Published: July 6th 2012July 4th 2012
We woke up early, at 6.30 to catch a train to another Transilvanian town called Sighisoara. Even though I had been awake since 5am. We said goodbye to Luci as she also woke up early, she hugged and kissed us when we left :)
Train ride to Sighisoara took around two hours. We were a bit unsure whether to spend the night there, but decided to do so, and we found a quite nice room next to the railway station. Then we had pizza for breakfast (we hadn't eaten any breakfast before the train trip), and went to look at the city.
Our guidebook had advertised Sighisoara as "the most exotic town in Transilvania", but we didn't think that was quite accurate. We did notice some difference compared to Brasov, as it seemed there was somewhat more poverty, but the town itself seemed actually a lot more like a tourist trap than Brasov. The old town was surely cute, but it had only cafés, souvenir shops and few hotels, no signs for businesses aimed at local people. A lot of the shops and few cafés were also Dracula themed, as supposedly Dracula was born in Sighisoara. One of the
buildings was even marked as "House of Dracula". All this wasn't too exciting for us since we are not very interested in Dracula.
We spend the day until early afternoon walking around in the pictoresque old town. We climbed to a hill where a medieval church and some kind of old and fancy school building were located, as well as an old cemetary. Walking around in the cemetary it was obvious that the town has been almost completely inhabited by German people since most of the names on the tombstones were German. We visited the church too, mostly to enjoy the cool air. It was a bit surprising that they had an introduction leaflet about the church in Finnish and the guy at the door said "näkemiin" when we left. Who knows, maybe that place is particularly popular among Finns :)
The day was extremely hot. I could estimate about 30 degrees in shadow. Meaning, we had to take quite often breaks to sit down in shadow to drink something. While having coke/beer in the old town square we also heard the first Finnish tourists during our whole time in Romania.
Last activity in the old town
was to climb to the clocktower which is the main sight on the city. There was a viewing terrace with views over the town, and a museum inside the tower. The museum was really a good example of a boring museum with old jars and plates behind glasses. To add to the boredom, there was hardly any explanations in English. Leo, being an engineer, was of course fascinated by the machinery working the actual clock which could be seen from inside the museum. For me there was basically nothing, so I just ran through it quite quick. The view up in the tower was nice, though.
We had plans to go buy some snacks and drinks and then go back to the hostel to make plans for the rest our time in Romania. This proved more difficult than anticipated, because we simply could not find a supermarket and had to walk maybe 2 kilometers outside the center to find one bigger one. On our way we were speculating that probably there is a supermarket right next to our hostel. Well, that was exactly like that. When we arrived with our (heavy) shoppings, we saw a supermarket on the other
side of the street from our residence.
Originally we thought we would return to the old town in the evening to have dinner and to look at the town in evening lights, but somehow we got too lazy and tired to do that. We just spend the evening sitting in the hotel "garden" eating, drinking and using the WIFI. We had also decided to leave for Sibiu early next morning, which meant we went to bed early.
I must say that Sighisoara was not really what I expected. I'm not sure whether it was a positive or a negative suprise. In a way both. Positive, because, once again, it was more modern, more "European", more cute than I expected. But then again, I had been expecting and hoping to find something more...exciting perhaps. In my mind Transilvania had been quite exotic travel destination, but instead we found pretty cute oldtowns which could have been also from Germany, Austria or something like that. Good thing is that this trip changed our images of Romania and made us wonder about how many other places in the world we have totally wrong images of. And definitely, Transilvania has been worth seeing, no question.