Don Feidner

Last Update:   11 August 2013

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Romania 2013

Transylvania with Dan Daniel

Friends in Bucharest

Christian - My Son - in Bucharest

Moldavian Monasteries

Tecuci - Cosmin’s Home

Brașov, located in the middle of Romania, is about 100 miles north of Bucharest and 200 miles from the Black Sea. It is surrounded by the southern Carpathian mountains, where brown bears roam freely and is part of Transylvania. Brasov is the birthplace of the Romanian national anthem.

In 1235 AD, the city was called Corona, a Latin word meaning "crown", a name given by the German colonists. The German name Kronstadt means "Crown City" and is reflected in the city's coat of arms as well as in its Medieval Latin name, Corona.  From 1950 to 1960, during the Communist period in Romania, it was called Orașul Stalin (Stalin City), after the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

My stay in Brasov was very short, so I hope to return again.

P1200235 Brasov

Brasov - Kronstadt (German) - Brassó (Hungarian) - Stephanopolis

P1200243 Bran Dracula's Castle

Not far from Brasov, in Bran, is the castle where Count Dracula, the vampire, lives. Of course, anyone who wants to stay in the castle will be disappointed - as the closest overnight possibility is “Vampire Camping”.

Count Dracula is the title character and primary antagonist of Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula. He is described as an archetypal vampire. Some aspects of the character are inspired by the 15th century Romanian general and Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler, who was also known as "Dracula."

Count Dracula is a centuries-old vampire, sorcerer, and Transylvanian nobleman, who claims to be a Székely descended from Attila the Hun. He inhabits a decaying castle in the Carpathian Mountains near the Borgo Pass. Unlike the vampires of Eastern European folklore, which are portrayed as repulsive, corpse-like creatures, Dracula exudes a veneer of aristocratic charm. In his conversations with Jonathan Harker, he reveals himself as deeply proud of his boyar heritage and nostalgic for the past times, which he admits have become only a memory of heroism, honor and valor in modern times.

Details of his early life are obscure, but it seems that Dracula studied the black arts at the academy of Scholomance in the Carpathian Mountains, overlooking the town of Sibiu (also known as Hermannstadt) and became proficient in alchemy and magic.

Count Dracula’s Castle in Bran

GOPR0405 West of Brasov
P1200245 Bran Dracula's Castle

The Fagaras Mountains - Southern Carpathians

GOPR0410 West of Brasov
GOPR0417 West of Brasov

The Fagaras Mountains - Near Brasov

This area between Brasov and Sibiu reminds me of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado which rise high above the plains. Cycling is no problem at all at the foot of these beautiful mountains. The roads are flat with few hills and almost no traffic except for a few horse carts and tractors.

GOPR0434 Cemetery West of Brasov
P1200430 North of Sibiu

Cemeteries near Fagaras

Most cemeteries in this region are very simple with similar headstones - usually a cross on top of a name block. On the left is the first cemetery I’ve ever seen that was built on a steep hill.

P1200251 Church West of Brasov
P1200252 Fagaras Cathedral

Orthodox Church

There are few denominational churches in this area, such as Baptist or even Roman Catholic. Most are Orthodox churches like the one above. The most ornate ones are located in Romanian Moldavia in the north.

Cathedral in Fagaras

P1200257 Fagaras Fortress

Fortress in Fagaras

IMG_0051 Campsite

Dan’s First Night in a Tent on Tour - A New Experience

P1200264 Horsecart North of Fagaras
P1200270 Dan Viscri

Dan Entering Viscri

P1200282 Viscri

Viscri Fortified Church

P1200285 Viscri

Viscri Church

P1200310 Viscri

Viscri Church Tower

P1200314 Loom Viscri

Making a Rug with a Mechanical Hand Loom

P1200316 Bunesti

Bunesti - Fortified Church

P1200320 Gypsies Bunesti

Gypsy Girls near Bunesti

P1200326 Saschiz

Saschiz on the Road to Sighisoara

P1200337 Sighisoara

Sighisoara Cathedral - Below at Night

P1200372 Sighisoara
P1200354 Sighisoara

Sighisoara - Dinner in the Rain

P1200262 Dan North of Fagaras

Dan Daniel

I met Dan in Bucharest at his restaurant “La Jeunesse” and we talked about cycle touring. He offered to show me the region where he was born and raised and I accepted. I met him in Fagaras (in Transylvania) a few days later and we rode north from there - up some very steep hills. The view was breathtaking.

P1200263 Geese North of Fagaras
IMG_0042 Transylvanians

Transylvanians Enjoying their Favorite Pasttime

P1200281 Viscri

Trail to Viscri Fortified Church

IMG_0055 German Sign

Viscri - List of Soldiers who died in WWI - German Names

Transylvania was previously occupied by Germans. Why? Read about it here: 

IMG_0076 Viscri
P1200313 Viscri
P1200315 Bunesti

This house in Bunesti belongs to Prince Charles. We learned later that he was actually inside as this photo was taken.

