Travelling, Photographing when seeking for Dracula

Walking on Dracula`s footsteps. Bucharest to Poienari Arges, Vidraru Dam and then trying to cross the Fagaras  mountains  to Transylvania on Transfagarasan road

Another Sunday, another escape. This time, I wasn`t after a hard working week but after a night in a club. Hmm…maybe someday I should cover the nightlife in Bucharest too. Till then, though, I shall return to my story, which goes like this.

I was feeling like being hit by a train when Crina called me and asked me to join he for a tip. Destination, as always, anywhere as long as is far from Bucharest. Of course, I could not say no. Even if I were dead the word “road trip “ would have returned me from the land of the dead instantly. Still sleepy we agreed to take the road to Curtea de Arges and from there to go to Poienari Fortress and after although we knew the Transfagarasan road is closed due to the snow at high altitude to go till the snow is too thick and we can’t continue.  Well, we were hoping that there would not be any snow and we will be able to cross the mountains to Transylvania

Dracula`s fortress. Poienari, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Dracula`s fortress. Poienari, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

From Bucharest to Poienari Arges are 180 km and to go there you have to take E81 till Pitesti and from there DN7C, The road is passing through Curtea de Arges home of a beautiful monastery but that Sunday was the out in the nature Sunday, so we did not stopped to visit the monastery.

Not to many know about Poienari Fortress and its legend because most of the people when they say Dracula they say, Bran Castle. Poienari was not built by Vlad Tepes a.k,a Dracula, only the walls were reinforced by him. Built up on the hill where the eagles are flying, it has a strategic position.

The view from Dracula`s fortress, Poienari Arges, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
The view from Dracula`s fortress, Poienari Arges, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

When the Turks invaded the South and they wanted to capture Vlad a.k.a Dracula they kept the fortress under siege but they were not able to capture Dracula because he was able to flee using a secret tunnel.

Dracula`s fortress. Poienari, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Dracula`s fortress. Poienari, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Being there I wanted to have a chit=chat with my infamous cousin from another mother, but although I haven’t left any stone unturned I could not find him.

I have to admit that my infamous cousin had a good PR at that time which made him one of the most famous figures in Romanian history. His reputation preceded him. He was smart educated at sultan court in Istanbul so he knew the Turk`s  psychology very well.In those times, cruelty was the only psychological weapon which won the wars. Most likely his mentor was Tamerlan the Mongol king, famous for his cruelty. A very strong city surrender to Tamerlan out of fear for his reputation, he used to massacre the entire population of the cities which were not surrendering to him.

Dracula`s fortress. Poienari, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Dracula`s fortress. Poienari, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

To view from up there was amazing, but to be up there I had to climb over 1000 stairs. That made me realise I am out of shape and I should exercise more because while climbing I was out of breath few times. It was hard to get there but when I got there the sight of the mountains filled my heart with nostalgia. Not very far from there is the infamous Stan Valley, the place where my friend died last year.

Vidraru Lake, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Vidraru Lake, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Hansy The Dog, Vidraru, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Hansy The Dog, Vidraru, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The road from Poienari to Vidraru Dam is winding up and it is quite spectacular. Vidraru Dam is the biggest in Romania and it was built in 1966. From Vidraru the road for 50 km along the lake shore till Capra lodge.

Transfagarasan Road, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan Road, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Capra lodge is placed at almost 1600 m altitude so the moment we  got closer to it the entire scenery was changing. The forest disappeared because we were already in an alpine region and the mountain peaks were greeting us. That greet felt a bit condescending since the mountains were looking down to us.

Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Capra Lodge, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Capra Lodge, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

I have been on Transfagarasan crossing the mountains so many times and I thought it had nothing to surprise me with anymore. I was so wrong!!!. I have never been here so early spring and I loved how the green was becoming so strong so bright. How the patches of snow were not just some confused soldiers of an army of snow but were decorating so beautifully the mountains.

Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Here on the mountain was early Spring while in Bucharest was the beginning of Summer. I liked to have the Spring feeling all over again. I do not have any nostalgia for the snow but it felt so good to see it. Well, I also knew that in few hours I will be back to my Summer.

Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Transfagarasan, Fagaras Mountains, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

We were hoping that the road will be cleared out so we can pass on the other side but the authorities left the task on clearing the road in the hands of nature. I guess is cheaper this way.

Since we could not cross the mountain we had to return on the same road we came. I though it will be a bit boring but my heart was filled with all the images I was seeing the entire day, not to mention I was tired too.

I sat on my chair looking on the side mirror watching the sun going down thinking “God, what a beautiful day!!!“. The car was running on the highway, in the back the sun was setting and  the music was at maximum. It was the end of another day. The tiredness I was feeling was mixed up with  a bit of happiness  and bliss. I was thinking….“I have what I want! I travel!“…

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