Stayed the night in Braşov and had a look round in the morning. There’s a big church called ‘The Black Church’ because the stonework is very dark.
A short distance away, it is possible to take a cable car from 900m to 2200m to see the Sphinx of Bucegi. The cable car ride itself is fantastic for seeing the steep wooded slopes, still laced here and there with ice. The view from the top, looking out across the peaks, is exhilarating. The wind-eroded rocks have become a source of mystic fascination lately; one of them, from the right angle, looks like a face.
In my novel Kings of Infinite Space there is a great range of mountains, high and impassable, lower slopes richly forested, with caves where vampires make their lairs. The mountains today really thrilled me in matching that vision.
Afterwards we drove to Alba Iulia (‘white city of Julius’), where we had the fortune to catch the end of a three-day festival (Zilele Oraşului Alba Iulia). There is another major festival on 1st December to commemorate the anniversary of the union in 1918 of Transylvania with the Kingdom of Romania. At the heart of the city is a grand medieval citadel, on the site of a Roman fortress where the 13th Legion was based.