The Journey: Day 3
The "Aerobatic Yakkers" are aknowledged as one of the best private aerobatics teams in Europe. Operating off their own airfield, they fly the iconic YAK-52, a soviet-era plane, still produced in Romania. We have arranged for a thunderous morning, with breathtaking routines and parachute jumps.
Built by B. P. Hasdeu after his daughter passed away aged 19, the strange construction had the sole aim of hosting his seances. The spiritist practices and symbolistic construction soon brought dark fame over the castle.
One of the jewels of Germanic architecture, the former Royal residence in Sinaia has its own place among the European buildings of the age. Featuring weapons and art collections, it is also decorated to a very high standard, some of the interior painting having been done by Gustav Klimt.
The last castle of the day is a private residence, nonetheless of a truly monarchic opulence. It was the home in the mountains to Grigore "The Nabob" Cantacuzino, one of the richest men in Europe at the turn of the twentieth century.
The third day starts with a refreshing breakfast, served on Ceausescu's palace terrace.
The next point of interest in our journey is the private airfield where Romania's best private aerobatics team will host a special routine just for you. They fly the iconic YAK-52, one of the best products of Soviet era engineering. Those of you willing to experience it first hand are welcome aboard the planes during the routine, or they can try tandem parachute jumps.
Just 15 km away we find the Hasdeu Castle in Campina, a bizarre construction by shape and by history. Iulia Hasdeu, the daughter of B P Hasdeu, a 19th century scholar, featured all the signs of genius: she could read by 2 ½ years of age, and by the age of 17 she was already studying at the University in Sorbonne. Unfortunately, she passed away aged 19, and her devastated father took up spiritism. He purposely built the castle as a séance haven, trying to get in touch with his lost daughter. One day, she answered, and... the rest is up to you to find in this truly haunting visit.
On our way into Transylvania, we take a detour to visit the Romanian Royalty summer residence – The Peles Castle. Inaugurated in 1883, the palace is a true jewel of architecture and art, built in the Neo-Renaissance style, and featuring very advanced technology for the age, such as central heating, and a central vacuum cleaning system. It features a huge collection of weaponry, rugs and tapestries from all over the Orient, and interior painting by Gustav Klimt, whose Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer sold for 135 million dollars in 2005.
After lunch in a well known Serbian restaurant, our stop for the day is another castle, this time with a less Royal story: the Cantacuzino Palace, built by prince Cantacuzino, also known as “The Nabob” for his extreme wealth. Known for his opulent lifestyle, the boyar built three castles, and we get to visit the one in Busteni, where he spared no resource in luxury: you will see handcrafted furniture and intricate paintings, including life size portraits of his whole family, painted on the finest Cordoba Leather. The castle is built in an enormous park, each path leading to a smal grotto, waterfall or fountain.
The evening in the estate will feature an historic party, with traditional Romanian dancers, local wines and, of course, live music.