On our 4 hrs train ride to Brasov from Bucharest, we passed by Sinaia, where the beautiful Peles Castle is situated (We had wanted to stop by on our way back to Bucharest but never made it due to their unreliably slow train service). When we arrived at the bus station just outside Brasov train station, we were met with confusion as we were looking for the bus to take us to Bran Village (Southern Transylvania). After about 15 minutes of language barrier, we came to understand what the locals have been trying to tell us. We need to take bus 23 to another bus station (Autogara #2 Bartolomeu) and from there, we can look for the bus to Bran Village which takes about 45 minutes.
The ride to Autogara #2 was a short one and the bus station resembles more like a petrol station kiosk. There were already a bunch of locals sitting there waiting for buses and upon confirmation, we came to know we were all heading the same direction.
Upon entering the castle, I can’t help but felt a little disappointed. I thought it will be dark and mysterious and some vampire would come bite me and I’ll turn into one immortal that can live on and travel round the world 20-30 times! (Just kidding!) In reality, the interior of Bran Castle is actually a museum which exhibits some of Queen Marie’s collection of art and furnitures. A part of the museum also details some of the legends and history that links with the castle (notably Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” and the reign of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia).
The night train we took was quite old and it was stuffy in the room. So, some of us stuck our heads out of the windows to get a breather as well as to enjoy the scenic views as the train rails past the countryside. But, be very careful if you stick your head out of the window like that. J and another traveller had a close brush with an oncoming train on the opposite track. Guess they were too immersed in the passing scenic views.
Even though, we had taken better quality train rides in Europe, i will always have fond memories of the ride from Bucharest to Sofia. I liked that as the train leaves, the wind starts to flutter across your face and the local kids and their families who live near the tracks surprised us with their friendly waves of goodbyes while the train heads on towards a beautiful sun set.
As the train rode on and it’s nearing twilight, I remembered that we were seating by the edge of our beds and looking out of the window. We saw fields of sunflowers and corns under the remaining light that the day has. Being city folks, sights like that were simple yet captivating. It was moments like that, that made me feel so glad that i travelled, so glad that i am sitting in some noisy old train and just enjoying simple beauty on earth. Sometimes, i wished i had captured everything that i saw and made visions an eternity on photos/videos. But i guess, beautiful moments passes by quickly and it’s probably best to suck in everything and etch it in our minds.