29 June 2013

To Sinaia
Peles Castle
Why work in tourism?

Peles-castle-Sinaia4We left Brasov today to go to Sinaia, that is where the other “must see” castle of Romania is : Peles Castle.
We were told to catch the bus from autogara 2, so we made our way there in the morning. At the given time, no bus showed up, and after finally finding someone with bus info, it turned out that there are no buses from autogara 2 to Sinaia. They now only leave from autogara 1… And again we run into the problem that there is no public transport between the different bus stations.. We resort to a taxi and arrive at the right bus station an hour before the bus leaves. We are loosing a lot of time, but as we are not travelling very far today it is not a problem and quiet relaxing.

The drive out is pretty and gets even better when we make it to the higher mountain areas. It must be very touristy here as any extra space along the road is taken up by souvenir stalls.
The bus drops us in Sinaia next to the train station. There is nothing else around.
Across the street is a staircase up the hill, so we make our way there. Instantly we know we are in the right place, traffic, people, music and hotels. We check the first one, but it is too expensive. On walking out, we run into an actual tout! Haven’t had many of these in Romania. He wants to take us to a guest house. Fine, as long as it is within our budget.

Sinaia Monestary

Sinaia Monastery

After a little break, we decided to go find this famous caste. Besides the main street full of hotels and cafes the town is quite pretty. It has some big old buildings and an old casino left from when the royal family would spent the summers here. Strangely we cannot find any signs for the castle and only by accident stumbled upon the monastery that the town is also know for. The only signs around are for the ski lifts going up into the mountains, where there are a lot of walking paths. Hopefully we can do that tomorrow..



Only by asking did we find the path to the castle. Getting closer it became clear we are on the right road. People everywhere and again the street is lined with souvenir stalls. In the distance we get the first views of Peles. It is very impressive and the setting is stunning!
On approach you first run into Pelisor castle. Not a castle at all, but another royal residence. We have a wander around it, admiring the woodwork and strangely Bavarian style architecture. There is also a show on with classic cars.

Now onto the main attraction.

P52postcourtyardP53postdetailThey started building the castle in 1873, a few years after King Carol I visited the area and fell in love with this specific spot. It was made a royal estate, and even though it is called a castle, it is really more a palace. A mix of architectural styles and foreign influences.
The gardens are beautiful with a lot of statues and not running fountains. The out side of Peles is similar in style to Pelisor, just on a grander scale.P51pano2
P53postdetailIt is impressive.  Really impressive, however we did not go and see the insides. We debated for a while whether it would be worth it or not. For a start we thought the price was a bit high, and they want to charge double for photos (Have they heard about the internet?) Then after deciding to go and do it, the treatment of the ticket lady was so appalling that we changed our mind.
We waited to get a ticket, but had to ask three times before we could get the ladies attention from her TV show.  Then she pretended to speak no English.  Asking a simple question of where do we go and what time does the tour start, elected a grunt.  That’s when we decided that if this is how buying a ticket goes, the tour is probably even worse. Upon returning the tickets the saleswomen could suddenly speak perfect English. To insult us!! What did we do to deserve that?!?! Why work in tourism if you don’t like it?  P50postpano

With a bad feeling we now left. Here are some downloaded photo’s of the inside of the castle. Apparently every rooms is decorated in a different style.64 Peles castle; Main hall of armsPeles1peles-castle-interior

Making our way back to the main area of town we got caught in the rain and had to shelter at a pub. A great place to have a drink and get back into a better mood!

(unfortunately we never did take the cable cart to the top of the mountain, as the next morning we woke up to grey skies and rain again..)


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