After a lunch near the hotel we walked up the hill to the citadel for a more concerted investigation. The previous night we had seen a large building lit up and went to have a look. It was rather grand and impressive from the outside which was all we got to see as it was the working consul building and didn't seem to invite tourists nosing around. Around the side of the building was a small statue showing Vlad Tepes. It's scandalous that I have got this far into our trip around Sighisoara without mentioning the D word. Dracula that is. What is claimed, at least by the tourist board, is that the Vlad Tepes was the inspiration for Bram Stokers story and there seems to be some intriguing hints. Vlad Tepes was born in Sighisoara in 1431 and his father, Vlad III, was a member of the Order of the Dragon and so was called Vlad Dracul. The Romanian name Dracula (literally translated as 'son of Dracul') was bestowed on Vlad Tepes by his father. In his youth Vlad Tepes did not have an easy time, he grew up in the hardest of all bordering schools - a Turkish prison where he was allegedly raped by members of the Turkish court. Never again will I complain about school dinners. Vlad took charge of the region in turbulent times and is seen as many in Romania as something of a hero - a strong leader who bravely defended his principality. However, he was a feisty fellow with something of a penchant for human pain and suffering. Now this has to be set in the context of a generally brutal medieval age where barbaric practises were common place but even so Vlad carved himself something of a reputation. He happily engaged in decapitation, burying people alive and boiling but exceeded himself when it came to impaling his victims. His speciality was to have a wooden stake inserted in the anus of the victim and have it driven up through the back and out the bottom of the shoulder blade. Done well this pierced no vital organs and ensured about 48 hours of agonising pain for the victim before they died. Vlad would famously eat his meals with the backdrop of his victims squirming on stakes; all this behaviour earned him the nickname Vlad 'the impaler'. Unlike Dracula, Vlad was very much mortal and died in 1476 but in books at least Dracula is very much alive and has never been out of print since first being published.

We followed the citadel walls round past a church and then onto one of the four remaining towers, this one the tailors tower. Each of the original 14 were tended by one of the guilds in the town and were their contribution to maintaining the overall defence. From the top of the wall we spotted the weekly market down below and decided to head down the steps to investigate further. While small it was lively with stone tables hired out by farmers in the local area who had come into town to sell their wares. While not up to Tesco's variety it was all certainly very fresh and the we were largely ignored as the real customers set about getting their weekly shopping. The walk back to the citadel obviously included the steep steps we had walked down previously but we were soon once again following the wall round until we caught sight of the main square which was in a much better state of repair and decoration than most of the buildings. We continued on up 176/7 (depending on who was counting) steps under a covered walkway to the very top of the hill. The first building we saw was the local school but at the very top is the Lutheran church which the guide book astutely labels as 'the church on the hill'. This had a small entry charge but was well maintained and impressive on the inside. We got to look in the crypt which was scary mainly as it showed the quality of the stonework keeping the entire building up and didn't contain much else.

As the school was kicking out for lunch we headed down into the square and went for lunch at the international cafe. We were surprised at the variety on the menu and as it turned out so was the owner who the explained the two options they actually had. They did have some cheap chocolate cookies which we stocked our bag with before leaving. The guidebook mentioned a nice Oak forest reserve 2km out of town which we decided to walk to. The instructions given were pretty hard to follow but we managed to walk a mile down a road to the concrete bridge, found the mud track afterwards and turned right, headed up here to the concrete road, went 50m and then started looking for the left fork up the mud track after which we needed to take the left or right branches of a three way fork. We tried a couple of likely paths but didn't quite strike gold. All about were ramshackle houses often with small plots of land and always it seemed with a guard dog. From one path we spotted the Oak forest further up the hill and decided that it was enough and we didn't need to actually touch the trees themselves. At this point we felt the sights of Sighisoara owed us nothing and all that remained of the day was some administration tasks of booking train tickets and hotels. We tried the guide book recommended office to buy train tickets but were told that they didn't sell them and indeed as far as we could tell they sold insurance. they did point us to the train station so after duly walking there and back were the proud owners of two tickets for the slow train at 11am. All that remained was to grab some food and head to bed.