Sunday, August 17, 2014

Peles Castle, Romania

I'm fortunate enough to be married to an MBA student. Why? Because one of the perks is being able to go on class trips. We definitely jumped at the chance to go to Romania. How could you miss a once in a lifetime opportunity like that? The icing on the cake is the program was set up by the Dean of Business at the University of Montana. She and her husband are originally from there giving the trip a personal touch which was priceless.

When I try to tell others about my trip, I find that I'm often speechless. It's so hard to know where to start. So for the sake of actually finishing posts about this wonderful place, I will stick with chronological order. Mostly. One of the first places that we visited was Peles Castle.

You can read about it here .

I love castles in general and I enjoyed touring this one.  I especially had a lot of fun taking photos of all the decorative pieces around the outside of the castle and in the courtyard.

The most impressive  pieces on the inside were the stained glass window collection and some of the Turkish pistols.  I don't have any photos of these as I opted not to pay the extra 10 lei to take photos inside.  I'm kind of glad, I made that choice in a way.  We were on a scheduled tour.  I'm not sure the constant click of my camera would have made the guide very happy.  She was very business like.  My phone camera is pretty much silent, but wouldn't have done the place justice.  On the flip side, no photos of stained glass windows or Turkish pistols. 

While, it's been awhile since I was on a guided tour and am more used to going around on my own, we did learn some interesting things.  We found out there's a secret door that goes from the King's chambers to his library.  The lever that works it is behind some fake books which I couldn't spot until the guide pointed them out.  Pretty cool.  It doesn't work anymore though.  It's been sealed off.  The guide also told us about a lot of firsts like the central heating and vacuuming systems.  And we got to see the Queen's music room which was very impressive.

One of the observations that some of the students made was this castle didn't feel very lived in.  That rang true to me.  But I think it's been a museum for awhile and it feels like one.  Also the rooms that we saw on our section of the tour were very formal.  Places that the King did business, greeted guests and as far as I could tell just took care of the business of governing.  That, and the fact that you are on a guided tour, don't really leave a lot of room for feeling at home.

I would definitely recommend going if you like castles and are interested in the history of this area.  Also, if you like medieval weapons.  They have lots of them on the walls and a whole room dedicated to that sort of thing.  We were only able to take the ground floor tour due to time constraints.  I'm sure there's lots more to see on the other two floors as well. For me, while this castle was fun to visit, I'm not much for guided tours and I had a lot more fun at some of the other places we visited where we were allowed to wander and tour a particular spot at our own pace.  Although, I think I was supposed to pay more attention at the Roman Ruins, but that's another post entirely.

The series continues with Romania Part 2 - Bran Castle.

Also, I currently have a Kickstarter project in the works titled, Romania: Timeless Beauty 2015 Calendar. Fund my project, and bring the beauty of Romania home.

Peles Castle

Lion Statue Outside the Castle

Door Inside the Courtyard

Decorative Painting on the Courtyard Wall

Fountain Inside the Courtyard