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Count Dracula is an old aristocratic blood-line of The Sekler. His grandfather fought against the Ottomans in Mohacs (1526), and many other wars to keep the Transylvania name alive.

Between the Danube and the Carpathian mountains, this was the last province that the Romans conquered, around 107AD, and it was also the first that they lost; around 270AD.

Transylvania

After the Romans many others came through the area: Slavs, Ottomans, Magyars, and Germans; to make Romania a country of many languages. The dominant language today is Romanian.

Transylvania is one of three regions in the Carpathians, the other two being: Moldavia, and Bucovina.

A look back at how Katalin saw Transylvania, more than 30 years ago:

The train left Budapest very early in the morning.... for Bistritz, Romania.

From the train window we see very small cities lost in the countryside. In the distance there are mysterious castles perched upon the highest peaks of the Karpatan, from where fast running streams crash down and disappear into large valley rivers.

The rickety-clackety tempo of our train can not compete with the speed and crashing of nature's waters around us. By the railway stations people were still dressed in various traditional clothes.

If you are a painter, you would be tempted to pull the brake on the train and set up your easel outside.

The many hours of the journey pass quickly in this environment, and it is dark when we arrive in Bistritz; a very old, interesting city. There is a change in atmosphere as we enter the wildest, undiscovered region of Europe. From here a road climbs steeply up to the Borgopass, and into Bukovina.

In Bistritz we stay in a rustic hotel that hasn't changed for centuries, and as I lay my head on the pillow, an inner voice seems to say: 'Welcome to Dracula Land'.

I ask myself if this is really an inner voice of fantasy, or was it the very hearty evening meal of Raubersteak washed down with a strong, gold-like wine, that burns the tongue and leads people to the ghosts.

Next morning, we should know which way to go: Timesvar; Koloszvar; or Brasov? Or do we want to track down a castle from Count Dracula?

This is a very different day, a day unlike any other as we step in to a horse-drawn carriage. Wrinkled old women in black pass us, habitually wearing crucifixes, and our mind drifts back to a former time. The grey morning has past, the sun is high, and at last we can see the horizon. The sight of fruit trees and forests cancel out the wild thoughts of ghosts, from the night before.

As a child, I read that Borgoprund was one of the homes of Count Dracula, and this was to be our destination today. With the forests quickly behind us, snow covered peaks begin to show their face, and the temperature drops.

As always the carriage driver has a blanket, and a flask of Sliwowitz; nothing better to take your mind off the howling wolves and wild dogs chorusing in the moonlit night. This was the real Transylvania.

And here begins the rich feeling of the legendary Family Dracula:

Count Dracula is an old aristocratic blood-line of The Sekler. His grandfather fought against the Ottomans in Mohacs (1526), and many other wars to keep the Transylvania name alive.

In this region, it is up to you to find your own Transylvania and how your blood reacts to Dracula.

By Katatlin Meszaros.

History of Dracula:
In order to understand the life of Vlad Dracula it is first necessary to understand something about the nature of Wallachian society and politics. Very interesting to distinguish between the fact and fiction.

Romania Travel Notes:
The borders of Romania have shifted over the years, and some eleven percent of Romania is still populated by ethnic Hungarians.

Transylvania:
Count Dracula's domain used to be clothed in towering trees of the darkest green. The loggers have raped these forests and left much of her body scratched and bare.

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