We travel to Targoviste from Bucharest, the former capital of Wallachia. Due to its position and also the growth of the market town around the beginning of the 14th century it was the second town colonized by the Saxons in Wallachia, after Cimpulung Muscel. In the year of Vlad the Impaler’s birth, 1431, Targoviste officially became the Royal Court of Wallachia, was modernized and extended with stone walls. During the reign of Vlad III Dracula (the Impaler) he added the Chindia Tower to the Royal Court, that was totally restored in the 19th century.
We leave the city and drive along the Dambovita Valley towards the Carpathian mountains passing several villages and the area of Voinesti known as the best area of apple production in Wallachia. Soon the winding road becomes very narrow crossing a gypsy village at the base of the rock cliff where a Christian monastery is overlooking the pass. Legends say that Vlad the Impaler was often coming here to spend time and pray. Due to many similarities, the monastery gains the nickname of the Carpathian Meteora. Following up the river we come to the small town called Rucar.
The Rucar-Bran pass is starting here, the road to Transylvania used for centuries as a trade route in peacetime and for the invasion from the south by Ottoman army. The winding road passes over several ridges and trough traditional Romanian villages. We leave the main road to follow the river trough a narrow gorge that brings us to shepherds villages on the plateau with beautiful sceneries of Bucegi Mountains and Piatra Craiului. If you ever heard of breathtaking now it is the time to feel, live and experience all the meaning, on a sunny day.
We cross into Transylvania, by a small narrow cart road, like people would have done in medieval times, instead of using the asphalt heavy traffic road. We arrive in Bran, home to Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle). Vlad the Impaler never actually lived there, but he crossed the area several times and attacked the city of Brasov, in his second reign. We visit the castle and drive to Brasov (Kronstadt), visit the city, have coffee and drive back to Bucharest trough the Prahova Valley.