Thanks to many, many train rides over the past week or so, Connor and I have finally finished our tour of Transylvania.
First stop was Timisoara (Summary: 2 nights – nice plazas and a pretty cool dive bar/restaurant with an awesome tuna salad and karaoke. Overall, though, it felt small and we kinda hit a wall upon arriving so we probably didn’t explore as much as we could/should have…)
The Botanical Garden
Next was Sibiu (Summary: lots of construction outside of the Old Town area, which sort of took away from what could have been its town “charm.” However, thanks to a bit more sleep and an enjoyable train ride into Sibiu, we were able to enjoy the city via cafes and lots of walking around the Old Town as well as outside the center in a couple parks and surrounding city areas.)
A pedestrian bridge in the old town
Finally back to hefeweizens! Enjoying beers and food at a cafe in the Old Town
Two of the randiest dogs I’ve ever seen!
Delicious crepe stop on our way out of the city center to go exploring
Connor forcing photo ops on our rainy way out of Sibiu (on our way to catch our train…)
Connor wanted to ham it up too :P
After Sibiu, we proceeded to our highlight Romanian destination: Brasov. From here we took advantage of some hiking, vampire folklore, stunning castles, and lovely cafe/bar atmosphere
Beginning our trek up the “Seven Steps.” Completely unaware of the awaiting muddy ascent :/
Scaffolding through the canyon which we supposedly could have climbed up last year (according to our Macedonian friend/fellow hiker) before they closed it off (probably smart…)
My balance beam routine.
Just a bit past this point is where I refused to fight the mud any longer and we turned back :D
My mood has improved a bit now that the muddy hikes are behind me and beers are in my near future :D
Except Connor weaseled in another hike up a mountain (Grrrr.) A view and a beer were to be had from my efforts, though :D
Connor said “let’s get Irish coffees!” to which I eagerly replied “Ok!” Not what I had in mind… (espresso shots & blk licorice liquor shots!)
We made a day of visiting castles too! Namely, Bran Castle (to get our Dracula fix – sadly, though, neither Dracula nor Vlad the Impaler ever lived at Bran Castle. For some reason, Bran Castle just scored major points for looking like what Dracula’s Castle should be :/) and Peles castle…
From Brasov, we made our way to Bran to visit Dracula’s castle and apparently so Connor could eat minced meat sausages…
Up the “secret passage” in Bran castle
Looking down said “secret passage”
View into the courtyard of Bran castle
Dipping my hand into the holy water well (it was empty, so a lot of good it did me :/)
Inside the king’s quarters
View outside Bran Castle
Walking up to Peles Castle in Sinai
The king of Romania still owns this palace!
And then Connor snuck in MORE hiking!
Next was Sighisoara. Vlad the Impaler was actually born here, but we didn’t get around to visiting his birth site or anything – this may have been, in part, due to the fact that I crashed at 7pm for the night, annnnnd we only had one night in Sighisoara. Fortunately it is a super small village, so we managed to see a decent amount in what little time we had…
First on the agenda was lunch – I’ve decided this will be the last meat platter I allow Connor to talk me into…
Our surprisingly super quaint hotel in Sighisoara!
Posing with Vlad ;)
I just liked the building…
I liked this one too and made Connor stand in front of it :D
Walking up the “covered stairs…”
Connor really liked this cemetery
Two snails getting very well acquainted…
Walking down the “covered stairs…”
Our final stop in Transylvania was Cluj, which turned out to be much more interesting than we anticipated. Unfortunately, we only had one night to spend there, so we had to make due with a bit less than we would have liked of that lovely city…
We found a kick-ass bar called “Insomnia” with great music, a super chill atmosphere, and cheap beers…
Interesting decor – vintage typewriter, term paper pages taped along the walls, etc.
Our cheap beers (more hefeweizen for me :D) and take-out sandwiches for dinner
After our bar crawl, we spotted a KFC that just tickled Connor pink, sooooo we have a picture now…
The next morning, we had some time to kill before our flight and I had some extra energy, so I convinced Connor to take a walk with me…
View of Cluj
And that about covers our tour of Romania (Transylvania)… Really great sights and hiking and exploring, but after a week or so of 1-2 nights max. in each city, we are stoked to have a “home” for a few days… After 8 hours of traveling (bus, plane, train, train, tram, walking) today, we made it to our super sweet digs in Amsterdam!!!!
Not only is it just a wonderfully bright, open apartment….
There’s a stocked fridge!! (Note the beer, wine, condiments, meat, cheese, etc, etc, etc)
PLUS a nice bottle of red wine!
Extensive selection of DVDs and CDs!! Nevermind that there’s no DVD player or TV (and we can’t even play the DVDs on my mini laptop) – it’s that there’s a selection at all!!!
And no more Danielle Steele for this gal! (Not that I got past page 15 anyway…)
We’re here for EIGHT nights!!!!