Day 4 – Poienari Castle/Sibiu

Another early morning with 8am departure, as we head off to see the Poienari Castle en route to Sibiu.
Along the way we make a quick stop at a monastery/church, which had amazing detail and beautiful gardens. In the photo gallery it is the white church.
After several hours we arrive at the Poenari Castle – a fortress that was utilised by Vlad Tepes.
I had read that it would be a bit of a climb to reach the fortress but was clearly not prepared for how many steps there actually was up the mountain. Around 1480 steps I believe. I don’t think anyone made it up without wanting to die! So. Many. Stairs. Breathing was made harder by the fact we are both still sick,  and our legs still hurt slightly today 😛

Getting to the top made for amazing views and was definitely worth it. The fortress itself is not quite as in tact as it would have been in the past, from what I remember of the history half of it slid down the hill into the gorge, but it is still amazing walking through it and touching the bricks which have been there for so long. A lot of the history of it is speculation, but one of the tales goes that Vlad escaped through a secret passage and his wife did not, and then threw herself to her death off the top of the tower to escape being captured.
We got some amazing panoramic shots from the top (thank you iPhone 5!) – the views of the mountains with all the autumn leaves and looking down on the roads and rivers is simply stunning.
The climb down was a lot less painful!
After Poeinari we had lunch at the restaurant next to it at the base of the hill – more soup and I was adventurous and ordered the starter of “Polenta with cheese & sour cream”…. What arrived was a whole dinner plate of mushy polenta drowned in grated cheese and a whole tub worth of sour cream ! Not what I expected 😛 I scraped off the moutnains of cheese & cream and tried some but it mostly went untouched.
After lunch, we drove several hours + several more to the town of Sibiu. After checking in at our hotel and an hours nap, we went out for a short evening walk around the part of town we were staying in and then to dinner as a group again at another Romanian style restaurant.
This place had pasta on the menu which they advised they could do minus any meat so we choose that – a Carbonara minus ham/bacon and a wild mushroom Penne .. as well as a starter of fried Camembert which came with a side boat made out of a half a lemon filled with cranberry (?) jam. Fried cheese, how can you go wrong?
The pasta was okay if not a little bland, but we needed a break from soup! Our starter, 2 mains, .5L beer and a soda came to $19AUD. Amazing.

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