The final stop on our roundabout tour was happy, cheerful and oddly sunny Transylvania. I don’t know where the art directors for Dracula got their ideas, but Transylvania is not a dark and stormy land of craggy, barren mountains and steep, sinister cliffs. The scene is more rolling green hills, alternatingly tree covered and patch-worked by farms.
The towns have a strong Germanic influence that is displayed in the architecture. Fortified hill-top villages are the only sign of a violent and dangerous past. Today Transylvanian towns like Brasov, Sibiu and Sighisoara are colorful, quiet and charming. In fact, the only thing scary about Sighisoara is the spelling.
We did stop in at Bran Castle, a vaguely villainous looking place only tangentially connected to Vlad the Impaler, Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula. I imagine on a sunny day it would look quite comfortable. In the rain it mostly just looked gray and wet.
So there you have it folks: a wrap up to this winter’s travels. The good, the bad and the roads of Albania.
Now back to Monhegan for the summer, where the travel plotting begins afresh! I already have some ideas…so stay tuned.