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In Partnership with the Transylvanian Society of Dracula

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Day 1 - Welcome to Romania - Dracula's homeland!
You will be met and transferred to your hotel. Settle in and then enjoy a welcome cocktail and briefing, followed by dinner in the company of a member of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula. At dinnertime, a senior member of the Society will hand you the "Transylvanian Diploma", to be stamped along the route to castle Dracula, for who will believe you otherwise? Spend a safe night in Bucuresti (Bucharest).
Day 2 - In the Footsteps of the Historic Dracula
In the morning, enjoy an included tour of the city of Bucuresti from Prince Vlad Dracula's time (1456) to the present day. The horse-caravans in the Middle Ages covered 60 kilometres between sunrise and sundown in a summer's day. Bucuresti is 60 km. from the Danube . Visit the ruins of the Princely Palace and touch the vaults built by Prince Vlad Dracula. Then meander through the old shopping area around the palace to the "Bear Wagon", meeting place of writers and artists by 1890 (refreshments).  Visit the Treasury - a brief story of Romania in gold and gems, and the second largest building on earth, the Republic House, built by the late communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Leave the city of Bucuresti after lunch and visit the weird Castle of Hasdeu in Campina - said to negociate communications with the Beyond (initiation step), before heading to Sinaia, the "Royal Resort" for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 - To Fortress Dracula
This morning visit Castle Peles - one of the most beautiful royal palaces in Europe; Peles alone is worth your entire trip to Romania . Drive to Targoviste, capital of Valahia under Prince Vlad Dracula, where the ruins of the palace shelter dramatic stories of might, greed, justice and cruelty. Lunch.
In the late afternoon, behold the ruins of Poienari. In 1462, Prince Vlad was besieged here by the Ottomans. Vlad sent for help and advice in the nearby village of Aref, but his wife dared not wait and threw herself into the river Arges to avoid captivity. The Arefeans came at night and managed to take the prince all the way to Transylvania across the high Carpathian mountains. Vlad rewarded them with 16 mountains as pastureland - no wonder Aref remembers! Tonight, around a bonfire in the village of Aref , 30 farmers will recount the legends they remember about Vlad; they are the descendants of those who served the prince and you shall be their guests. Overnight in the village of Aref or Curtea de Arges
Day 4 - Transylvania
Optional morning climb to the ruins of Poienari fortress(1456 steps).
Cross into Transylvania via the spectacular Rucar-Bran Pass (the traditional route linking Valahia and Transylvania ). On the way, see the "King's Stone" fortress, where Vlad was made a prisoner of Mathias Corvinus, king of Hungary (1462). Visit Castle Bran, dating from 1377, which stands sentinel over the Transylvanian end of the Pass. This is the "American Castle Dracula", as it "looks very much like the vampires' castles in the Hollywood movies" (TSD survey). At least this means Bran does stop the tourist hordes from pestering the solitude of the Count's true haunt - the remote Borgo Pass castle. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of mediaeval Brasov (the second city of Transylvania ) - with many tales and memories of Vlad. After lunch, explore at your own pace or take the chance to become noble by joining the Order of Transylvanian Knights. You will be schooled into knightly Orders, then taken to the Sacred Zone, then to the Citadel. The Castellan and his court of knights, ladies-in-waiting and pages will advise and guide you through the chivalry tests: archery; strength of arm; walking on a beam; jumping a fire; answering a riddle; dancing a minuet. Should you be able to pass the tests - and many can - then investiture ceremonies follow - oath, sword-on-shoulder, knighthooding diploma and award of the medallion. You may then cite your noble title on cards and stationery and even paint the coat-of-arms on the door of your car. This evening dinner is a mediaeval banquet followed by overnight in Brasov or Poiana Brasov
Day 5 - The Witch Trial
According to Jules Michelet, at least 200,000 women and men were burnt as witches and wizards across Europe between the 15th and the 18th centuries. The Catholic parts of Transylvania had their share of such trials. The last took place as near as 1753, in Targu Mures. This is a dramatic page in our history as humans and an initiation step on the way to Castle Dracula. Witness a witch-trial, as performed by actors in period costumes, using genuine prison cells and the same settings. Dine in the very house in which prince Vlad Dracula was born, in 1431, and share in the secrets of the Alchemy Bar. Overnight in Targu Mures.
Day 6 - The Castle of the Vampire Count
Proceed to the buffer-zone separating Count Dracula's domain (the county of Bistrita-Nasaud ) from the rest of Transylvania.  Prince Vlad fades into history; Count Dracula emerges from nightmares, terror and fright. Cross the buffer-zone if you dare to the mediaeval town of Bistrita .
One hundred and ten years ago, in the pages of Bram Stoker's novel, "Dracula", a young English solicitor, Jonathan Harker, took a train from London to "the post-town of Bistritz " - on his way to castle Dracula in the Borgo Pass in Northern Transylvania . The Count had told Harker to go to the "Golden Krone" hotel, upon arrival in Bistrita. We carefully follow in Harker's steps as the only known way to the castle and the meaning of its Master. Harker left a description of his dinner at the "Golden Krone"; let us take the same meal ourselves, the same wine, and think of a toast. By sunset we should be at Castle Dracula. Sunsets in the Borgo Pass , watched from the Moon Tower of the castle, are cosmic shows. "Enter freely and of your own will" into the castle of the Count of Dracula, remembering what he said: "The old centuries had, and have, powers of their own that mere 'modernity' cannot kill". You will be told the rules of survival at Castle Dracula. Visit the public parts (you would not wish to see the others) and answer the invitations of the guide only (no-one else's). It is already night outside. As Chelsea Quinn Yarbro put it: "If you ask if I believe in vampires in the daytime, I would say it is not true; but if you ask me at night, my answer could be different
". This evening enjoy a masked ball (please bring your own costume & mask) with dinner by candlelight and stay overnight at Castle Dracula
Day 7 - Arise Among the Living
Experience tells us that one cannot end a Society tour on Dracula abruptly: one more day is imperative to emerge from the depths of the myths and legends.
Today there is no more Dracula, no superstitions, no supernatural, no mythology. Treasure the memories of all the information gathered by the Society via its congresses, symposiums, seminars, from researchers and writers and from thousands of Dracula hunters. Return to Brasov with lunch in Targu Mures and a farewell dinner and overnight in Brasov or Poiana Brasov
Day 8 - So long, Friends!  How about a Society Level 2 tour ?
Transfer  to Bucuresti airport •Departure from Romania
Pre/post tour accommodation available upon request.
This tour is prepared and operated in partnership with Transylvanian Society of Dracula.

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