We’re in Transylvania, keeping an eye out for skeletons.

We spent the week in Sighisoara, which would have been a really charming, UNESCO-heritage medieval castle town if it weren’t for the constant danger of vampires and skeletons.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but things might get spooky around here!

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This was the town where Vlad the Impaler was born, the loose inspiration of Dracula the vampire. Vlad the Impaler, of course, was no suave Victorian count luring a British solicitor into his castle to do who-knows-what (because I’m only about a quarter way through the novel and I’d appreciate if you didn’t spoil it for me).

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Sighisoara, a charming medieval village.

No, Vlad the Impaler was your run-of-the-mill bloodthirsty medieval warlord who warned enemies to stay away by running sharp stakes through their bottoms up through their tops.

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In the restaurant in the house where Vlad the Impaler was born, on the second floor there’s a guy whose entire job is to dress up like Count Dracula the vampire and lie in a coffin in the dark to startle tourists as they enter the room. $1.25 entrance.

He was the son of Vlad II Dracul, so named as a member of the order of the dragon. Back then (in the 15th century), there was constant threat of Ottomans invading, and then there were some unruly Saxons who supported his opponents, so Vlad the Impaler basically rampaged with Hungarian support, purging those who dared come against him.

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A fortification in Sighisoara. Vlad the Impaler did not live here during adulthood. This is just another humdrum charming medieval castle town in Transylvania. Nothing special.

This I more or less learned listening to the HI101 podcast while making dinner one night and keeping an eye out for skeletons, natürlich.

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Autumn has descended and the leaves are rapidly reddening and goldening and temperatures are already dropping near freezing level at night. There’s been a lot of rain, too.

So we’ve been keeping toasty and making sure lots of garlic and crucifixes and wooden stakes are on hand just in case any creepy goblins decide to show up.

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The orthodox church nearby will protect us with its crucifixes and frequent bell tolling.
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Written by Ada Kase (Kulesza)

Ada Kase is a freelance journalist and photographer from Philadelphia. AJKTravels is her personal travel blog documenting her adventures with her husband, journalist Aaron Kase.

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