After a drive of a little over an hour from Sibiu, we reached Hunedoara. The town itself is nothing glamorous, but it is home of the Corvin Castle, also known as the Hunyadi Castle which was built in the 15th century. Perched upon a rock, it features tall towers, an inner courtyard and a moat with an impressive bridge across it. Less mediatised than it’s counterpart in Bran, it does not get as many visitors, thus allowing you to move more freely around it, unencumbered by the masses. After taking several (read a lot) photos from across the moat and from the bridge, we ventured inside. As you pass the gates, you enter into the inner courtyard, from where you can choose which other areas to visit. After wandering around most places inside the castle including the towers and the bear pit (no bears here) we still had a bit of time before sunset, so we decided to take advantage of the warm sunlight and shoot some more photos from the outside, while all of us concluded that although this is not as touristic as Bran, it definitely has greater character as far as castles go.
Gyulay Ferencz Castle
Our next castle was not one that you would find while looking for sights across Transylvania. We actually found it on Airbnb, as it was our accommodation for the night. Gyulay Ferencz Castle is set in Mintia, 15 minutes drive from Deva. Do not expect a medieval castle, rather a bigger mansion or a chateau. Since it was already dark by the time we found it, we decided to have a look around in the morning. The mansion was quite huge with plenty of high-ceiling rooms, and since we had it all to ourselves during the night it seemed a bit creepy, at least for me. Taking advantage of the lack of light pollution, Cristi went outside for some star photography. Next morning we wandered around the estate for a while, after which we carried on to Sighișoara (read more about it here).
Turda Salt Mine
After Sighișoara, we continued northwest to Turda, to visit the Salt mine. After a descend of about 100 meters, that can either be done by stairs or by elevator, you reach the lowest level. We do recommend the stairs, but that might not be for everyone. Note that in the mine it is quite cool, even during summer, so you might want to dress appropriately. There are several activities here including pool, bowling, mini-golf and canoeing around a small underground lake. This seemed rather eerie, since it’s quite dark, and you can hear splashes and their echoes around you, but people were queuing up to have a go. There’s even a ferris wheel inside.
After spending some time down here, we took the salt covered staircase again and got back to our car. Our next stop was Cluj where we slept before heading to Maramureș County. There are numerous good restaurants in Cluj, but for the amazing view we chose Klausen Burger for dinner, which has a terrace overlooking the city.
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