Introduction: Transylvania Unknown

Filed Under: Travel

Hello live from Turkish Airlines’ gorgeous new 787-9, as I’m watching Hotel Transylvania on my iPad for the first time, so I can really get some historical context for where we’re headed. šŸ˜‰

My goal is to make this a live trip report, and I’m going to keep this introduction short.

In early August Tiffany wrote about how we’re planning a Romanian road trip, and that trip is happening right now! I planned the flights, while Tiffany planned everything on the ground. Make sure you check out the previous post for all of the details.

Our Flights To & From Romania

As far as flights go:

I’ll share more details about the booking process in the individual installments.

What We’re Doing On The Ground In Romania

This is where it gets fun, because I’m not fully sure what we’re doing. We’ll be road tripping through Transylvania, and Tiffany is more or less leaving our time on the ground a surprise.

We’ll be staying at a different hotel every night — in some cases we’ll be staying at Hilton family properties (they have quite a presence in Transylvania), though mostly we’ll just be staying at local places. At least that’s my understanding.

I don’t actually know how much time we’ll spend driving every day, where we’ll be stopping, etc. Tiffany seems to have a good handle on it, and I’m excited about the mystery of it all.

She did involve me minimally in the decision making process. Like deciding between a hotel with this review:

And a hotel with this bathtub:

Bottom Line

Transylvania has long intrigued me, though to be honest I don’t know much about it, and that excites me. While I love planning surprise trips for others, I’m excited about the surprise of now really knowing where exactly we’ll be staying, and what exactly we’ll be doing.

We’ll be doing everything in our power to keep this trip report as close to “live” as possible, though with a lot of driving every day plus changing hotels every night, that may prove problematic. You can expect installments from both Tiffany and me on various aspects of the trip.

In the meantime, please wish us luck on the roads of Transylvania, and if anyone has any tips not mentioned in the comments of the previous post, please let us know!

  1. Have a great trip Tiffany and Lucky! You got some good advice in the comments to your previous post – but if you might have any new questions just ask us in the comment section and we’ll gladly help out. Unfortunately I’m myself heading out tomorrow in the opposite direction (OTP->IST) – would have loved buying you two a good glass of Romanian wine otherwise. Make sure you try some good ones on the ground, and don’t count on your TAROM flight for it as they serve 3-USD lower-shelf plonk (and even worse quality Prosecco, which will rival that Duc de Paris sparkling wine you once had flying China Southern as the worst airline bubbly). You have been warned šŸ˜‰

    Safe trip – or ‘drum bun’ – as they say it here in Romania!

  2. PS. You will be extremely lucky with the weather as the next days will see a continuation of the long Indian summer we have in Romania! Think blue skies and lovely autumn foliage.

  3. Wait, how did I miss Tiffany’s original post? And…you are going to drive? Incredible. This should be an exciting series to read – the trip sounds fantastic, by the way. I do hope Tiffany puts up a few posts about your adventures too. It would be fun to hear your “adjacent” takes about the trip. It will also be interesting to learn 1) where you rented your car from, 2) did you get a stick or automatic 3) if you got an automatic, did Tiffany drive at all, and 4) if she DID drive, did you navigate? šŸ™‚

    Also, for the flights – did you pay with miles or cash or both and how much?

    Safe travels.

  4. PS On Tiffany’s theme tune suggestions…

    1) Roam, by the B-52s
    2) Life is a Highway, by Tom Cochrane
    3) Mission Impossible theme (had to, sorry) šŸ™‚

  5. @lucky – you guys definitely need to drive the Transfagarasan Highway in Transylvania. It’s close to Sibiu and Brasov. I did it last week and it was awesome.

  6. @Lucky – I can’t believe it but I was on the same flight as you! TK32 which just arrived about 5 hours ago, right? I was stuck in coach though so I wasn’t able to peek up towards the front of the plane šŸ˜‰

    Would have been really awesome to meet you!

    And ironically I’m booked for Virgin’s A350 in the beginning of November lol.

  7. Lucky. I am in Cluj tomorrow night, Friday. Just dropped you and Tiffany an email. Look forward to hearing from you.

  8. Just make sure you spend some time at the Virgin Clubhouse at Heathrow. My favorite airline lounge in Europe.

  9. Leaving Cluj Saturday. Heck, I’m free tomorrow (Friday) as all my local hosts are blowing town for the beach. I’m up for a swift pint or a slow meal.

  10. By car?


    Ride a motorcycle, it’s the only way to truly experience the Transfagarasan and the Transalpina.

    There’s a cool rental place in Turda, just 30 minutes south of Cluj.

  11. I hope you have a few nights at the Hilton Sibiu – it’s fun, has a great staff and enjoyable.

    The JW Marriott in Bucharest was spectacular given we were lowest level on a certificate boosted to their fabulous executive floor. Amazing.

  12. A different hotel each night – my idea of hell.

    Hope you survive.

    On a similar theme, just saw a photographic exhibition in Melbourne titled ‘Civilisation’. One photographer had stayed at 18 Hilton Hotels around the world and recorded a shot of the room, and the view from the window. The idea was to contrast the ‘sameness’ of the hotel room internationally with the diversity of international views. Quite compelling.

    Have fun in Transylvania

  13. I’m hoping you drive the Transfagarasan as well.

    If you’re staying at the Hilton Sibiu, spend a few hours at the historical open-air museum (ASTRA) across the street. It’s a really nice place to walk around on a nice day, checking out how people used to live in Transylvania.

  14. Iā€™m in Sighisoara right now. Weather is fabulous as is this wonderful citadel town. Perfect for photographers. Hope you will spend some time in Maramures and Bucovina regions. They are made for people who love to take photos. Think horses with red earrings!

  15. We did a Romanian road trip a year or so ago. Fantastic experience.Arrived in Timisoara and spent a night there and a night in Sibui, Brasov and onto Bucharest.You are a bit early for the ice hotel in the Fagaras Mountains which was amazing.Just be careful as Romanian driving was interesting to say the least

  16. Looking forward to this report. Just made a list of top five places in Europe I particularly still want to visit, and Romania is in the list. Did Bulgaria a few years ago, highly recommend that as well. And always enjoy Tiffanyā€™s posts.

  17. Did a tour of Romania on my Ducati years back with my mates on their bikes. A fantastic country to drive through and stop at local towns for the night. Highlight of the trip was our stay near Lake Balea in a guest-house and waking up to clouds entering through our windows – breathtaking!

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