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!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Peles Castle

We woke up to another drizzly day, but this time we hopped in the car and went exploring. We have to try and get out a little earlier, because time seems to go by so quickly when it gets dark around 5:00pm!

We were headed only about an hour south of Brasov to the town of Sinaia, and the magnificent Peles Castle.

First stop was in the town of Predeal. They have an interesting church here, and it's also a ski resort town. Some of the best skiing in Europe is here in Romania...and also the cheapest! Another month or so and we would have been going skiing!

The Orthodox church in Predeal.

Looking at the town from the church steps. 
That's the tourist info office in the round building on the right.

The church was built between 1991 and 2002.

Lots of helpful info given to us by tourist officer Cătăliu.

Street scene in Predeal.

We wandered around Predeal a little bit, but we knew that we wanted to see the castle in Sinaia, so we figured that if we had more time we would stop again on the way back. Turns out that we didn't have time, but Predeal is a nice little town to spend some time.

The town of Predeal. You can see the ski hill in the distamce.

There are quite a few beautiful old properties in need of restoration. Both here and in Sinaia.

We continued on to Sinaia. Peles Castle is located there, and it's a fairly popular attraction. We drove the twisty roads through town to get to the castle, and found that it wasn't busy, however there were four or five tour buses there. Tough to find parking nearby, although we pulled in to the large and nearly empty lot near the castle, to find out that they wanted 30 lei ($10 CAD, $7.50 USD) to park. 

We quickly pulled out again!

We drove back in to town and found a free parking spot in town. We had brought our lunch with us, so we sat in the car and ate it, and then in typical Kevin and Ruth fashion, we walked the 1.5 kms uphill back to the castle!

Walking up to Peles Castle in the drizzly rain.

Our first view of the castle.

Peles Castle isn't that old. It was built between 1873 and 1914 by King Carol I. And it's not really a castle, it's more like a palace. It has 160 rooms. The Romanian royal family lived here part time until 1947 when the castle was seized by the communists and King Michael I was forced to abdicate.

King Michael I was born at Peles Castle, and at age 95 is still alive today!

As we were walking to the entranceway of the castle, I spotted a sign that said the castle is closed for cleaning and service between Nov 2 and Nov 29!

Sure enough, that's why it wasn't very busy!

Closed!

A mural in the outdoor courtyard.

Peles Castle.

We found signs pointing us to nearby Pelișor Castle.

More like a mansion than a castle, Pelișor Castle was built by King Carol I as a residence for his nephew.

They had self guided tours available, for 20 lei ($6.75 CAD, $4.95 USD), and we decided to go ahead and see the inside. They wanted more money to take photos, but we didn't pay the extra.

Pelișor Castle.

Pelișor Castle.

It was interesting though, and we're glad we went inside. The woman who lived here just after it was built was an artist and the different rooms are decorated in her very different tastes.

As an example of one of the rooms, here's a photo I found on the internet...

Just a little much! But other rooms were fairly plain.

We walked back down to the car, had a snack, and then drove up higher into the mountains, but it wasn't long before we were up in the clouds and literally couldn't see anything! So we turned around and headed back  to the guest house.

Scenery along the way.

More scenery.

Today is supposed to be a little nicer, and tomorrow they're actually calling for sunshine!

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27 comments:

  1. Love all the beautiful, colorful, old architectural buildings in your photos - just like out of a fairytale story! The tiny towns tucked in the mountains are a favorite, too. Another interesting post from Romania. Thank you!!
    B&C

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    1. So do we Connie and Barry. Every building looks so different it seems. Lots of these interesting little towns and villages in this area and we sure found that out yesterday.

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  2. That Orthodox church is very interesting. I would have loved to see the inside.
    Dang the bad luck. Peles Castle looks awesome. I love that mural. I can just image what the inside looks like.

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    1. It was beautiful inside, much like some of the other church pictures that we have posted since being here in Romania. The walls and ceiling were all painted in murals and lots of gold coloured paint. We would have taken a picture but it seemed that there were people working inside and we didn't want to be intruding upon them.

      If you google "inside of Peles Castle" you will get to see what the interior looked like. Too bad it was closed when we were there, it looks gorgeous inside.

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  3. Amazing castles, so different from the stone castles one finds around the world. Nice to see you're having fun despite the rain, it surely doesn't slow you down!

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    1. Yes, they were amazing castles and so beautifully done. Too bad the main one was closed.

      We aren't going to let the rain stop us, otherwise we would not see much at this time of year.

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  4. I love exploring like that - too bad the castle was closed but at least you got to see the other residence. Lack of sunlight is one of the reasons why it is tough to travel in winter. After daylight savings here the sun sets on the Pacific around 4pm....we are living in the dark ages :)

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    1. Yes, it was too bad it was closed but we can still see what it looked like inside thanks to "google" ;-)

      The fall/winter weather sure makes the days a lot shorter and you have to pack lots in while you have that daylight. We are just going to have to organize ourselves a little better, especially when it comes to long hikes.

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  5. Definitely no shortage of nice things to see. Do you think it is possible to RV there and do some boondocking? It sure would make for an interesting treck through the area.

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    1. Yes, it is very possible to RV here. We actually saw an RV park on our way back for our outing on this particular day but the photo I took as we drove by didn't turn out. Our friends that we travel with in Mexico for our first two winters there have RV'ed in Romania. Also if you are selective with your overnighting spots you can boondock. I believe there is a book that you can buy for most of Europe that tells you where you can find free, inexpensive and normal type of RV parks. We would love visit Romania again in an RV, providing we by pass all the cities!

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  6. Beautiful photos of villages, churches, castles. I went on the web to look at inside of both castles...Peles Castle has blue walls and lots & lots of wood carved walls, stair cases and the chandelier is beautiful, paintings and décor were beautiful. Pelisor Castle was more plain but still had beautiful wood carvings, painted rooms. Love drizzly days...I live in AZ where it's dry.

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    1. Thank you Rita! "Google" is great for seeing the inside of places where you can't take photos. I think when they charge for taking photos, it is just a money grab and we aren't about to play that game.

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  7. Wonderful pics and explanations - looks quite a bit like a nice German/Swiss/Austrian town.

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    1. Carol, that is so true! The pictures are (for lack of a better word) so Christmasy. With all the traditional decorations of Romania's culture at Christmas time, these castles and villages would surpass the word "amazing."

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    2. Perhaps the town looks so German/Swiss/Austrian because it is tucked away in between the mountains and has that ski resort feel/look to it.

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  8. Ruth and Kevin, your pictures are wonderful and have already provided me with some Christmas spirit. Even though the castle was closed, at least you had an opportunity to get in a little hiking and get some great pictures.

    Dee

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    1. Thank you Dee, glad you are enjoying the photos.

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  9. Haha I love how that parking lot would have charged you $10---for a closed attraction!

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    1. It's funny isn't it! Surprisingly there were a few cars parked there, not us though. ;-)

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  10. Replies
    1. I am sure we could have too, if only the bigger castle had been open! The small was interesting but not as much as the bigger one would have been.

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  11. Too bad you could not enter the Peles castle, it is really special inside. But the normal tour is enough, do not pay the 50RON one, if you are there again. They just show you a little more. Daniel went in once with some tourists to check it out, but said it is not worth the money. The 20 RON tour is wonderful and you go in with a guide and hear a lot about the castle and the history of it and the king etc.

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    1. Yes, we were a little disappointed but that was ok, we still enjoyed looking at the outside and the grounds as well as Pelișor Castle.

      Had we been able to go in, we were only going to get the normal tour. We had been told by a number of different people not to bother with the additional tour but thank you for mentioning it as well.

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