This morning you’ll have a chance to see bears living in their own habitat. “Libearty“, the bear reservation of Zarnesti, Brasov County, is the largest Sanctuary of brown bears in the world. The reservation stretches on 69 hectares and it currently hosts 80 bears rescued from captivity.
The European brown bear is a strictly protected species under The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (the Berne Convention). Most of the bears were rescued from a miserable life in tiny cages providing “entertainment” to restaurants, hotels, factories, petrol stations, circuses, and even monasteries.
This is not a “zoo”. Unlike other sanctuaries, the one in Zarnesti helps bears to get used to their natural environment, providing the most effective help for forgetting the captivity pain. Oak forests are bears’ natural environment, helping them to overcome psychological trauma. The tour guide is very informative and she seems to be very compassionate in regards to the bears’ destiny.
It is fascinating to watch bears in their natural habitat, walking around, playing in the pool, eating, scratching their back on the trees’ stem or even “arguing”, probably for the biggest apple or for the shadiest tree…
The tour takes about 1 hour, but a train is also available for the ones who might find walking a bit too demanding.
From here we go towards the Bran Castle, mostly known as “Dracula’s Castle”. You all heard of Bram Stoker “Count Dracula” novel and you know the the legend associated with it, so I’ll let this part of the description up to your imagination. You can find all sorts of details on their website .
Amateur photography is free. Filming fee is 20 Lei (about 7 USD)
All that I will add here is the fact that, right at the entrance of the castle, there is a large rural handicraft “mall”, from where you can acquire all sorts of rustic, specific Romanian souvenirs, connected or not with the Dracula’s myth.
When the shopping spree ends, we will get hungry. We’ll delight ourselves with a traditional Romanian lunch at a special location, enjoying stunning views of the castle and of the entire region.
After that, we’ll come back to Brasov. The rest of the day is at leisure.