THE REALM OF DRACULA: Targoviste & Snagov
Our first foray out of Bucharest is to Targoviste, the capital of the former kingdom of Wallachia during Dracula times. The Chindia, a tower at the center of the royal castle ruins there, has witnessed many of the acts of “extreme justice” administered by Dracula to criminals and traitors. From its summit, we can survey the surrounding grounds and imagine the forest of the impaled that cemented Dracula’s reputation as the fiercest enemy of evil.
Lunch in the Dealul Mare wine region, then continue to Snagov to cross the lake to the island monastery, grave of Dracula.
THE LAIR OF DRACULA: Poienari
The ruins of Poienari Fortress stand high on a cliff overlooking the Arges River, at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Built at the beginning of the 13th century by the first Wallachian rulers, the castle became Dracula’s stronghold and a place from which he fought the Turks.
After climbing the 1,462 stairs (a good reason to get into shape by September), we will have a magnificent view of rugged slopes below as you enjoy your picnic lunch. It was from here Dracula faced the final attack of the Ottoman army. Those less inclined to climb the stairs may lunch at the local inn while viewing the Poienari ruins from below.