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Chapter 1
3 May. Bistritz.-- Left Munich at 8:35 P.M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next
morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a
wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could
walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had arrived late
and would start as near the correct time as possible. The impression I had was that we
were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over
the Danube, which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of
Turkish rule.
We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh. Here I stopped for
the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some
way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina.) I
asked the waiter, and he said it was called "paprika hendl," and that, as it was a national
dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.
I found my smattering of German very useful here, indeed, I don't know how I should be
able to get on without it.
Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British
Museum, and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding
Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail
to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country. I find that the
district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three
states, Transylvania, Moldavia, and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian mountains;
one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe. I was not able to light on any
map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this
country as yet to compare with our own Ordance Survey Maps; but I found that Bistritz,
the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here
some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with
In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the
South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians;
Magyars in the West, and Szekelys in the East and North. I am going among the latter,
who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the
Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it.
I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the
Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay
may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)
I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer
dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had
something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the