This is not Viscri, just something we spotted on the drive there.
Driving on a lane through the village, signs help us find the fortified church. Notice the dwellings - a front wall with gate with a farm-house look about them. The people here are mostly Roma (Gypsie), with a smattering of German ex-patriates.
After a short walk from parking, and then up a hill (there's always climbing), we find the church, along with art students sketching. After paying a small ticket entry ($3), we enter the interior.
More climbing, up the watch tower, first with stone stairs, then onto wooden steps, and then wooden ladders.
The church is from the 13th century, but the fortifications began around 1500 A.D. We're trusting timbers that are 500 years old.
The views from the tower are amazing.
After the Ottoman-Turk threat went away, the fortifications continued to be used by the village as store-rooms and work-shops.
The backside of the terra-cotta roof tiles - see how the tabs rest on the planks to fix them in place.
Grain stores - elsewhere a room had held ham rumps - these features were in use into the 1960's, when I'm guessing agriculture transitioned from medieval to modern.
From wagon wheels to tractor wheels (tractor viewed after we reentered the village).
The sketching continues, in the shade, amongst the flowers.
Our "sketch", in full living color, is completed at the push of a button.
The loo, date of construction unknown, architectural-style indeterminate.
Ah, one final "sketch" of the premises, the clouds placed as if in some renaissance painting.
Roma handiwork - the proprietor was no where to be seen.
This offering from the "Hobo" line was left behind, unfortunately. It was instantly warm.
We saw these storks, the nests, and their people-placed supports everywhere. Romanians consider the presence of storks as good luck omens.
We first saw these horses wandering up along the grassy area, and some minutes later a couple teens appeared to wrangle them back to their compound. Apparently someone left the barn doors open. Although we saw modern farm implements, we also saw horses pulling wagons as well.
We found most all the roads, big and small, were very well maintained. Here we pass through a repair zone - green for us red for them.
Hop plants climbing their vine lines - the beer will continue for another season.
Sighișoara is a city located in the historic region of Transylvania, has a population of 30,000, is a popular tourist destination for its well-preserved walled old town, and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
As if there was any doubt, the tour begins with a climb.
The clock still works, but we think any animation the figures had had no longer function.
Surprise! It's the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler - inspiration for Dracula.
The back gate, amazing, they anticipated the separation requirements of modern cars.
The Stag House, 17th century, was a manor house.
This covered stairway was built so children could walk to school high on the hill above and be protected from the elements.
Looking down upon the village on the other side of the high hill. It almost looks like someone's life work of creating a model train railway village.
Taking the long way down around the hill, we come back upon the start of the children's school steps.
A preserved part of the defensive wall, now part of someone's private grounds. It doesn't appear imposing from this side, but there's a steep drop-off on the exterior.
The other side...
Syanora Sighisoara - this may be the last we see of Vlad as we press on.