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Halloween is only about a fortnight away. Both my travel companion and I normally didn’t really make a fuss about Halloween (and we still don’t). But we did have one wishful image about what to do at Halloween if we ever did something about it. It was to visit Transylvania… in costume! The idea of Halloween in Transylvania was originally my buddy’s cup of tea who is full of vivid imaginations. But his briefing on the idea easily convinced me, and yes we made that happen last year. The following post is how we executed the idea and where we visited. The time in Romania was part of our adventure to the central/eastern Europe, and it was indeed a highlight of the holiday. If you’ve wondered a unique time for Halloween or wanted to get some exciting inspiration for travel destinations, save this post on your radar! 😉
Before setting off
Getting special costumes for the trip
We stopped by Angels Fancy Dress at Shaftesbury Avenue in London to pick costumes. I had wondered how this shop would make a living in expensive central London, but that was a silly worry. Since it was getting closer to Halloween, a lot of customers were around to choose their costumes. Despite limited stocks, he managed to find and match items with what he had in mind.
The picture above is the outfit he chose! 🙂 While he wanted to look properly dressed up, my approach to the costumes was a little pinch of Halloween on my usual clothes. So with bit of help from Pinterest posts, I went with red & black as a general tone, and just bought point accessories like a choker, and a red lipstick, and fake fangs from Amazon…. hehehe
Halloween in Transylvania, Romania
First snow of the year while still full of autumn colours
On the last week of October we had our first snow of the year. After checking in accommodation near Bran Castle, I noticed some snow outside the window. We were about to go out for a stroll to indulge ourselves in autumn leaves. So this unexpected snow effect over red and yellow foliage was a sweet welcome package for us. This transition of the season provided rather special atmosphere and scenery during our time here. (You’ll see more photos of the colour contrast from the leaves and the snow, if you scroll down to the bottom of the post).
Because lots of Halloween festivals and events feature vampires, we thought it was suitable to visit the ‘home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula’. Although there is no fact-based, solid connection between Bran Castle and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the castle is commonly called Dracula Castle and attracts hoards of tourists (and we were two of them too).
On the day of Halloween came our show time. We dressed with what we had brought all the way from London and headed for Bran Castle. Browsing the castle dressing up was rather special (though I looked normal because mine wasn’t actually ‘costumes’), feeling quite fitting to the place. The fangs were interesting to put it mildly though.. It was almost impossible to say anything looking decently, because I had to give up correct pronunciations and try hard not to drool…hahaha If you want to take photos at the famous spot in the building, I recommend to visit the castle later of the day or potter around till almost closing time to avoid crowds.
While sightseeing within the castle, we saw Dacre Stoker, who is Bram Stoker’s great nephew. He was probably there to do with Airbnb’s event last year: Night at Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania. After having a full day at the castle to achieve our purpose of the trip as much as possible, we went back to our accommodation. On our way out, thanks to Airbnb’s special event we had a sneak peek through the closed gate, of horse-drawn carriage waiting for the competition winners.
P.S. The only downside of the castle visit was wasting more than an hour just to buy tickets. We had not realised how many like-minded tourists would also come. So please mind a horde of people and be patient if you plan to visit Bran Castle on Halloween, including potentially chaotic queueing.
Piatra Craiului National Park
Next day, 1st of November, we checked out and had some time left so decided to wander the area. After walking towards a mountain near the castle area, a signpost said we reached an entrance of Piatra Craiului National Park, which was a hidden gem – a true, real gem!
It was slightly challenging for me to hike (but manageable!), as the season and trails weren’t most beginner-friendly. Though, this actually made us feel rather adventurous. Whenever we bring up memories on this journey, all the time we talk about how much we enjoyed trekking here. Each and every scene we encountered was speechlessly beautiful.
My creative person reviewed that he could just draw in his head a specific scene from movie Van Helsing.
Another spot had an open field with a magnificent landscape. Its view reminded me of TV show ‘The Joy of Painting’, where Bob Ross had always showed painting stunning nature. As seen from these beautiful photos, the national park was best to appreciate the ridge in the Carpathian Mountains. Also, an overview of Bran Castle from the mountain took an extra point.
Without zombies and the skeleton makeup involved, Halloween in Transylvania was our own best way to enjoy the spooky day. Every single moment was so special and if possible we would make this as our annual Halloween celebration… 😉