|Sand, Pebbles, Brush On The Road|
Our goal for today is the town of Comana, where scholars believe Vlad Tepes (Dracula) is buried in a monastery. We read that there is a plaque showing where he was killed and some kind of memorial park, too. The only thing was that all of this would be within a Romanian National Park, the Parcul National Comana. Inside the park are mostly dirt roads and in order to find all of these spots I set my GPS to allow the use of ‘dirt’ roads to get us there.
|Swamp Bridges, Very Narrow And Rickety|
All went well until we came to the small town of Luica. Until Luica we had tarred roads, but then……our GPS lead us to roads I can only describe as farmer’s roads. I drove on just the faintest hint of a road in some spots, grassy, overgrown areas where not even a tire track was visible. I came to bogs where I literally drove the car through a corn field to get back on the ‘road’ again. Pointy, rough gravel here and there that made me glad we had good tires. A flat in this nowhere land would have been a real problem. I felt my way through those paths, rather than really knowing which way to drive.
|Trying To Find Our Way|
The GPS was not really a help, because it told us the general direction, but all the details by this time were gone. It was a tense drive in a car; I would not have done this on my bike. The setting on the GPS allowed ‘dirt’ roads now, but what do you do when you don’t even see the road? Or when you come to a fork in the road and you have no clue which leg to take? I could swell with pride and tell you yes, we made it without incident, but we must have had a good luck charm someplace in the car. It sure was not my driving alone that got us through this. Maybe it was good to have Carol in the car! Even the end, just before we got to the hill town of Comana, was a drive up a hill that was so rutted and steep that I had a hard time picking my way up this lane.
|Comana Monastery Church|
There is much controversy over the location of Vlad III's tomb. It is said by the local people that he was buried in the Monastery Church on an Island in Lake Snagov, on the northern edge of the modern city of Bucharest, in accordance with the traditions of his time. But recently, historians have questioned whether Vlad might actually be buried at the Monastery of Comana, between Bucharest and the Danube, which he founded and built and which is close to the presumed location of the battle in which Vlad was killed, according to ProfessorCurta.
Comana has one Monastery; a rather large complex that is now being re-furbished. Construction was going on all around the court yard. Some holes were dug around the outside walls, some electrical lines were being installed, and it was a bit of a mess within this monastery. Inside the church however it was peaceful and one could forget all the chaos outside. Carol was looking for the grave of Vlad Tepes. Scholars believe the actual grave site is within this monastery or even within this church. Along with Tepes there were 3 or 4 ‘other’ famous people buried here, but we could not read the tombstones in the floor because they were all covered up with rugs or cloth. We knew the battle ground where Tepes fell or was murdered was not far from this spot, but that is what we have to search for tomorrow. Today we just try to find the actual burial site. We asked workers outside, we asked the proprietor of our hotel, we asked anybody we saw but nobody spoke English and our Romanian sign language did not get us anywhere either. We looked for any kind of map, brochure, sign, etc. yet found nothing to substantiate the claim of Comana that this is the final resting place of Dracula.
|Do I Go Straight Or Take A Left ?|
We sure drove in a crazy way to get to this town. Comana is on a bluff, overlooking a huge swamp. We came in the back way, alongside this swamp, through fields.
A battle was fought centuries in the past, near this small hamlet of a town and Vlad Tepes was killed somewhere nearby. The details of his death are sketchy at best. Some say he was murdered, some say he was slain in battle by the Turks or by his own soldiers. Who knows, it was a long time ago.
|They Have The Right Of Way, They Live Here|
|Going Home To The Barn|
Tomorrow we will take another dirt road to the actual spot where it is believed that Vlad Tepes died.