P1200319 Gypsy Bunesti

Gypsy Teen near Bunesti

P1200324 Gypsy House Bunesti

Gypsy Girls’ Home

P1200334 Sighisoara


P1200343 Sighisoara


P1200348 Sighisoara


P1200380 Sighisoara
P1200386 Dumbraveni

Dumbraveni - Church with Missing Tower

P1200396 Dumbraveni

Dumbraveni - Expensive Home on the Outskirts

P1200397 Biertan

Fortified Church in Biertan

P1200404 Biertan

Biertan - But What is This? Anglerus Restaurant

Dan and I were hungry as we planned to visit the fortified church, so we peeked our heads inside this blue and beige building to see if there was anything good to eat. What a surprise to learn that they offered a “truffle soup” - delicious. But, alas only half a portion, so they offered us another soup - curry delight. They were the best tasting soups I have eaten anywhere. Anglerus Restaurant in Biertan is a gourmet’s delight. Take a look inside.

P1200413  Biertan Restaurant Anglerus

Anglerus Restaurant - A Medieval Touch

P1200419 Birtan
P1200422 Richis Campsite

Camping in Richis

GOPR0448 South of Richis

Perfect Weather South of Richis

GOPR0453 Don South of Richis
GOPR0465 North of Sibiu

It was not unusual for people to stare at us as if we were aliens from another planet. Many had obviously never seen a bicycle loaded with luggage before. In many of the small villages, there were no cars on the roads - only horse carts.

G0010473 Don Transylvania
P1200428 North of Sibiu
P1200442 Geese North of Sibiu
P1200451 North of Sibiu

The Challenge - The Fagaras Mountains

P1200456 North of Sibiu

Riding the Rails

P1200459 Sibiu

Statue as Construction Boss

P1200469 Cartisoara

Cartisoara - Transfagarasan Highway

P1200473 Transfagarasan Hwy

Transfagarasan Highway
Perfect for Biking, But not with Fully-Loaded Bikes

P1200483 Transfagarasan Hwy

Tunnel was Closed due to Snow

P1200485 Transfagarasan Hwy

After the dark tunnel, we emerged on the other side.

P1200489 Transfagarasan Hwy

What a view!

P1200493 Transfagarasan Hwy
P1200500 Transfagarasan Hwy

Waterfall in the Fagaras Mountains

P1200508 Prayer Station

Dan at a Roadside Chapel

P1200510 Prayer Station

Vivid Artwork in the Roadside Chapel

P1200513 Lake Vidraru

Dan at Lake Vidraru

P1200524 Valley North of Pitesti
P1200531 Sheep on Road North of Pitesti

Same Place for Breakfast the Next Morning

P1200387 Dumbraveni
P1200388 Dumbraveni


P1200393 Dumbraveni Burg

Dumbraveni - Fortress

P1200395 Dumbraveni

Dumbraveni - Church

P1200400 Biertan

Dan Arriving in Biertan

P1200403 Biertan

Grandma - Checking out the Cyclists

P1200405 Biertan Restaurant Anglerus
P1200415 Biertan Restaurant Anglerus

Pasta - with Truffles - Delightful

P1200421 Richis
P1200423 Richis Campsite

Back Lawn Camping in Richis

P1200425 Don & Dan in Richis Richis Campsite

Camping in Richis - Grocery Left - Bar on the Right

GOPR0452 Girl  South of Richis
GOPR0457 North of Sibiu
GOPR0466 North of Sibiu
P1200426 Poppies North of Sibiu
GOPR0486 Tractor North of Sibiu
P1200450 North of Sibiu

Shepherd - Relaxing on the Job

P1200454 North of Sibiu

Home Sweet Home - Some are More Fortunate

P1200458 Sibiu


P1200460 Sibiu

Dan’s Friends in Sibiu

P1200465 Sibiu

Gabriela, Cristina, Claudia, Virgil
Lovely New Friends in Sibiu

P1200472 Transfagarasan Hwy

Fagaras Mountains

P1200475 Lake Balea

Dan at the Top - Lake Balea

P1200481 Transfagarasan Hwy

But there was a door for pedestrians and bicycles

GOPR0502 Transfagarasan Hwy

Still plenty of snow, but sunny and the road was clear.

P1200491 Transfagarasan Hwy

Sunshine and 30 Kilometers Downhill Ahead!

P1200499 Transfagarasan Hwy

The Valley Ahead

P1200505 Pensiunea Vidraru

Dew Evaporating at Pensiunea Vidraru

P1200509 Prayer Station

Roadside Chapel

P1200512 Lake Vidraru

Lake Vidraru

P1200515 Lake Vidraru

Lake Vidraru

P1200527 Ansamblul Cetatii Poenari Castle near Pitesti

Ansamblul Cetatii Poenari Castle near Pitesti

P1200535 Train Station Curtea de Arges

Train Station Curtea de Arges - On the Way Home

Continue to Chris in Bucharest

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