Merry Christmas from Romania!

Sooo much better the last two days.

Ada’s cold is subsiding, she’s napping throughout the day, she’s eating without screaming, and she’s sleeping. Oh yeah, we’re also in Brasov, Romania and it’s Christmas. Its a balmy 40 degrees, but there’s still plenty of snow on the ground, and definitely still all over the mountains.

We spent Christmas Eve touring Bran Castle and learning about Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), who the Dracula lore is based upon. Its an impressive castle built right into the mountain-side rock. Its been heavily done over in the last few hundred years, including having electricity added. It was PACKED with tourists. The town of Bran would be but a dot on the countryside if not for the castle, and the hordes of people and makeshift Christmas market sheds made our stay rather brief, albeit enjoyable from a visual point of view.

We returned to Brasov, had a giant lunch in the square and Sarah and I upheld our tradition of gifting each other books for Christmas. There are several great bookstores in the Brasov square and we toured each in search of something perfect. Sarah of course nailed her gift to me, a travel writer’s account of his several-year stay in a Romanian village. I gave Sarah a photo and historical account of Brasov, and Ishiguro’s “The Unconsoled”, a rare find of something we don’t already own. We each picked up books for Ada as well, handing down the tradition to her.

Most of Brasov is closed for the day, or at least the afternoon. I did find an Irish pub open Christmas morning, and we settled on a restaurant for Christmas dinner. Our Airbnb hosts have cooked us dinner each evening, and they have their family over for Christmas. If you’re reading this dear family, thank you again for your very generous hospitality.

The photos from the last several days did manage to upload, and the gallery is current as of December 23d. Everything from Bran Castle will get uploaded eventually, but for now, Merry Christmas from Romania!