Thursday 19th April - Final Day!

After getting packed up to catch our flight back to the UK at 6pm (Romania time), we did attempt a rather disastrous drive into Bucharest city... a tip, do not drive in! Get a taxi or bus as the drivers and pedestrians are all a touch crazy and possible suicidal!

Bird outside of our Otopeni hotel room

We drove in and drove back out then headed back to safe ground (Otopeni!), where we had a walk up and down the main road. Visited the Nike and Adidas outlet shops (nothing cheap enough that we wanted to buy it, we're obviously of even cheaper tastes lol) then slowly walked up the road to an all you can eat buffet restaurant where we had a plate of pasta each.

Another slow walk back up the road, stopped at a local supermarket to grab some sweets & chocolate as gifts. Also a bag of dog treats (well the pups missed out on the holiday, so had to bring them back a pressie!)

Headed back to the Charter Hotel, who kindly let us use the shuttle back to the airport.
Not much to say after this, did last minute gift shopping in the duty free shop, exchanged and spent the last of our Romanian Lei! Had a tasty burger and chips in Frankfurt (and oogled the Tiffanys shop)

Gary discovering the delights of Bram Bears!

6pm - Otopeni to Frankfurt (Arrived 7.30pm, Germany time)

22pm - Frankfurt to Manchester (Arrive 10.45pm UK time, however delayed so arrived back 11.15pm)

Our trip home!

THEN HOME! Where 3 pups and 1 cat greeted us as clearly to them we'd been gone at least month and not 6 days :D

Belle & Penny

Gadget & Garfield

Wednesday 18th April - I peed in Draculas Castle :D

Once again we woke up early (so going home knackered after this trip) so we could go have a look around the Brukenthal Palace Grounds then head on over to Bran to visit Draculas Castle.

Had a lovely continental breakfast laid out for us in a very cosy kitchen, tasty bread, salami, juice!

Then walked around the grounds (more pictures in separate page above)

The Orangery

Back up to the Palace and main road

A view from above

We set out towards Bran not long after so we'd have plenty of time to go around the castle then head back towards Otopeni. Bran was actually very easy to find and would be described as a Tourist town with lots of places to eat and little souvenir shops.

After parking up the car, we walked up and around to Draculas/Bran Castle paid our 20lei each and headed on up. The castle is actually quite small, took us about an hour and half to go around taking our time and exploring the different bits.

The courtyard in the castle was lovely but one of my favourite parts had to be the Summer Balcony. Would love my house to have a balcony like that :D

Bran / Draculas Castle

Entering the castle / A secret stairwell in the castle

Gorgeous courtyard with well


The Summer Balcony

Gary posing the by the well

A derelict church with stained glass windows

Once last shot of the castle, shame about the wires!

After our adventures around the castle, we set back off to Brasov first to get our spare tyre replaced or fixed, then started the journey back to Otopeni. Sadly the weather was awful, I had hoped to stop on the way back in some of the little villages to take pictures but it was just impossible to stop :(

We got back to Otopeni around 6.30pm, checked back in at the Charter Hotel then headed down to a little italian place for dinner. A very tasty calzone pizze for me and Garys standard ham and mushroom pizza!

Restaurant 'La Iancu'
Str. 23 August, 2, Otopeni, Ilfov, Romania

Tuesday 17th April - Rockfalls!

So we had a very very very cold start to the morning, waking up in our Ice Bed. We waited until about 7.30am, decided we both needed the toilet & warmth. Got up and ready very quick to make our way out and back to the Chalet.

Opened up the big wooden doors to find that it had snowed over night and everywhere was covered with a fresh layer of untouched snow. So pretty, but very bloody chilly especially the wind which had picked up!

Very fresh snow & behind the Ice Hotel (which was in the process of being taken down)

We had a quick warm nap, got dressed, had breakfast then pulled out stuff together so we could get the first cable car down the mountain as our plans for the day were to visit the city of Sibiu and then check in that night into the Brukenthal Palace Hotel

The view down the cable wire... and the waterfall as you go up/down the cable car

Little did we know that our plans were to be disrupted! Got back to our little rental car, packed up, fed a local stray dog and then started to drive back down the mountain. We didnt get very far until we hit a rockfall which had been caused during the night by a storm!

The rockfall!

Noone could say if and when the way would become clear again, which panics you slightly (ok a LOT), so to pass the time we ended up going to sit in the restuarant of the Balea Cascada hotel and drinking a lot of hot chocolate.

