high in the Carpathians - in conjunction with the Company of Mysterious Journeys
Arrival at Bucharest Otopeni airport; transfer to Hotel Lebada (3*) or similar for welcome cocktail and briefing. Evening meal and documentary film.
The "Eyes" of Sibiu
"A Place thick with Shadows"
Drive across the Danubian Plain to Targoviste, mediaeval capital of Wallachia and visit the ruined court of Vlad the Impaler - the historical "Dracula". Learn about the reign of the Impaler in Targoviste. legends about his survival, his might, shrewdness and revenge! Next is the historic fortress Dracula - the ruined castle of Poienari perched high above the Arges Gorge and the village of Arefu where the unhabitants tell stories related by ancestors around a bonfire, Songs and dances then dinner and overnight in local farmhouses.
Learn about the incursions into Wallachia by the Ottoman Turks, in particular by Sultan Mohammed II (conqueror of Constantinople) in 1462, and about Vlad's bloody reputation of impaling his enemies. Climb up to Poienari ruins where Vlad was besieged and his secret escape into the mountains,aided by the villagers of Arefu. Follow in his footsteps crossing creeks and woods, fish for trout in mountain streams, pick berries and enjoy a picnic and bonfire. Overnight at the lovely Valea cu Pesti Cabana above Lake Vidraru high in the Carpathians
0845 3000 247
+44 (0)1539 531258
DAY 4 "Transylvania"
According to legend, as they reached the crest of the mountains forming the frontier between Wallachia and Transylvania, Vlad granted the Arefu people 16 mountains as pastureland as a reward for assisting him in his escape from the Turks. You will cross the spectacular Transfagarasan highway into Transylvania and descend past the deep lake above Hermannstadt (Sibiu), siad to be the cauldron from which thunder is brewed. Here the Solomonari (students of Alchemy) were said to have learnt the secrets of "Scholomance", the power to control the forces of nature, from the Devil. Only ten students were admitted at a time and one of them was detained by the Devil as payment. Stoker refers to Count Dracula having been a student here. Explore the beautiful old city of Sibiu and learn about the elements of scholomancing from local folklorists. Overnight either at Hotel Imparatul Romanilor or Hotel Casa Moraru.
DAY 5 "The Witch Trial"
Sightseeing in Sibiu then a journey through Saxon Transylvania to visit the fortified church of Biertan (Birthälm) which is protected by UNESCO. Continue to Sighisoara, the best preserved 15th century walled town in Europe, where Vlad the Impaler - Dracula was born in 1431. According to Jules Michelet, at least 200,000 women and men were burnt as witches and wizzards across Europe between the 15 and 18th centuries. The Catholic parts of Transylvania had their share of such trials and the last took place as recently as 1753, in Târgu Mures. Witness a witch-trial performed by 25 actors in period costume, using genuine prison cells and original setting. Visit the house where Prince Dracula was born then move to the Alchemy Bar. Overnight Hotel Rex or Motel Dracula.
DAY 6 "Castle Dracula. The Witch of the Count"
Prince Vlad dims out into history; Count Dracula arises from darkness, nightmares and fear! One hundred years ago,in the pages of Bram Stokers Dracula, a young English solicitor, Jonathan Harker, arrived in Bistritz on his way to Castle Dracula in the remote Borgo Pass in Transylvania. The Count instructed Harker to go to the Golden Krone hotel in Bistritz ... present day Bistrita ... You will do the same for it is the only way to reach the castle! Harker left a description of his dinner at the Golden Krone - you will take the same menu and the same wine. However, unlike Harker you are not defenceless in front of the Vampire (should he be home and not in his beloved London, with streets teeming with life. Call on a witch of the Count for a Scholomancer's experience. The old, wise woman lives alone at the edge of a wood. Her humble house, her potato field, the strawberries are all visited by stags and bears. As you embark on the final stage of your journey up the pass as a guest of Count Dracula, the following rules should be considered and obeyed: You may go anywhere about the castle, except where the doors are locked (Count Dracula to Jonathan Harker); The old centuries had, and have, powers of their own that mere modernity cannot kill. - Refrain from visiting haunted houses in the area, or private cemetries, or the woods surrounding the castle, especially at night! Dine in style before your overnight at the castle.
DAY 7 "The Magic Door closesl"
Some of the powers of the Scholomancer are now stored in your mind. Let the shadows melt into their Realm and resume your place among the living. You will depart after breakfast for the long journey back to Brasov, pausing at Sighisoara for lunch. Explore the old city then enjoy a mediaeval banquet at the "Cetate", the former citadel, with a floor show. Overnight at the Hotel Alpin in Poiana Brasov.
DAY 8 "Farewell from the Twilight Zone"
Departure from to Bucharest to catch your flight back to England. Call in at the weird castle of Hasdeu if time permits.
|This tour is avaialble for groups during 2005. There will be no set departures. Please call for a quote if you are interested. Please note that certain activities (e.g. Witch Trial) require a minimum group size of 8 - 10 people. They can go ahead with smaller groups but the overall cost would be divided by fewer participants.|
is a Division of Talking Point Ltd
1 Atkinson Court, Fell Foot, Newby Bridge, Cumbria, United Kingdom LA12 8NW
Copyright © 2005 Transylvania Uncovered