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Or is it …

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I can’t tell if things are getting spookier in Transylvania, because at the point I’ve arrived to in the novel, Dracula is in England, and here in reality, Sinaia, Romania, is a magical fairyland.

We took a walk in the autumnal hills. As we neared the end of the road to get in the woods, we saw two huge stray dogs laying there – one a squat, muscular German shepherd, the other a huge, muscular border collie. I tried to edge around them but they got up and came over, it turns out, for a big old scratch behind the ears. They followed us the rest of our hike.

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We also went to the castle – because it’s Romania, so of course there’s a castle – but it turns out, it wasn’t spooky at all.

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It was luxurious, grand, elegant, mind-boggling – but other than the collection of medieval weapons, it just wasn’t spooky.

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The Romanian king – who was Prussian – built this dazzling palace in Sinaia, which was already famous for its beautiful monastery. King Carol I and his wife lived in unparalleled luxury at Peles Castle.

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Carol I commissioned Gustav Klimt to paint portraits of his ancestors on the walls.

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Virtually every knick-knack, every inch of intricately-carved wood paneling, plush carpeting, and fixture was priceless in this castle.

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So I don’t know what to say. Maybe all the spook is in London, where in the novel Dracula is causing mayhem. Transylvania is just – to use my favorite adjective – charming.

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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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