Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Visiting Peles Castle

Our basic plan for Sunday, March 17, was to visit Peles Castle. Our driver and guide told us to meet him at 9:00.

At the top of this photo, in the 12:00 position, you can see some parked cars. This photo was taken from the balcony outside my room. At the 3:00 position you can see a set of wooden stairs. These are for the terrace right outside the entrance to the vila where we stayed. This photo definitely shows what the climb up and down was like from the parking lot.

We loaded the luggage in the van and he collected our room keys and returned them to the reception desk. Then we were off to Peles Castle, a bit to our surprise, because somehow we all thought we were having breakfast with him first.

The drive to Peles Castle was between 30-40 kilometers. I honestly had never heard of this castle before. I read about it on Wikipedia the evening before and was glad I did. I encourage you too to try the link I have provided.

Our guide walked us to the ticket booth.
We were in a large courtyard. It was decorated in an Italian style.

I wondered if this is how the courtyard in Wawel Castle may have looked before all the frescoes were destroyed by occupying powers during the time of the partition.

We were in luck for we waiting only about 10 minutes for an English language tour of the castle. I know we were joined by many for whom English was an additional language but the obvious choice since they didn't speak Romanian.

The price for taking photos was a bit expensive, and I elected not to buy a photo pass and simply look and enjoy the castle. Glad I made that choice, for we had to wear slippers over our shoes, slippers that didn't fit too well.  It is difficult to walk up a long flight of stairs wearing ill-fitted slippers and not lose one. Thankfully, I didn't feel too dumb, for others were losing their slippers too! I don't think I could have managed the slippers and a camera at the same time.

I didn't know until this tour that the first King Carol of Romania was really a German prince. He found that the Carpathian Mountains reminded him of home and that is why he elected to build a castle in this location. Also, he had studied architecture and was anxious to put what he had learned into action. The workmanship in this building is breath-taking. For example, you may think you are looking at a painting, and then the guide points out the picture is totally made of wood.

After the interior tour we went outside to take photos outside where there no restrictions.

These pictures are not bright because the weather was very cloudy and in fact snow began while we were walking about.

Two from our team elected to walk further to take some pictures, and two of us decided to wait in the coffee bar for them. We gathered together in the coffee bar while the others had some refreshments and then began to walk to the parking lot.

I noticed this cannon in the snow on the terrace as we were leaving the coffee bar.

The above is not a black and white picture. Black and white were simply the only colors present.

We met our driver/guide and explained we had decided to skip doing a ski-lift trip up a mountain. We thought the combination of snow and clouds would obscure any view we might get.

Instead we gratefully headed to a charming restaurant for lunch.

We sat ourselves down by a stove with a burning fire and had a wonderful lunch.

Here we are looking very happy after lunch.

Notice my colleagues from Arizona and Texas look like its winter and I'm standing there in my spring coat without a hat. Well, I must disclose I had on a polar fleece jacket under the spring coat!

Then we were off for the four hour trip back to Barlad. I took the video below out of my window in the back of van as we made our way up and over the mountains.

video
We surely had a very nice time over the weekend.

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