News from the adventurers – visit Count Dracula or get out in the mountains?

As you might have noticed there was nothing left to read from us for a while…Well we were busy on our way, not always with good internet access and admittedly also blueed a few days at a festival

After our very strong experience (sorry for the flat pun, but I couldn’t resist it) we drove on along the beautiful Carpathians. The weather here was very pleasant. It rained once a day or at night, otherwise it was warm, but not too hot and the higher you came the less the mosquitoes bothered you. Via Workaway I found an alternative community near Hunedora, which we wanted to visit for a few days.

But before that there was Dracula Castle on our way! So on to Bran, where the castle is located. The small village Bran bursts almost at the seams in front of the masses of tourists who push their way up the slope to the creepy castle. We also lined up well, smuggled Senta into the paid area in front of the castle and had to get used to the crowds again. Uff. To take Senta with us into the crowd would not have been fair, as she was not very interested in the old, but really beautiful walls and the myth around the count’s vampire. So we took turns and one always stayed with her in front of the castle, while the other one meandered through the narrow corridors of the castle.
The building itself is beautifully situated, on a steep rock face it sits enthroned above the woods. One learns a lot about the history of the house, which is closely linked to the Romanian Queen Mary. Also the Teutonic Order, which we already met in Poland on the Marienburg, is said to have worked here. In the castle itself, however, there is such a turmoil that it is difficult not to be pushed past the information boards. Until I visited Dracula Castle, I was not even aware that the legend of the probably most famous vampire in the world was only invented in 1908 by the writer Bram Stoker and is not really an old Romanian legend. Thus, this world-famous story is hardly based on old legends and myths, but is the work of an Irish writer. Mh, somehow I was a little disappointed about this realization, as I had been looking forward to the stories from Transylvania.

But the visit was worth it anyway. However, we were also quite happy to get out of the hustle and bustle and set off in the direction of Brasov. On the way we got so tired that we stopped at a river shortly before the district capital and stayed there overnight. The next day we visited the beautiful city and strolled through the alleys. It is really worth a visit and radiates Mediterranean flair. Also the narrowest street of Europe is here. Fortunately we did not get stuck…

The tour went on to Eisenmarkt and Valea Babii to visit the local community. The days there among many other workawayers were very interesting and brought us some new insights and impressions regarding the community life. Since we are interested in such projects, it is always exciting to see how others live their lives with many in one place. Valea Babii was a magical place in the mountains. The small village could only be reached on foot, our driving home we left a 5 minute walk far away at the “road”, which was actually only a dry riverbed and only accessible with a 4*4 off-road vehicle. After the action in the Ukraine we became a little more careful.
On the spot we had a lot of different impressions. Some houses were built out of ruins, others were built from scratch. There are compost toilets and electricity comes from the main village a few kilometres away. You feel very free and wild up there, but I think it can get very hard and lonely in winter… Anyway, we learned a lot about energy-saving construction methods for Tiny houses, pressed hay bales with a simple wooden box and got to know interesting people.

However, it soon became apparent that living in community is hard work for everyone and by that I don’t mean the physical work around the house and yard and for basic needs. On a social and emotional level, too, there are many issues that need to be clarified and (repeatedly) discussed in a life that is supposed to produce strength and relief for the individual through the community. The experiences there kept us busy for a few days and we took some practical and interesting insights from Valea Babii with us.

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