Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Brasov(Kronstadt), RO

Brasov(Kronstadt), RO

Masks From Years Ago
Instead of the small car we ordered, we received a Skoda Octavia Sedan, a nice, large, rugged car, a much better car for the rough, Romanian roads. It was an upgrade; I paid the same price, 25 Euro per day. While the car was older, it was in perfect shape, everything worked; a diesel engine, manual shift.    Still, driving a strange car, through a city I don’t know, with standard shift which I don’t use too often these days, with the GPS not knowing all the smallest roads inside the city; it was a bit stressful to start diving off in all the traffic. But, it was also a delight to be with wheels again and not sitting and waiting for something to happen. I was glad to have Carol there to help me out with her co-piloting.
Dracula's Castle As It Looks From The Street
It Is A Long Way Up To The Castle Entrance
The Courtyard Of The Castle

We made up our minds to go and stay for 2 days in Brasov (Kronstadt), just because we were told it is a must see town. Yes, of course, it’s one more Siebenb├╝rger town. On the way we wanted to see the town of Bran and stop at the Vlad Tepes castle, said to be where Dracula lived. Bran castle was on the way to Brasov anyway, it was just a small detour from the shortest way picked by the GPS. Bran is very touristy. Everybody just stops there to see the castle and that is it. There is nothing else I remember seeing that would necessitate a stop in Bran. The Bran Castle itself was made famous by the author Bram Stokes
View From The Castle 
A Farm House On The Castle Grounds 

who wrote the most read book on Dracula. A torture chamber was available to see on the tours given in the Castle, but we opted out of that. There was a lot of information on both Bram Stoker and Vlad Tepes within the Castle. While Carol has some interest in the legend of Dracula because she read the book, it is not a must see. Yes, there is a lot of  fanfare and hoopla made of Dracula, but he was an unfortunate guy. His life and his realm were in the way of life when the Ottoman Empire happened to decide to extend their territory in the name of religion or power struggle. He was caught in the middle. Was he brutal?  
The Order Of The Dragon (Dracul in Romanian)

Yes, so was everybody else at that time and age. Was he obsessed? Maybe, but then there were very many religious zealots, just as they still exist today.
From the way I see it he was a Noble who was misguided by his life’s experiences.
On both sides, the Islamic side and the Christian side, many mistakes were made, blinded by nothing else but ‘belief’.
Not so much different than things are today, really.
Best Picture Of Vlad I Could Find 
Brasov turned out to be another large city with a historic center. The hotel we had was nice enough but a bit far away to walk into the center. There was no public transportation for us; there was no taxi. We walked all the time. It was a bit easier walking towards town, but walking back to the hotel was all uphill. Phew!  The hotel room had a balcony and a veranda in front of the room, nice. Parking was very secure in the back of the hotel under a plum tree.
The Church Was Closed On Monday
We tried to see the famous ‘Black Church’ of Brasov, but it was closed today, like every Monday. We will go back tomorrow and see what the inside of the Cathedral looks like.

On the way back we walked through Catherine’s Gate, built in 1559
Poarta Ecaterinei
Catherine's Gate (Poarta Ecaterinei) 
Catherine's Gate, erected in 1559 by the Tailors' Guild, is the only original gate to have survived from medieval times. The fairy-tale tower we see today was part of a bigger structure, which unfortunately, was demolished in 1827. The original structure can be seen at the Weavers' Bastion Museum where a large model of 16th century Brasov is displayed. The four small corner turrets (as seen in other Saxon citadels) symbolized the judicial autonomy of the Town Council which could apply, if necessary, the death penalty. Above the entrance, the tower bears the city's coat of arms: a crown on a tree trunk.     

The gate has 4 turrets, indicating that if you walk through the gate you realize that the town has the right to dish out capital punishment. As a traveler, you were made aware that once you enter, you are subject to the rules of this city. Somehow I felt this is a nice deterrent. You are totally aware that, if you don’t do as the town tells you, off comes your head. But then, it’s like that if you travel to Saudi Arabia today, right?

I told you, not much has changed when one compares the then to the now.

An Old Picture Showing The Determination Of Innocence By Weighing the Accused
The only thing might be different today is that we travel faster and see more mixtures of cultures, but then, when you look around Romania, that might not be true. Like I said before, they still have a time schedule pegged to the horse’s gait. The roads are still narrow and there are so many cultures living within Romania even today, that it seems Romania might need to be ruled differently than Canada and the U.S. or any other place in Europe. I don’t know about Romania yet, I am just traveling, looking, collecting data in my mind. Let’s see what tomorrow brings, when we walk some more through the old Brasov and explore the buildings a bit more and visit the famous Black Church. 
Today's Modern Art In Brasov

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