Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe

Bucharest, Romania

Changi Airport Terminal 1

This adventure is: #adrenaline pumping, #far far away, #scenic

Bucharest: Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy ...

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“Hi, it's u­­­s, Georg­i­n­a, Bri­tt­a, and ­Lee­ Lin­g­”

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Highlights

I trust that many have heard of the famous horror novel The Count Dracula, however, not many may know where the author Bram Stoker get his inspiration from.  This journey will bring us to Romania that inspired the author.  We will then move to Hungary and hear the stories of World Wars, experience some of the best bath in Europe and visit the most beautiful section of the Danube River.  The trip will finally end in Prague, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe that seems to pop right out from the fairy tales.  Let's begin our journey!

- Trace the life of Vlad Dracula from its birth to its death, the ruler of Walachia that inspired the horror novel The Count Dracula the Vampire.
- Experience sleeping overnight at Castle Dracula Hotel
- Eat the exact meal Jonathan Harkerone of the main protagonists of Count Dracula at The Golden Crown in Bistrita
- Visit the grave that Vlad Dracula was buried
- Get caught up in the tale while driving through the dense, dark, ancient forests and over mountain passes
- Visit the creepiest forest in the world, Hoia Baciu
- Wonder in the cobbled streets of "Little Balkan of Paris", Bucharest and visit the second largest administrative building in the world after The Pentagon
- Get lost in Prague, regarded as one of Europe's most charming, colorful and beautiful cities
- Imagine the life in Terezin Concentration Camp created in WW2 and hear one of history’s darkest chapters
- Visit the hot baths and spas of Hungary, with over 1,000 hot springs running beneath its surface and more medicinal spas than any other European country
- Visit the most beautiful stretch along the Danube river, Danube Bend


We will start our trip in Bucharest, then following Bram Stoker's novel to Transylvania, a well-known and legendary region of Romania. It is home to some of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe and also keeps the myth and secrets of Count Dracula's legend.

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaCurtea de Arges Monastery,one of Vlad the Impaler's Strongholds

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaHoia Baciu, the creepiest forest in the world, photo by Swithun Crowe licensed under CC BY 2.0

Don't be deceived by the innocent looking forest, it got its name after a shepherd who went missing in the forest with a flock of 200 sheep, Hoia Baciu came to international attention in 1968 when Emil Barnea, a military technician, photographed what he claimed was a UFO hovering over The Clearing, he was subsequently sacked.  We may experience strange symptoms like nausea, anxiety, the feeling of being watched, and the failure of electronic devices.  For everyone's safety we will visit the forest only in the day time.

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaOvernight at Hotel Castel Dracula, photo by Țetcu Mircea Rareș licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaBiertan a Saxon villages with fortified churches in Transylvania, a UNESCO site, photo by Daniel Rosca licensed under CC BY 3.0

We will drive to Sighisoara another UNESCO site a well-preserved walled old town, where Dracula was born.  The next day we will visit the real Dracula Castle called the Bran Castle and hear the "horror" stories that happened in this infamous castle made famous by Bram Stoker.

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaBran Castle in the villages near Bran where the "action" happens

In the villages near Bran, there is a belief in the existence of evil spirits called ghosts or “steregoi”. Until half a century ago, it was believed that there existed certain living people – “strigoi” – who were leading a normal life during the day but at night, during their sleep, their souls left their bodies and haunted the village tormenting people in their sleep. These evil spirits haunt their prey from midnight until the first cockcrow, when their power to harm people faded.  This is where Bram Stoker draw his inspiration from.

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaPeles Castlea masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture

Then finally to Snagov Monastery the burial place of Dracula.  After hearing the fictions and history, let's head to Hungary for hot baths, beautiful Danube River, and wonder the cobbled streets of Budapest, dubbed the Paris of the East.

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaBudapest at dusk, photo by Jorge Franganillo licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaSzechenyi Spa in Budapest, photo by Petr Vilgus licensed under CC BY 3.0

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaLake Balaton

Visit to the countryside, tour over the most beautiful section of Danube Bend, over Transdanubia and the lake Balaton, over Pécs and the Villány wine region or over the Eger wine region.

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaShoes on the Danube, photo by Dennis Jarvis licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Shoes on the Danube is a memorial on the bank of the Danube River in Budapest. It honors the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. It represents their shoes left behind on the bank.The sculptor created sixty pairs of period-appropriate shoes out of iron.  Finally we will head to Prague, one of the most beautiful city of Europe.

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaPrague Skyline View

Tales of The Count Dracula, World Wars, Fairy Tale Cities : Eastern Europe starting at Bucharest, RomaniaWondering old towns cobbled streets of Prague