Definitely the best decision this summer was to go to Romania! A sudden decision, but as they say; What isn’t planned goes much better!
Thinking and thinking about a place in Europe close to home and easy to travel with children, one morning upon waking, I was looking at some pictures of Romania and I thought: Romania is perfect! It´s close, only three hours by plane, super easy to travel with children and without leaving Europe. In addition the plus that made me decide for Romania is that there live very good friends of mine who recently had a baby, so the trip was going to serve me to know the country and the baby, two birds with the same shot! Also our friends would teach us the country 😉. I immediately sent a message to my friend and was so moved that we were going to Romania. In short, that morning after having seen the pictures of that beautiful country and having talked with my friend, I immediately bought the tickets and booked the hotel and that same day in the afternoon we were flying. Wao! That was the best decision!
We flew at night, so I gave the children dinner so that when they got on the plane they were ready to sleep and in fact, we just sat down in the plane and they fell asleep all the flight! 🙌🏽🙌🏽 I read and thought about the things I wanted to visit in Romania. Upon landing I was called from the hotel to tell me that somebody was waiting for us to transfer us from the airport to the hotel.
I booked our room in the hotel complex Herastrau which is located inside the Herastrau park. A beautiful natural park around a lake that bears the same name. It’s beautiful! Our family room, a suite with a stunning view of the lake, captivated me the next day upon waking. Another thing that captivated me was the tremendous kindness and politeness of the staff at the Complex Herastrau Hotel. From they picked us up at the airport until they left us to return home, They were always very nice.
On our first day in Bucharest it rained quite a bit, but we still went for breakfast and walked around the park until our friends came by to take us to the historic center to get to know the city. As we had planned to go to Transylvania the next day, that day we did quiet things, some shopping and also rent a car to go all together, my friend’s family and mine in a Single car to Transilvania.
The next day we went very early to Transylvania and that was amazing! The greenest mountains I’ve ever seen in my life and the Transfagarasan road, known for some reason as the most famous road in the world. “The way of the clouds”, as it´s called this road with its captivating beauty will make you want to stop in every corner to take a pictures. Everything is so beautiful that you will want to document every corner with your camera.
Our first stop on the way, the Vidraru dam and its reservoir. The second essential stop, apart from the ones we made to take pictures, was at Balea Lake (Balea Lac) where we also visited the local food stalls located on the road. There we got fresh cheeses, made by local people of the area, fresh and delicious!
After eating surrounded by cheep, we had to go straight to our destination, Sibiu, as the clouds began to flood the Transfagarasan road and we had to cross it before dark.
At last we arrived in Sibiu, one of the most beautiful cities in Transylvania and the whole country. The pedestrian streets in the historical center of Sibiu are so beautiful and perfect for children to play freely! My children here played and ran a lot, that after the trip and so many hours in the car, they needed. So we went to the hotel, left the bags and went out for a walk to explore a little. The children liked the roofs and windows of the old buildings because, according to them, they looked like faces of people. They are “the eyes of Sibiu”, small windows characteristic of the city in the dormer of its buildings that have the form of marked eyes and that, while we were making our tour, they seemed to be watching us 👀.
In 2007 Sibiu was named the European Capital of Culture, its beautiful buildings and Saxon influence make this corner a very special place that is absolutely worth visiting.
We slept and the next day, after breakfast we headed to Bran Castle, Dracula’s Castle! That was what the children were more excited about, although on the way Maria Jose was a little afraid and affirming all the time the same thing I had said to her that morning “But vampires don´t exist, that It’s only in the movies” 😄she kept repeating it, I suppose to convince herself.
This castle is a medieval mansion with an aura of mystery and legend around the myth of Dracula. It was the success of Bram Stoker’s novel set in this castle, which has help the castle to win the merit of Dracula’s castle and is currently on all tourist routes in the country. After having seen the castle we got into the car and continue our way to Brasov, another city that would captivate us with its beauty.
Upon arriving in Brasov we immediately went to Casa Antiqua the hotel where we would spend the night and took our room. The boutique hotel is super cute! Located in the same plaza Statului fulfilled all our expectations. Very close to all the museums, most emblematic stores and the best restaurants in Brasov. It´s suite, very clean, spacious and elegant, is ideal for families with children. Also the staff very polite and friendly (maybe it sounds like I’ve said this before, but it’s the first thing I notice when I get to any place, first the education and the way they treat all the people and then the facilities 😉)
After leaving the suitcase and getting some rest, we went to walk around the plaza and to meet our friends for dinner at the restaurant La Ceaun. To be a meat specialist restaurant, they adapted very well to my vegetarian diet and recommended Zacusca, a dish made of aubergines typical of Romania, as well as a broth of white beans and vegetables, it was terrific!
The next morning after breakfast we visited the city, famous for its beautiful mountains and natural parks, its Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic buildings make the city of Brasov a charming place, the black church, the history museum, are some of the places Which you can´t miss.
Then we went to Bucegi National Park with the idea of doing something quiet on our last day in Transylvania. Located in the Carpathian Mountains, Bucegi National Park has incredible views and beautiful picnic spots, you can use the cable car to reach the top of the mountain, but this was closed due to strong winds, so we decided to drive there. Once there we took a quiet walk in the mountains enjoying the views, the tranquility and the cool breeze.
Last but not least, on our way to Bucharest we decided to stop for lunch at the Peles castle (castelul Peles) in Sinaia, a beautiful alpine village at the foot of the Bucegi mountains, in the Prahova valley. The castle of Peles is a palace of Neo-Renaissance architecture with Saxon touches like almost everything in the area.
After knowing and living such beautiful experiences that will remain in our hearts forever, now we have only to return to Bucharest to catch the flight back home.
I love you all!!