape, and sometimes we travel to explore – our 4.5 day trip to Romania, staying in Bucharest and Brasov – was a combination of the two.
I have a confession to make. I have a full blown cat addiction, and, I’m not even sorry. Those soft little ears, twitching tails and indifferent faces cast a spell that have us dashing around the globe and visiting enough cat cafes to have a shortlist of 10 of the best cat cafes in the world. All the while a sleepy little tabby cat snoozes at home in London…
Once we’ve booked flights and perused hotels, Google searching for a cat cafe is one of the first things I do – and I’ve been accused of carrying out those 3 tasks in a slightly different order. It’s something I can neither confirm nor deny, but we do have a rather high hit rate of booking accommodation close to cat cafes. I’ll just leave that there, shall I?
2018 has been full of travel, adventures, bad hairstyles in photos and explorations.
My first couple of months were concentrated on building my business and scooting around London (fitting in a few bits of London sightseeing and restaurant visits) before we flew to Romania for a week to explore the Transylvanian castles and political history of Bucharest. I fitted in a cheeky solo beach break in Bournemouth in the middle of a busy project, I explored Basel in Switzerland solo (where in one day I managed 3 meals in 3 countries) and went on a group trip to Cologne, Germany.
Bran Castle. AKA the home of Dracula (or is it?), the origin of every Vampire movie, novel, book and a national monument and landmark in Romania. When Mr Kiwi and I were scouring the internet for unique holiday destinations, we jokingly mentioned going to Romania to visit Dracula’s Castle – but it turns out that both of us were quite interested, and within an evening we had shaped a holiday around it.
We spent the first couple of days based in Bucharest – we stayed in the lovely and very central Bucharest Grand Hotel, we explored the city centre of the Romanian capital and on the way north to stay for 48 hours in Brasov, we stopped in the beautiful Peles Castle before we reached our intended destination – the home of Dracula.