â€œCycling with Vladâ€!!
We are very pleased to announce a new section on the 2009 Orient Express!
This is a completely new route running from Budapest to Bucharest.
It departs Budapest on June 28th, 2009 and arrives in Bucharest on July 7th, 2009. This fascinating section will follow a different route than in previous years when we avoided the toughest sections of the Carpathian mountains in Romania. Now we will cut through its heart and the region of Transylvania – the land of the Vlad the Impaler, a vicious 15th century ruler who spawned the myths and realities of the Dracula legend. What better way to experience this folk lore than to cycle with Vlad! Not only is Transylvania rich in history and intrigue, its landscapes rival the Alps and Pyrenees for sheer challenge and awe-inspiring views. The highlight is a challenging ascent up into the Tranfagaras range and through the territory ruled by Vlad Dracul. Over a distance of approximately 60 km the riders will climb to an altitude of 2034m, negotiating more than 50 switchbacks on the north side of the pass. After reaching the top, we will take time out to explore the little known ruins of Poienari Castle – one of Vlad’s fortresses. From there, we zoom downhill through tunnels and past man made lakes high in the mountains.