We arrived in Brasov late afternoon on Wednesday and took the free, interesting, and informative walking tour. This gave us the opportunity to explore the surrounding Transylvania on Thursday.
We started with the bears. About thirty minutes outside of Brashov, we turned onto a dusty, pot-holed dirt road and made our way to the 70 hectare brown bear sanctuary Libearty outside of Zarnesti. With the help of the gentle guide, we obseved some of the 81 bears that have found their home here – rescued from mostly abusive situations. She said each bear has its own personality, but her favorite was a friendly blind bear, Max, who came out for a visit after she softly called him. The bears range in color from dirty blonde to almost black, and are assorted sizes – the growth of many were affected by their unfortunate beginnings. Thankfully these bears have been rescued from living cruel lives as “entertainers” or inappropriately as “pets” (legal up until two years ago) and are being cared for in the next best situation to being in the wild where they would most definitely not survive. Oh. They get to eat LOTS of honey too 🙂
Back in the car to wind our way over the mountains and through the beautiful Transylvanian forest, past the junky souvenir strips (what’s with all these garden gnomes??) and small stands of cheese, honey, and water bottles filled with brightly colored mysterious liquid. We find Peles, the royal Romainan castle we are looking for. It is sufficiently opulent wih beautiful furnishings and 161 rooms (30 of them bathrooms); it was built as a summer home to the Romanian king at the end of the 1800s and took 39 years to complete.
After a full day in the car we refresh with Romanian white wine and start toward the Restaurant Transilvania (someone has been on TripAdvisor!) for some local cuisine. As we approach the square we hear music and see a crowd of people forming an impromptu dance floor. These couples are not shuffling around in circles. They are actually dancing cheek to cheek, anticipating each others steps, enjoying the ritual and each other- you can tell by their faces and the way they move.
So far we have not encountered one blood-sucking vampire….Another delightful day, just Honeybuns and me ♥