Romania – Transylvania and Bucharest
Shot by TotalAdventure’s Blaine Zuver and Martin Zuver.
A an overnight first class sleeper train ride from Budapest had us arriving fresh and rested on the first morning of summer, June 21.
The”Dacia” Boarding in Budapesti Keleti.
Brasov – Romania’s Hollywood ? Brasov is the center of Transylvania.
Dracula’s Castle, known as Castle Bran, is about 25 km from Brasov. Building began in the 1200s and was added on to over the centuries.
A hidden stairway deep in the interior.
The modern day ( 1883 ) Peles Castle, in Sinaia. was built by King Carol. It was built with electricity,telephones,telegraph and other modern conveniences.
The Carpathian Mountains are quite undeveloped. There are a few small ski areas, with a long powdery season, rafting,climbing and seeing rare animals that are extinct in Western Europe. For many years only Dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu was allowed to hunt.
While forcing his subjects to live in poverty and half-starvation,Ceaușescu lived in the grand style of a Communist Emperor .An entire section of Bucharest ( not just a neighborhood, but comparable to the Upper West Side of Manhattan or Soho in London ) in order to build the People’s Palace – the world’s second largest building in terms of square footage , just after the Pentagon. It took 18 years to complete – from 1978 to 1996 – 7 years after the execution of he and his vile wife Elena.
A chandelier weighing 5 Metric Tons – one of over 100 in the building – constructed at a time the populace was relegated to one 40 watt lightbulb per apartment.
The Dictator. – “Genius of The Carpathians” was one of his many self-bestowed titles.
One of many grand staircases. Many had to be rebuilt several times in order to make him seem taller than his short stature.
The view from one of the balconies from which Ceaucescu would never make a speech.
One in three adults were rumored to work for the Secret Police – the Securitate.
In a nautical mode.
In Nicolae and Elena’s villa – solid gold water faucets. Commoners were rationed to half an hour of hot water every other Sunday.
Modern radio – circa 1988.