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Heritage: Dracula's Castle

It was bound to happen. I couldn't just let it go and not add at least one post of the world-famous Dracula's Castle - which is presently for sale in Transylvania (insert angry face here).

I'm of the opinion heritage sites should never be sold, let alone auctioned, like normal pieces of land, but ehhh, what do I know? The Romanian government was offered it for $85 million and they declined.

So, you'll wonder, why am I posting about this? Because Draculs's castle, or Castelul Bran as we call it back home, is more than just a picture. I want to make you see it through my eyes, as of when I went and visited it when I was 7 years old.

Picture this: you're on a roadtrip with your parents, driving throughout the country. Mom and Dad insist you have to see this wonderful castle, so they drive up the long, winded pathway. Sidenote: roads in Romania are bumpy and small!

Anyway so you're driving up. And the kid you looks out the window of the car, at the fast moving trees, and sees a large shadow looming. It's close to twilight, there's no way the castle is still open for tourists - you know that, deep down. But still you're driving, and the shadows looms closer, and closer, and closer... Until you pull into the "driveway".

Eyes wide open, legs trembling, you exit the car. Grasping your mom's hand tightly, you semi-reluctantly follow as the adults enter. The smell hits you first: musty, unaired, but strangely not repugnant. Then you notice the dim lights.

"Bună!" says the receptionist. "Bună" in Romanian is a casual way of saying hello.

The adults engage in conversation, and your curious eyes wander around. You take in the walls, the candlelight - and then out of the corner of your eyes, a shadow! You gasp, whirling around, to see nothing. Your mom tugs on your hand, telling you to behave. You bite your lip, trying to decide if it was a hallucination, or a real thing you'd seen - you decide on the former, too afraid to admit anything else.

The adults finish their conversation, your parents grab some pamphlets and a bat magnet, and then you're ready to exit. Nearly jumping for joy, you run out of the castle, and into the car. Except, when your dad tries to turn it on, only a sputtering noise and a tired gasp answer.

Yep, you're stranded, now in Dracula's castle. And it's nighttime. No hotel around, no internet, no mechanic. Only the large, looming shadow of the castle - and the shadows edging at the corner of your eyes...

A part 2 shall be posted soon. Can't have all the story in one post, eh?

So what do you think? Is my story real or fiction? Has anyone ever been to Dracula's castle?

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