Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sibiu and Brasov, Romania

After having to stay an extra day in Munich due to snow delays, it was a relief to actually takeoff.

We flew into Sibiu, proceeded quickly through a friendly immigration post and headed off to find a taxi.  As we arrived early evening, we decided it was too cold to venture outside,  so we proceeded to have a delicious cheese plate and kebabs in the hotel restaurant.  Both here and in Austria we enjoyed sampling cheese again.

The next morning it was cold, but clear, so we wandered off into the old town.  It was quite charming.

Sadly we could not go the very good art museum the town is reknown for.  In winter they close both Monday and Tuesday, and being  day late into town we of course were there only in Monday and Tuesday.

The town is also well known for the ''eyes" in the roofs of the buildings.  Everywhere you turn you see them, including more modern builds.

We went into the Evangelical Cathedral and paid our admission fee.  We thought we were going to see inside the Gothic church, but after viewing the displayed tombstones, the ladies at the desk said that was all we could see.  They were interesting carvings, but we felt a bit disappointed.

We did visit other churches in the town and had seen plenty of interesting buildings and people.

Having basically wandered the entire town, it was only lunchtime.  It was cold and we were hungry.  I had a recommended restaurant for lunch.  When we got there it was closed so we decided to walk around the block and check out other options - but basically saw none.  Luckily we went back past the original restaurant and it was open.  A hearty meal warmed us up.  Over lunch we agreed we had finished Sibiu, and we should amend our plans and head for Brasov.   

The next morning we walked down to the railway station and headed off to Brasov, about 2.5 hours down the road.  We couldn't immediately get into the apartment we were going stay in for just one night for, as they were still cleaning it.  But over the road there was a boutique burger restaurant where we ate burgers accompanied by crisps/potato chips.

After dropping the bags we did the speed tour of Brasov.  ! afternoon, 1 old town - we might as well be on a bus-tour.

The central square was atmospheric

One of the key landmarks was the Black church - an enornmous Gothic edifice.  It had displays of rugs everywhere relating to the history of the Ottoman empire trade route passing through.

It was short stay, but nice.  

Then the final journey by train the scheduled 2 hour trip down to Bucharest.  We left bang on time, we passed small towns and farms and we viewed not a lot of economic prosperity.  The we stopped...  For about 3 hours... in the middle of nowhere.  The conductor can through occasionally and said something, but the others in the carriage didn't move, so we stayed put.  No one spoke any English, or the ones that did had left in the 1st 1.5 hours.  There was some whisper of a bus out on the main road.  But we had no idea where, so on balance the most sensible decision was to just wait.  We got excited at one point because a flock of sheep was herded past by a lone herder  Luckily we had water and a few nibbles.  Eventually another engine arrived from somewhere and we were off.  Our 2 hour journey had turned into a 6.5 hour lesson in patience.  Andrew was so well behaved - amazing how a lack of options settles him down.  

Glad to be in Bucharest we walked down the platform toward the main hall, to be met by a camera crew who interviewed us about the delay.  Even now we have no idea why it happened - but we were probably on Romanian television. 

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