We do not always plan far in advance where we will be staying, and I was looking for a guesthouse or apartment in Bran when I discovered our campsite. It claimed to open on 1 April, but was dubious about whether it would be open, so I called reception – straight to voice mail. There was another non-Romanian number, so I tried that. A voice answered “Do you speak English?” The voice replied with a strong Dutch accent but perfect English. Yes they were open.
Romania is bisected by a reverse L shaped range of mountains, the Caparthians.
One of the great European roads crosses these mountains, the Transfăgărășan, however, rising to over 2000 metres I knew this pass would be closed. Instead we took the DN10, far easier to pronounce.
It was a short journey and we arrived at our campsite soon after 3pm, greeted by the Dutch sounding man I had spoken to on the phone. But he isn’t Dutch. He is Romanian and his Dutch accent has evolved from all the Dutch visitors to his campsite.
It was a cold evening, and rather than shiver over dinner in the tent we decided to walk into Bran for a pizza. As the sun went down it started to snow, and as we passed a great wooden gate we could see Dracula’s Castle beyond.
The pizza restaurant was closed, but we found a very nice small restaurant serving a bean broth.
It had stopped snowing when we walked the mile back to our campervan, but it was bitterly cold. Temperatures were well below freezing overnight, but the van’s diesel heater keeps us toasty and warm.