Visit Transylvania an Authentic European Experience
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Since: Oct 06
#1 Oct 23, 2006
Spending Halloween night in Dracula's Castle sounds like something Abbot & Costello might have done by mistake in one of their movies. But it's something that Dracula and horror enthusiasts actually do every year on the "Dracula Tour," thanks to a tour group ( www.DracTours.com ) which brings fear-filled travelers to Transylvania every year.
"It's a bit more special this year because we're celebrating the 75th anniversary of one of the greatest classic monster movies of all time, the original 'Dracula' that starred Bela Lugosi," exclaims tour organizer and host Charles F. Rosenay of Connecticut, a self-professed lover of all things haunted and macabre. "We have been doing the 'Dracula Tour' for some years now, and as the tour has gotten to be where it's truly the ultimate haunted Halloween travel adventure, the groups have gotten bigger every year too."
The tour is a complete sell-out with 90 monster mavens filling two coaches that will journey alongside the horse & buggies which share the Romanian countryside roads, as the tour follows in the footsteps of Bram Stoker's novel, "Dracula" from October 27-November 3. During the week, there is an equal portion of history, involving Vlad Tepes, plus the myth and mystery surrounding Dracula, and the ways that Vlad inspired Dracula.
Coincidentally, next year will be the 110th anniversary of the Dracula novel, and it will also mark the 10th anniversary of the "Dracula Tour" to Transylvania. Rosenay expects another sell-out, but he has some new tour twists and surprises planned for the special occasion in 2007. "One of the cities we visit, Sibiu, will be the European Culture Capitol in 2007, so mixing the chills & thrills with the cultural aspect will bring the trip to a whole new level." In Sibiu, the group visits the Evangelical Church built in 1300, which contains burial vaults in its crypt connected to both Dracula and the legend of Frankenstein. That's just one of the numerous horror-related sites.
The tour visits Snagov Island, where a secluded monastery contains Vlad's coffin. There's a visit to Vlad's birthplace in the best-preserved medieval town in all of Europe, Sighisoara. The group explores the historic ruins of Vlad's Poenari Castle, which is as breathtaking as the more tourist-visited Bran Castle, also on the itinerary.
Ascending up Borgo Pass into the Carpethian Mountains, but the highlight is unquestionably Halloween, when travelers experience what is the definitive Monster masquerade ball, in the dungeon room at Dracula's Castle atop the Romanian alps. The costume party is preceded by an outdoor bonfire with music by local gypsy musicians, followed by a six-course meal, culminating with a gala monster mash costume extravaganza and dancing into the early morning hours.
"Dracula Tour" is the only fully-escorted, professionally guided vacation organized by fans for fans. The annual pilgrimage to the "unholy" land is accepting reservations for Halloween, 2007 (also October 27-November 3), with a similar summer version of the tour slated for July 10-17. The trip is open to all ages, and welcomes couples, families and solo travelers. There is both educational and entertainment value for anyone looking for an unusual week-long ghoulish getaway. For further details on the "Dracula Tour," visit the website www.DracTours.com .
Seventy five years later, Bela Lugosi would be proud.
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