In recent years, it’s become more and more popular with tourists. There are rumors of Dracula and monster balls. There’s a little town full of souvenir stands and vendors selling cheap fried potatoes. But what brought us there wasn’t the spooks or the salty treats. The thing that drew us out our front door, into an Uber (because sadly there’s no train service from Brasov and the bus only runs once daily), and to the little town of Bran was photos of a picturesque castle on a hill.
The plan was to explore the castle grounds and then find a hiking trail to try and get a bird’s eye view.
The castle itself is rather pricey ($10) and I’m usually disappointed when I pay to explore interiors, especially shoulder-to-shoulder with reams of other tourists, so we veered right into the park at the foot of the castle, which is free to explore. As it was Halloween weekend, the grounds were full of pumpkins and clusters of ghosts.
From there, we made our way outside the castle grounds and across the street to a large park with a nice view of the castle itself. From here, steep paths led up a hill and into the trees.
We followed the trail from Bran toward Magura, stopping to photograph the castle through the stark almost-winter trees, slipping and sliding up the steep trail on a bed of crumbly brown leaves, and eventually, as the trail started to weave farther and farther from the castle, turning and slowly, carefully making our way back down into town.
All photos taken with my Sony a6000.