Published: July 28th 2008July 24th 2008
So I got the overnight train from Budapest to Sighisoara which was possibly the most terrifying experience of my life. The guards spoke no English and the departure boards made absolutely no sense...in the end it was simply a case of get on and hope.
Luckily I managed to get on the right train, the right carriage and the right cabin (though someone had already stolen my bed) and the night went ok until we were first woken up by the Hungarian border patrol to check passports at about 2.30 am and then about an hour later by the Romanian border patrol. No why anyone would want to smuggle themselves into Romania is beyond me but the fact that they couldn't just both plan to do it at the same time and not keep waking us up....
I managed to have about 2 hours sleep due to the constant chug chugging of the train, the constant need to show passports and the fact I was terrified I'd miss my stop but due to the ticket inspector coming round to tell everyone where to get off I made it.
The journey showed me a lot of Transylvania which seems
to be miles of corn fields interspersed with sunflower fields and the occasional sign of life. The signs of life varied between the sets from a Dracula film (lovely little houses with red tiled roofs) to sets from Texas Chainsaw Massacre (abandoned industrial regions with smashed windows and no apparentsigns of life). This coupled with the fact no one seemed to have heard where I was staying filled me with a gut wrenching fear that this was going to be like a scene from hostel.
Luckily when the train came into sight of Sighisoara my fears vanished as I looked out at the picture postcard town with the citadel sat on a hill. My only problem now was finding accomodation but as we emerged from the train a hoarde of matronly Romanian woman consumed us like a plague of locust asking "Sleep?" in every language known to man.
My room was in the citadel itself so after dropping my things off I spent a couple of hours sightseeing until I'd exhausted the place. I hadn't realised how small Sighisoara was. After looking at Vlad Tepes' (Dracula) house, the clock tower, the covered stair case, the various towers and
the church on the hill there wasn't really much to do except wait to head off to the next place. In hindsight I'd have been better stopping off for an afternoon on my way to Brasov as that's all it takes to completely do the place but all in all I gve Sighisoara a littlethumbs up.
There are more photos below