Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Poenari Castle

We took a baxi (yeah they're here too) to the village of Căpățânenii Pământeni today. Poenari Castle is here, which is the castle famous (to pretty much nobody but historians) but to them it's known because Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad the Impaler) lived there for a period of time.

He is one creepy lookin dude. My picture of his statue in Bucharest does not do the creep factor justice, so here you go:

If you want to read about the sickening torture he was known for, the "impaling"  here it is:

Warning, it's gross.

In order to get to this castle you have to take the baxi to the town mentioned above, and then walk a further 2 kilometers out of town into the mountains. It's an extremely pretty area. Then you find the stairs in the trees, and start ascending the mountain. It's almost 1500 steps which doesn't sound too horrible, but on switchbacks up a mountain, straight up, in the mosquitoy forest, realizing how out of shape you are...oh and don't forget the fact that you're wearing leggings and heavy socks and hiking boots even though it's 85 out. Because lime disease.

After much huffing and puffing, we reach the top! It only took us 45 minutes or so. And it's cool with a nice breeze. It costs a few bucks to get in (5 Lei= $4ish) which is kind of silly. And the guy who is the only one working up there has to walk up and down the mountain each day for work. That's a commute that'll get you in shape.

There isn't much of the castle. Like, it's not huge, and extremely off the track, but that's cool for us. We found a ledge, ate lunch, and revived ourselves before exploring around and taking pictures. Tessa read that a portion of the castle actually fell into the river below in an avalanche at one point. There is no roof, so it was hard to picture if what we walked on was the top? Or just broken down? Only a few people came while we were up there, so we had much of the place to ourselves. And had way too much fun goofing off. 

Part of this goofing off was going to include making a cheesy vampire pose somewhere, but we spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to make fake fangs with your fingers and it was just not working at all. So we resorted to looking thoughtful about how we would torture out next victims.

Some pictures.

Almost there!! And it's flatish ground.

"Very nice slave labor handicraft." 

"How shall I torture someone today?"

"We're in Dracula's castle, suckers!!" (Oh bad pun, Leah.)

Sorry Tessa but I couldn't not put this up. It's our failed attempt at looking vampiristic.

By the way this whole history is about as accurate as the Greek mythologies/history, because accounts from twelve different angles say different things. But it's generally the popular belief. Popularly the general belief?

There is a castle in Brasov, Romania, that claims to be the "Dracula's castle" but it's super touristy, so we are going with this one. Anyway Poenari Castle claimed to be Vlad the Impaler's castle, whom Dracula is claimed to be based off. There is a lot of claiming in history. Again. You just have to go with it.

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