Our post of today has nothing to do with Vlad himself, but rather with his literary counterpart, Dracula. Have a look at these quotes from the novel by Bram Stoker…
At the Borgo Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I trust that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land. –Your friend, Dracula.”
“It was on the dark side of twilight when we got to Bistritz, which is a very interesting old place. Being practically on the frontier–for the Borgo Pass leads from it into Bukovina–it has had a very stormy existence, and it certainly shows marks of it. Fifty years ago a series of great fires took place, which made terrible havoc on five separate occasions. At the very beginning of the seventeenth century it underwent a siege of three weeks and lost 13,000 people, the casualties of war proper being assisted by famine and disease.”
This Borgo Pass is actually a real place and is nowadays known as the Tihuta Pass. Although Bram Stoker had never traveled to Romania, he must have seen it being mentioned on a map…
And yes, Lars and I explored the Tihatu Pass. Dracula is one of my favorite novels ever and driving on the pass that features in that same book was exciting, to say the least.
The biggest attraction in this pass – apart from the breathtaking scenery – is the hotel called Castel Dracula.
Not Vlad Tepes, but… Bram Stoker!
Built in the 1970s, the hotel is known for its kitschy interior and the Dracula coffin experience. When I did research about it, I noticed that the website of the hotel gave an error message. So, I checked it on TripAdvisor though and it looks like the hotel is still open.
A big thanks to the hotel owner in Cluj for pointing this out to us!
One more bonus episode and then our Vlad Tepes adventure is over! Afterward, we will take you a tiny place in the Czech Republic where Lars and I experienced something really exceptional. Oh, and this weekend I will publish the 3rd part of our Lockdown Diary.