500,000 bottles of sparkling wine mature in this section of the underground cellars at Cricova Winery just north of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 3, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Friday, November 11, 2016

I'm the king of the castle!

We had a busy day yesterday. And when we sorted through the 100 photos we took, we decided there was no way to show you them all in one blog post. And so even though we have whittled them down to 54 photos after tossing the not so good ones, you're still going to get two blog posts today.

So, here is part 1...

We tried to get an earlier start...aiming for 9:00am, but it was still 9:30am before we got on the road. Our destination was the city of Sighișoara (pop 28,000). Sighișoara is said to contain the most beautiful inhabited citadel in all of Europe.

But we didn't plan on how many interesting things there might be to see along the way!

It was 118 kms (73 miles) from Brasov to Sighișoara.

Yesterday's drive, 118 kms (73 miles) each way from Brasov.

Scenery along the way.

So we're driving along enjoying the scenery, when we spot a huge impressive looking fort on a hill in the distance. As we get closer, we look at each other and say "we have to go up there"! It was so neat looking.

Rupea Fortress.

So we drove up to the free parking area. There were only two or three other cars there, and we think they belonged to employees. We walked up to the ticket window, and paid 10 lei ($3.40 CAD, $2.75 USD) each for admission.

We were the only ones there! We wandered the entire grounds and took in the beautiful views from the top.

Ha...playing tourist at Rupea castle.


Rupea Fortress was said to have been built in the 10th century. The first documented dates are from 1324 when the Saxons revolted against King Charles I of Hungary and took refuge inside the citadel. 

In the 1990's, the site was in ruins and they began discussion of restoration. By 2009, a plan was finalized and money was granted towards a three year restoration project. In 2013, the fort was opened as a tourist attraction.

Last year, there were almost 200,000 visitors.

View of the town of Rupea from the first level of the fort.

At the second level.

That's a lot of sheep!

View from the second level.

Heading up to the third level.

And looking down from the top. I think I'm the king of the castle!

At one point there were over 400 people living here. You can still see the foundation of where the homes were located.

Rupea Fortress.

I'm not sure whether the official term is "fortress", or "castle", or "citadel", because I can find reference to all three.

From there, we continued on towards Sighișoara.

Driving through town.

If you click on the photo above, you'll see another fortress on the hill. This one is unrestored, and you have to hike up to it. We told ourselves that if we had time on the way back, we would try and make it up there. (And we did, but you'll have to wait for part 2 to read about it!)

In the village of Saschiz. 
The old tower seems to be leaning a little bit!

Driving though a town.

Most of the houses in the towns don't have a front yard. As you can see in the photo above, the house is right on the street, and then there is either a backyard, or sometimes an inner courtyard.

We made it to Sighișoara and it's a busy little town. It's a popular tourist area, although the lower part of the town doesn't really have much to offer. It's the upper part where the citadel and old churches are that is popular.

We found a parking spot away from the central area, but still had to buy a parking pass from the machine. Fortunately, it was also in English so it wasn't difficult to operate the machine. It cost 3 lei ($1.00 CAD, $0.73 USD) for two hours. By this time, it was about 1:00pm already!

The Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church in Sighișoara.

Built between 1934-1937.

We couldn't go in the church above because there was a funeral going on. 

We were getting hungry, and Ruth had packed a lunch for us. So we walked up the hill to the citadel, and found a spot with a view to sit down and eat.

We're headed up to the base of that tower.

Feels like we're back in the 1300's!

Up in the tower, the old clock has figures beside it that are changed day and night, 7 days a week.

This is the view from our lunch spot.

We didn't go up in the tower. The only way you could do it was to pay the museum fee, and we didn't have time to make it worth our while.

Okay, that's enough for now. You'll have to come back later on today and see part 2 of our day!

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20 comments:

  1. WOW...a real castle. Now I really see why they built them on a hill. The view is awesome.
    They would be able to see the enemy coming for miles and miles.
    What a day for sightseeing. Excellent.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, it seems like they are all built on the top of a hill. Such a cool sight to see as you round a corner and see a big imposing castle/fortress on a hill right in front of you.

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  2. Doubtful that I will ever make it out that way so am glad to read all about it here and enjoy the photos too.
    Lone Grey Squirrel

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Lone Grey Squirrel. Glad to hear you are enjoying Romania with us. :-)

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  3. Must have been a great experience going through those old castles/ fortresses. Looks like you are both enjoying your time there!

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    1. It was totally amazing, especially when no one else was there with us. We are definitely enjoying our time here.

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  4. The front of the older houses in the UK are also right on the street.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they are and so are some of the Mexican houses.

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  5. Love colorful buildings and the sheep in country side! What an amazing place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Romania is a very pretty country and we are loving our time here so far.

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  6. I stop at each picture to savor it (villages and architecture worthy of Munich fame) and then I go on to your explanation, and that causes me to go back to the picture to see that thing I missed! (houses with no yard, a leaning tower) I think the country of Romania needs to find a way to hire you to advertise for them. I want to visit this country now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking so much time to look at and enjoy our posts. BTW, the houses have yards but most of the yards are at the back only and most have nice big vegetable gardens in them.

      Glad that we are doing a great job of showing off Romania. It is our intention to show people what a wonderful place this is and hopefully entice a few people to come here for a visit. :-)

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  7. So much history in those parts. Comparatively speaking, the US is a mere teenager! It's all so different from the states, and since I doubt I'll ever get to Romania myself, thanks for giving us the cook's tour!

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    1. Both Canada and the United States have nothing on history when compared to Europe. It is amazing and it is unbelievable how well the old buildings here have stood up to time. Many have been renovated over time but the basic structure is still there.

      With all the traveling that you both do, I can't understand why you wouldn't come to Romania and check it out. It would keep you both busy for a while, as we are finding out ourselves.

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