We walked down and saw the rockfall, then when nothing else to do I got my camera out and started to take pictures of the area.

Mini water fall and random building

The area and hotel/cable car station

Our british friends Rebecca and James who also came down the mountain for a look.

It got to about 4pm, we'd made plans to go back up to the Chalet and stay the night when we were told a path had been cleared!

Sadly Sibiu was missed, but we drove onto Avrig to stay at the Brukenthal Palace.

We actually struggled to find the where we were to stay, but the lovely Adelina & Monia who I'd been chatting with via email and who had help arrange our stay sent someone to lead us to where we would be staying.

The rooms are based in the Orangery.

That night we were served a lovely dinner in our room, I found it a little strange and wanted to keep helping lol We were served what seemed to be a traditional meal:

Lamb Pate & Goats Cheese
Lamb Soup
Slow Cooked Lamb with Polenta
Fruit with a rum iced sauce
(and a bit too much white wine lol)

Our room and a candle lit dinner which was served to us in the room next door.

Monday 16th April - Part 2

After our nap, we were told that dinner would be served at around 7.15pm, so we got up and once again dressed up as warm as possible. I mean we were eating in an Ice Restaurant, at a Ice table on a Ice stool!!!

The Ice Restaurant (doors going off the rooms)

The Ice sculptures on the way in - one of the Ice Trees had died during the day

We sat down at our table to find another British couple were also dining and staying the night! We chatted away about what we'd been done, when we arrived and due to leave and also what we still wanted to do.

When we booked into the Ice Hotel that morning, we were asked if we wanted meat or vegetable dishes. I ordered one of each so that we could swap! Dinner pretty much was as the menu said:

However dessert was a apple and cinnamon strudel!

Gary sat with the muscians and our Ice table set!

Drinking nummy blue cocktails

After we'd finished, we headed back to the Chalet to get ourselves ready for the nights stay. I really didn't wear enough layers and did wake up at many points shivering! Also we found out that the nearest toilets were in the cable car station... we decided to hold on until morning lol

We got given the "Blues Room"

Our bed

Gary ready and us snoodled up together!

Monday 16th April - Part 1

WOW! Is all you can when you get up and look outside to find yourself surrounded by mountains and snow (lots of snow!).

View from our bedroom

Got up and dressed so we could get our breakfast. I had a mushroom omelette and Gary a "french breakfast" which consisted of a big basket of toast, butter, jam and coffee. He was a happy chappy :D

Once we'd finished up, went and got wrapped up warm so we could head out into the snow. It actually wasn't as cold as it looked and when your trudging through snow which is as deep as it this was you find yourself warming up pretty quick!

Entrance to the Ice Hotel

Our first stop was the Ice Hotel (link in side), which was pretty amazing. We walked up and down the restaurant which had the doors leading to each room going off down each side, it was pretty clear anyone who had stayed had now moved onto warmer pastures and it was empty so took our time walking around and viewing each individual room. There were 10 in total, but some of them were no longer in use as they had deteriorated since opening back in December 2011.

Pretty Ice Trees in the Hotel

The hotel was based on a Music theme with each room styled to a different music genre. We wouldn't find out until that evening which room would be ours.

Music Ice Statues

After looking around the Ice Hotel we made out way to the 2nd chalet where we stopped and had a drink and watched the scenery. There seemed to be a group of 4 males students doing some form of science experiment as they had set up a camera to take pictures every 5 seconds of a certain section of the mountains.

The 2nd Chalet/Bar

We also watched as another group of 4 (a family) arrived on their skis, they literally moved up to the side of the chalet and went down the snow slope that led them off to another section of the mountain.

Sign Post on where to go!

We walked back the way we came and visited the 3 igloos which are across the way from the Ice Hotel. The rooms were a lot bigger and more private, they'd also frozen items like magazines and beer bottles into the ice blocks.

Gary in the entrance of the Ice Igloos

Across from the igloos was what would of been the Ice Chapel, unfortunately it was now closed but I was able to peer in and get a picture of the inside.

The closed Ice Chapel

We headed back to the Chalet, were Gary got a good laugh at me sinking into the snow up to my knees constantly! Seriously, should of taken a couple of tennis bats so I was able to go exploring more. Then after getting dry and warm, we had lunch (Beef soup, then Chicken snitzel with chips.) followed by an afternoon snooze...

I just couldn't stay on top of the snow (for long!)

Gary and his minimal snow sinkage :p