Monday, November 27, 2017

A Thanksgiving Family Vacation to Remember!

During the years my family lived in England, we opted out of the traditional Thanksgiving celebration in order to travel to European destinations.  One year, Romania was the destination of choice!  In preparation for our trip, my husband and I both read Dracula and Bran Castle, a.k.a. "Dracula's castle" was a top destination on our list.  I was not a travel agent at this point and consulted with a friend who was from Eastern Europe thinking she'd be a great resource for me.  She advised me on the airport and recommended a great hotel owned by friends of her family.  Sadly, I did not do my homework and we flew into an airport...4 hours from Bran Castle.  (There were 2 others much closer.)  The hotel also didn't work out due to availability issues. That was  a great blessing in disguise!  We passed that hotel on our 4 hour trek from the airport towards Bran Castle. It was in the middle of nowhere and near nothing on our list of attractions we wished to visit!! - Moral of the story..unless your friend really is a travel agent...he or she may not be a the best resource for your travel plans!! Lucky for you though if you are reading this, you know a travel agent who is a great resource and can advise you better than my well-intentioned, but poorly informed friend!

In spite of the overwhelming stress of the poor plans, I was determined not to let the disappointing turn of events deter us from making some great family memories,  and we found other accomodations, rented a car and begin a long snowy trek from one side of Romania to the other.  

In lieu of the hotel in the middle of nowhere, we stayed in this adorable pensione right in the center of the city and were able to walk to see many attractions which included this interesting church.

 On the drive we saw the real Romania and were fascinated by the transitions between Eastern European Communist block villages interspersed with the traditional sites of horses and wagons (on the highway no less!) and women in the traditional peasant attire of dirndl skirts and kerchiefs upon their heads.

 And of course, we did make it to Bran Castle!

As well as Peles Castle which was also quite interesting.  No English tours were available the day we were there but happily a woman travelling with her husband who also didn't speak Romanian took pity on us and took us under her wing and translated the tour for us as well.

And in case you're worrying about our not having a nice Thanksgiving meal rest assured while not traditional...or even remotely what we thought we were ordering, we did indeed have a memorable Thanksgiving dinner!

Vegetarian Pizza - Romania Style

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