Let’s be honest, every time we mention Transylvania, our mind runs straight to the renown Bram Stoker’s character of Count Dracula and his fellow vampires. We picture in our imagination a land of creepy mountains, where fog dominates and the sun is forgotten, and the crows hover in the leaden sky from a castle to another.
Now, crows and castles abound. Though, the rest is pure fiction, the story of Dracula included. The character is meant to be inspired by Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, better known with his patronymic as Vlad Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler, due to his attitude of impaling his enemies as a memento mori. He was actually considered quite a successful defender of Christianity, and a folk hero.
My tour of Transylvania began in Cluj, a city which oozes culture and art everywhere.
The second stop was the town of Sighișoara, a little gem with colorful houses and a very characteristic atmosphere. I usually don’t mention the place where I stay, but Teo and his cellar made the memory of this medieval hamlet truly unforgettable.
Moving southward, at the village of Buşteni, I finally bumped into the Carpathians mountains, the natural border of this stunning region. Actually, “Transylvania” comes from Latin, and means “the land across the woods”. Wandering among those woods, you can almost feel them alive, like ancient guardians who stood throughout the time preserving the history, the culture and the myths of this land.
The last stop was Brașov, a ski resort destination which boasts a Hollywood-like sign. I found myself here during a moment of political unrest: a nightclub fire in a Bucharest club prompted large demonstrations, which were followed by the resignation of the PM Victor Ponta. The young man depicted in the following shots stood for several hours, with the sign “Bribe kills, stop corruption“, in the Brasov’s main square, Plata Sfatului. In the background, the “Black Church”.
During 2015, we have been exploring several places whose names everybody knows, and which I guess the most have a picture in their mind of. Nepal, India, Kashmir, as much as the secret corners of our magic South of Italy, of London, Spain and, now, Romania. Sometimes this kind of places just remains a daydream. Our aim is to see them coming real in front of our eyes and cameras, to deliver you an original and unexploited point of view. This is the aim of Blobally: exploring the unexplored.
See you in 2016, and Happy New Year to all the dreaming travelers sailing through the seven seas.
Photography: Matteo Fabi