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Gary's travel tips: Vampires, Gypsies and Castles
by Gary Sorensen
Feb 28, 2011 | 4255 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With all of the vampires on the movie screens these days we tend to forget about the vampire of all vampires! Picture the dark, damp passageways of a medieval castle where you just might meet up with a caped villain with pointed teeth. Protected in the hills of Transylvania, Dracula’s Castle will give chills to even the hardcore vampire fans. OK, so some people think that Dracula isn’t real. Maybe you better take a trip to the Bran Castle where Dracula lived in the Transylvania area of Romania to find out. The novel Dracula was thought to be based on a really bad guy named Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler who ruled in 1456. He would kill anyone that disagreed with him, and not in nice ways. His father’s name was Vlad Dracul and that is where the name Dracula came from. Vlad Tepes never drank people’s blood but he certainly spilled enough of it. The 800 year old castle houses an interesting museum and tours are given so people can relive medieval times or possibly imagine seeing Dracula in the corridors.

Believe it our not the Romanians don’t know much about the book Dracula and it was only translated into Romanian a few years ago. Most Romanians focus on their beautiful country that is bordered on the south by the gentle currents of the Danube River, the deep forests in the mountainous regions and the never ending green landscapes throughout the country. The countryside is dotted with impressive castles and thousands of years of history. Romania is quickly becoming a popular Eastern European travel destination with visitors arriving from around the world.

Romania became noticed during the 1976 Olympic Games when gymnast Nadia Comaneci captured the world’s hearts. Romanians are a proud people full of personality and easy to excite. They are a melting pot of cultures including the colorful gypsies with their unique ways of life. There are horse drawn carts and modern cities, sometimes in the same place. There are historic cities from World War II including Ploiesti where bombing raids by Allied B-24’s cut off the important oil supply to the Germans.

There are 13 National Parks and the delta where the Danube empties into the Black Sea is protected and is home to many species of birds and animals. On the Black Sea there are resort towns with inviting beaches warmed by the summer sun. In the winter there is skiing on the mountains above the resort city of Sibiu in central Romania.

In Romania you can feel, see, taste and experience the culture that has formed over thousands of years. You will see poor peasants and modern businesses, you will learn about the plight of the gypsies and their struggles to survive. Your visit to Romania will enrich you and acquaint you with this former Communist country that is embracing freedom.

To visit Romania you can fly into the capital of Bucharest, take a River Cruise down the Danube River; take a land tour of Eastern European Countries or on a stop on a Black Sea cruise. Romania is a wonderful country filled with historic castles, genuine people and incredible scenery. Just make sure to take a little garlic and a wooden stake just incase the story of Dracula is true!

Travel Tip: Book your summer flights to Europe now! The prices are heading up.

Travel Deals: General Tours has excellent prices on escorted tours to Romania and other areas of Europe! Still some space on Alaska cruises but the best cabins are going fast! Great deals on cruises through the Panama Canal.

Gary Sorensen is a Regional Manager for Morris Murdock Travel. For all of your travel information see Morris Murdock Travel in Bountiful at 320 W. 500 S. or call 295-9443.

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