Uncle Vlad’s Pad, Transylvania, and Roamin’ in Romania

Uncle Vlad’s Pad, Transylvania, and Roamin’ in Romania

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Transylvania, Vlad the Impaler, Count Dracula… all of this largely fictionalized versions of Romania are just that. Nevertheless, we were in the mountains of Transylvania, in the medieval town of Sighișoara, and the home of the legendary Vlad III was around the corner. His face and image throughout the town, and yes, according to tales he was a ruthless ruler who impaled his enemy’s heads on spikes. That barbarity aside, the rest of the Count Dracula story is myth.

The real truth is that we drove in from Belgrade the former capital of Yugoslavia and despite the rain and bleak autumn weather, we found that Transylvania was enchanting.  Romania and the previous iterations of its various city states and empires had been fought over and contested for millennia, from the earliest Neanderthal settlements, through Roman, Hungarian,  Communist, German, and every other conquering army to come through these lands. Despite the ravages of the soviet and communist era with its ugly cement Stalinist buildings that are in stark contrast to the faded beauty of the Astro-Hungarian empire.  In Timisoura, the massive and imposing Byzantine church stands at the end of the long central plaza and at the other end was the Opera House.  On that cold rainy night i was compelled to go to an Opera.  I must have been desperate. I lasted 20 minutes.

The revolution of 1989 is poignantly remembered  http://www.memorialulrevolutiei.ro/sitenou/  it is a profoundly moving story of the revolution that transformed Romania.  The museum director Gino who was part of the events and gave us a tour.  I am hoping to connect him with other museums of conscience and International Peace Museums.

Language Barriers/ Bridges:   We have traveled to over a hundred countries, many where we only spoke a few words, and still we are able to connect with folks – a smile, handshake, a hello… your presence in the world. We can almost always bridge that gap. Even sometimes where we are speaking the same language there are such barriers, but the task is to find that human connection and friendship

Hahnemann – The founder of Homeopathy was here in for two years and started the scientific process of homeopathy. I was disappointed that there were only some more contemporary homeopathic medicines from the mid 1800’s and little of the genius of Dr. Hahnemann and how he had laid down the principles of modern medical therapeutics. None of this was presented and the guards had no idea of what this museum was about.

 

dsc_0050Sighișoara –  Deep in the heart of  Transylvania is one of the most enchanting towns where Vlad the Impaler, Vlad III, was born. Though as I mentioned, almost all of the legends of Vlad are the work of novelists and movie makers. This was my birthday treat by my wife. We had a hotel room in the old city overlooking the clock tower and the moon was almost full. Through the night less than 75 meters away the clock tower loomed and the mountains were etched in the moon enchanted night.  I thought i heard the howl of a wolf at midnight, but then fell back to sleep.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. SIghisoara does have a certain appeal to it, doesn’t it? Although it’s just a small town, the medieval “feel” of the town is charming. Although Dracula’s legend is also mostly fiction, but at least it provides some entertainment for “vampire” fans. 🙂

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