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As always, this trip came about purely based on flight costs, I was perusing Skyscanner one evening, probably at about 2am as is the usual and Romania was coming up extremely cheap, in some cases flights were just £13!
Usually I look at flights from Manchester however recently there has been loads of cheap flights coming out of Liverpool John Lennon airport.
For me, Liverpool airport is about an extra 15 minutes travel time to Manchester but the last few times we have used Liverpool it has been an absolute job. Security queues have been either short or none existent and it just altogether feels like a much calmer and organised airport.
After doing a quick google on Sibiu and inputting search terms such as 'most beautiful place near Sibiu' or 'Places to visit near Sibiu' it fast became apparent that it was a brilliant place to go on a road trip.
I found out that Dracula's castle (Bran Castle) was within a 2 hour drive of Sibiu and there was also the Transfagarasan Highway which featured on Top Gear and is one of the most beautiful drives in the world so I was sold!
We were meant to be staying in Sibiu tonight but the hotel I really wanted was fully booked so we decided to move Sibiu to the last day instead and go straight to Sighișoara.
I booked us a really traditional guest house with the most helpful and friendliest hosts INSERT LINK HERE which cost us £42 for the night. It was built in the 1600’s and still has some of its original features!
Sighișoara is like a little fairytale town and the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the cobbled streets and coloured little houses were like something out of a Brothers Grimm book.
After we had checked in we went for a stroll around the old town which was just beautiful, I genuinely don’t have enough adjectives to describe it. It started to rain even though the weather man promised it wouldn’t and I hadn’t brought a rain coat so that was ideal but the rain made it even more pretty.
We then went for some tea, the food is very cheap here, we had two mains, a side, a cocktail and a beer for £16.61 and it was really good!
After tea we went for another mooch had a look at the Citadel and all the quirky little houses. We had been up since 2am and we were 2 hours ahead so we had a super early night ready for day 2.
We got up and went for a brew and a croissant and then set off on the 1hr 45min journey to Brasov. On the way we stumbled across a castle (we seem to do this a lot) so we decided to stop and have a mooch about.
It was from the 1600’s and my brain just can’t cope with history so I spent the entire visit wondering what people living in 2722 will be doing. Imagining them wandering round a 700 year old Tesco ‘this is how our ancestors bought food’
We the continued down to Brasov and went to the main square, we stopped at a burger place called Old Jack Burger House where I had the choice of SIX different vegetarian burgers (the vege options in Romania are really good) so after taking 3 hours to decide I settled on the falafel and Brie burger with a side of melty drippy hot cheese.
We were going to go on the cable car but the reviews weren’t great and so we decided to just mooch around the town instead which was really lovely. Sometimes it's very easy to over plan so make sure you have days like this that are very relaxed, I always feel like you stumble across the best stuff by accident, serendipity.
After lots of mooching we headed down to Bran, we stayed in Bran overnight and we had decided to visit the castle in the morning.
We very nearly booked a hotel with a view of the castle which was like more than double what we would usually pay but at the last moment we booked another chalet called INSERT LINK that ended up having an even better view and was only £50.
Tomorrow we get up early to go inside Dracula's castle and then we’re just gonna mooch around and see what we find for the rest of the day!
We didn’t really have any set plans other than visit Bran Castle & then we were just gonna wing the rest. Bran was a bit of a disappointment if I am honest, this is usually the case for places that are really touristy, it was absolutely packed & just full of gimmicks. I loved the history tho, who knew that the queen of Romania was born in Kent and was Queen Victoria’s granddaughter!
I always think the ‘wing it’ days are the best, you just drive and look for brown signs with absolutely no plans and usually find something epic.
We set off after Bran and took the very very beautiful drive on the Pasul Rucar-Bran which is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.272m it was particularly stunning as it was turning orange with autumn.
After a little more driving we stumbled across a brown sign that said ‘Parque Natural’ so we followed it and I’m so glad we did. It was an area called Cheile Dambovicioarei that was literally between two mountains, it cost us 3 lei (60p) to drive on the road which was worth every penny.
We drove all the way up and then stumbled across a sign for a cave (Dambovicioara Cave) so we got a ticket which was £2.66 each and headed inside. As far as caves go, it was a basic cave… but defo worth £2.66.
Afterwards we headed back towards one of the main towns, we went for late lunch/ early tea and had pizza, pasta, a side, wine and a beer for £16
It was as this stage that JP kindly pointed out that I had a huge rip on my arse so we then had to go to a shop to try and find me some new jeans. Finding jeans at the best of times is a royal ball ache but finding jeans in Romania took ball aches to a whole new level so I settled on some black leggings for £2.50 from Pepco.
We then headed to a lovely guest house called Pensiunea Prestige House which is really lovely, the hosts were just the best and made us feel at home and it only cost £30 for the night!
Tomorrow we start the Transfăgărășan road and the guest house above had us perfectly positioned to make the most of our day.
It started off at 24 degrees and I even considered shorts, bloody glad I didn’t! We set off to drive the Transfăgărășa road which is one of the most scenic roads in the world and it was my favourite day so far.
We went to the Vidraru Dam first and my face got absolutely pebble dashed as it was so windy. The route was absolutely stunning. When we got to the top the clouds flooded in unlike anything I’ve ever seen, there was snow and wind and it was just chaos but so much fun.
I managed to rip my new black leggings which was ideal, not sure why I can’t manage to keep a pair of trousers intact these days.
We sadly can't comment much on this part of the trip as the weather was really bad and cloudy however leading up to the top the views were absolutely magic, we kept stopping at different view points and even stopped to play in some snow.
Sadly the Balea Waterfall Cablecar that we wanted to go on was closed because of the adverse weather but if you go when it is open you should absolutely get on!
We continued on down the other side of the highway and headed back to Sibiu we booked the INSERT LINK which was really cute and just perfectly situated.
We headed into town for tea at the Tango Restaurant and Bar, JP got himself a steak and he said it was one of the best steaks he’s ever had and the peppercorn sauce was THE best he’s ever had, I drank Prosecco with cherries in which literally topped off the best day.
Sadly the weather on our last day wasn't great and it rained pretty much all day except for a couple short periods.
We had to check out of the hotel by 12 and our flight wasn't until 10pm so we had a whole day to fill. We decided to head for brunch, we went to Lumos which was absolutely delicious. We both decided to do a few hours of work until the bad weather had passed, as it was a Monday some of the museums and other attractions were closed anyway.
By early afternoon the rain had cleared and we decided to have a look around Sibiu, we meandered around the town taking in the Bridge of Lies, The Main Square, Stairs Passage and The Tower of the Council.
One thing you will notice about Sibui is the windows, they are shaped like eyes and you almost feel like you are being watched all day!
After a bit more sightseeing and fast food in the local shopping centre we were ready to fly home.
Total £260.50 per person for 5 days
*you could easily bring this figure down even further by skipping the expensive meals and staying in cheaper hotels as there were tonnes available
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