I don’t have a lot of words to describe this incredible Palace. It’s absolutely perfect in every authentic way! Ihave seen many opulent Palaces all around the world, and there are aways strict rules to know before entering. Not being able to take photos is a tough rule for me (us). Also, most of the time a full tour of a Palace is not allowed; many rooms are often blocked off. This is just something every body has to roll with.
The first time I was here, at Peles, photos we not allowed. Not just a flash thing; no photos at all. Also, many rooms were closed-off from viewing. Obviously, I was very disappointed. But, it was wonderful to see, regardless. It was winter, when I was here, about seven years ago, so my girlfriend and I had to don booties over our shoes, to protect the carpets. Yesterday, in the dry season, we did not have to don booties. Not only that, but we got to take photos: for an extra fee and the whole Palace was open for viewing. We scored!
After our Palace time, we drove back to Stavilar hotel where I had stayed the night, which is within walking distance of the Peles Palace. I will show old and new photos there, again. Stavilar is an old structure, and I loved it. It is not fancy, but solid and historic.
When Mr Terrific and I rolled into Sinaia, around dark, I drove right to this place. I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to stay there again, but they had no vacancies. The old man who owns it was the one I spoke with. He did not remember me, but I remembered him. My friend and I had chose to stay there, because it was as close as we could get to (and afford) to get to the Pele Castle on foot; we had arrived by train the night before. The nice man thought it was too cold for us ladies to go, so he offered to take us up to the Palace, just as a kind gesture. He did not want any money. It was cold, and the cobblestones were icy. We accepted his kindness. It would have been a hard climb, since we slipped and slid all the way back down; but managed to stay upright.
When Daryl and I arrived to Stavilar, it was too dark to take photos, but we went back before, for sure, before we left Sinaia.
As we hike up a cobblestone path from a hotel Bunny stayed at seven years ago, we made our way to Peles Castle. The path was steep and some cobbles were raised, causing a couple of stumbles. Gathering our strength along the way, we purchased some raspberries from a lady. With renewed strength and catching our breath, we enter the ticket area for our self-tour.
Walking up to the castle is breathtaking for more than just the visual impact. But walking into the courtyard entrance, really raised the impact to astronomical levels. Waiting in line to enter, gave us a few minutes to take in the spectacle of the spectacular experience ahead. One thing that stood out to me, was a small balcony with scenes painted around it. Images which enticed visions of Romeo and Juliet to real life. The ornately done exterior is underscored by the interior’s extravagance.
Every rooms overflows with carved wood and exceptional furnishings. Never will one see a more well preserved residence, turned into a museum. We go from one room to another jaw dropping scene.
The finest craftsmen from all over Europe and other parts of the world came to this one location to sculpt and create these masterpieces. The finish carpenters embellished carved wood and moldings in every inch of our eye sight view.
A wooden spiral staircase that was carved out of a single tree serves three stories. It was a copy of one the King knew of in Austria. The architect went to Austria to make blueprints and a native Romanian carved and built this staircase. All other carvings are done by other country craftsmen.
The gardens are filled with sculptures and fountains filling garden rooms on so many levels. Each area give great views of this architectural masterpiece. Every angle reveals another unseen feature.
We only spent one night in Sinaia, but it would be easy to spend more. It’s a big, small town, meaning there is lots to see and do. Another thing I love about this town is there is not just one street or road with old buildings; which is always awesome in Europe, even if there is a limited amount, but here, ALL of the streets that wind up and down the mountainside have unique structures, full of old-world charm, and character!
The town itself is a melange of crayon-coloured wooden houses contrasted with the “wedding-cake” style of its grander 19th-century buildings. Once home to Romania’s first king, Carol I, who created a summer retreat here; Peles Castle (next blog post) is a dream of hidden passages, fairy-tale turrets, vertiginous galleries and classical statues; it’s so beguilingly imaginative, it could raise a swoon from the most hardened cynic.
After driving around and taking lots of photos of the incredible architecture of this Winter playground for skiing; and Summer playground for all things that burst with color and involve beautiful sunshine, we headed for the Gondola ride, which was wonderful! I had not done this before, as it was winter, and the slopes were busy with skiers using the lifts. The rides and the views are marvellous and a great way to see the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvanian Alps in all their glory!
We took both levels of the Gondola lift all the way to the top! It took a bit of time, but so worth it. At the top, we got the best iced coffees we have EVER had, and that’s saying a lot! It was cooler up on the mountain top, and it felt so good! We are both in a summer outfits and flip flops, while some others were bundled in jackets.
All too soon, we had to say goodbye to Sinaia, and the beautiful Hotel Palace, where we stayed, where we were surrounded with opulence and style. But, it was time to move on to our next location!
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