DEVESELU, Romania (NNS) -- Sailors from Naval Support Facility Deveselu set out on Orthodox Easter weekend from the Southern agricultural farmland of Romania that borders Bulgaria to Transylvania, the famed county in the West for vampires penned by Bram Stoker's novel, "Dracula."
The backdrop of the central region was cascaded with the snow-capped Carpathian Mountains decorated with the last few virgin forests of Europe.
NSF Deveselu offered the three-day adventure through the command's Morale, Welfare and Recreation program. During the trip the Sailors viewed farmlands sprinkled with monasteries and churches, small villages that filled the crossroads and abandoned power plants that left an eerie feeling of ghost towns amongst the living towns they cohabitated, gorgeous castles, a rustic citadel last used by Hungarian revolutionists and Imperial Austrian troops in 1849, and a culture infused with the East and the West.
"The trip was amazing and the view of the snowy mountains that scattered over the lands was breathtaking," said Omar Teran, NSF Deveselu's MWR Representative. "This trip allowed the Sailors to escape their day-to-day lives on base and experience a new environment, one with beautiful mountains and forests they haven't witnessed before in Romania."
Both Master-at-Arms Seaman Apprentice Brantley Gregory and Construction Mechanic Constructionman Apprentice Donovan Glenn celebrated their birthdays on the weekend excursion.
"This was great. I can't think of any better way of spending my birthday than this," said Gregory. "I enjoyed walking through the citadel. The stones were broken and fallen and the fort was reminiscent of a war torn area that looked like it went through a great battle."
Gregory said he enjoyed visiting Bran's Castle, the castle that inspired Dracula's castle, in Sibiu the most.
"I loved visiting Bran's Castle. The atmosphere was eerie as the air was wet and gray from the rain and really portrayed the scene for Dracula," said Gregory. "I was also able to see the city of Sibiu from the top of the castle which was neat to see."
Glenn enjoyed his birds eye view from the top of Brasov, the city he stayed overnight at.
"We got to take the tram all the way up to the top of the mountain. It was awesome to see the city from that high up. I was able to see the hotel I was at and the main square and the places I walked around to," said Glenn. "I will never forget this experience."
Seven Sailors were able to visit the grounds of one of the most stunning castles in Europe, Peles Castle. The former fairy tale home of the Romanian family is considered a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture. Its location is hidden from the city of Sinaia and has a backdrop of two intersecting mountains filled with virgin forests. The castle houses 160-rooms filled with beautiful art is topped with sharp peaks and adorned with statues throughout the courtyard.
"The castle was beautiful. It was by far the best thing we were able to see on the trip," said Yeoman 2nd Class Julian Sanchez. "It was especially beautiful to look at castle with the forests and the mountains background."
Master-at-Arms 1st Marshall Knight took the time celebrate with the people by attending an Eastern Orthodox Easter service.
"The service was spiritual and uplifting and the people were very welcoming," said Knight. "I had the honor of holding the door for the people as they walked in and out of the church service. One kind lady gave my friend and I lit candles that we held throughout the night. It was an overwhelming experience."
Knight was also able to meet a Romanian pastor Nicu Hagiu from Calvary Chapel Brasov for dinner during his stay.
"I enjoyed meeting this man and hear what great things he is doing with the people of this area. I was moved by what love he had and what he shared with me," said Knight. "I plan on coming back to the area to meet up with Nicu and see more of Transylvania before I leave Romania. I will never forget this this wonderful experience."
NSF Deveselu and AAMDS Romania are co-located with the Romanian 99th Military Base and play a key role in ballistic missile defense in Eastern Europe. Their operations enable the responsiveness of U.S. and allied forces in support of Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia's (NAVEURAFSWA) mission to provide services to the fleet, fighter and family. NAVEURAFSWA executes the eight lines of operations ashore to support the United States and allied forces operating in the Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia area of responsibility.
For more information on NSF Deveselu please visit www.facebook.com/NSFDeveselu/ or www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnreurafswa/installations/nsf_deveselu
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