Brasov #2: Mount Tampa and Museums

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January 8th 2020
Published: February 10th 2020
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The place I was staying didn't have a kitchen, which meant I needed to find somewhere to have breakfast. In a big tourist town like Brasov, I thought that would be easy. I was proven very wrong. I had found a place online that looked quite good, but I had forgotten the name by the time I got in the right vicinity of the restaurant/cafe. There were quite a few places that looked shut, another cafe that was completely dead, normally that wouldn't bother me, but for some reason it did here. So, I ended up at Starbucks on the main square. I had a coffee and some kind of cheese, pesto, and I think tomato focaccia/ciabatta thing. It was quite nice. I enjoyed relaxing in the cafe as it wasn't too busy.

Now, I was ready to explore. The first place I had planned to go was Mount Tampa. I must have still been half asleep as I totally went in the wrong direction and got myself all muddled. I eventually got myself sorted and headed off in the right direction. The street leading up the cable car area was quite steep and slippery. Luckily, I didn't fall over. I was debating whether to take the cable car up or to walk up. The trail was well marked and the path was nice and wide (at the start at least), but since I didn't have any water or snacks with me, and I was already feeling thirsty, I decided that the cable car was the more sensible option. I went to the office and bough ta return ticket and headed up to the waiting area. I was the only person there, unfortunately more people turned up, so I didn't get the cable car to myself. The ride up the mountain only takes about three minutes. I enjoyed taking in the views on the way up. I'm glad that the cable car wasn't too packed. If we had been stuffed in like sardines, it would have been a lot less enjoyable. I exited the cable car and headed in the direction of the top of Mount Tampa. I was quite surprised by the number of people up there. I thought it would have been quieter, but there were quite a few groups of people.

I followed the path (and the people). The walk wasn't too bad, one section was a bit slippery, but I just took it slow. The views were quite hidden by the trees but what I could see looked good and I just enjoyed being on the snow covered mountain. After about 5-10 minutes, I came to the back of the Brasov sign. It is really big, and I couldn't manage to fit it all in a photograph properly. To the side of the sign, there was a viewing platform that gave great views over the city and the surrounding area. It was really beautiful and I loved looking down and around to take in the views. The mountain's peak was only a little higher, so I climbed up there. It only took a few minutes and the path wasn't too bad going up, but I was wondering about going down. Up here, there were great views, too. There were ruins of some stone structure on the tops of the mountain, but I didn't know what they were, maybe defensive? I made my way back to the cable car station and TV Tower, only falling once, which isn't too bad. I had to wait a few minutes for the able car, but it was fairly quiet again and I go to enjoy the views from the front of the cable car as we descended the mountain. I particularly liked seeing the snow covered branches of the tees as we went down.

Back at the bottom of the mountain, I headed back towards the centre. I remembered to take it carefully, especially when I saw a woman fall and land on her backside. I didn't want to repeat her performance. Brasov has quite a few museum and I had a couple picked out that I wanted to visit. I went to the Museum of Urban Civilisation first. I paid the entrance fee and was given a pair of plastic booties to cover my snowy shoes and protect the building's floors. The museum is housed in a former dwelling house, which was built by the Closius family in 1566. This family was a rich and influential Saxon family. The house was later owned by Dimitrie Eremias, a trader, who lived on the first floor and used the ground floor as a space for his business. I started my exploration of the museum on the ground floor, which showed how the space was used for commercial purposes. I liked how big the rooms were with the archways and the beautiful painted ceilings. You had to pay extra for photography, which I didn't want to do, so I have no photos. I made my way down to the basement, which had been a storage space and now explained about the history of the owners of the house. On my return to the ground floor, I passed through a mock up of a spice shop, which was rather cute. I love seeing all these little old style shops and their specialities. The plastic booties that I had been given were proving to be ineffective as every step I took left a watery footprint behind. Luckily, they dried fairly quickly and didn't leave any marks behind, although I was worried that a member of staff may notice them, but they didn't. I headed up the stairs to the first floor, which showed what the interior of the house would have looked like. I enjoyed looking around the rooms, such as the child's bedroom, trying to imagine what life must have been like for the inhabitants. There were also spaces dedicated to showing what a typical hat shop and photography studio would look like. I made my way through the gift shop, which I wasn't interested in, to the attic. Up here, there was a temporary exhibition of photography. The photos were taken by a famous local photographer, and showed life in different parts of Romania. He had taken pictures of normal everyday people and also the Royal family.

I walked across Council Square, the main square, to the Muzeul Județean de Istorie, which is located in Casa Sfatului, the old city hall. The building became a museum in 1950. I wandered through the different exhibits in the museum. There wasn't a lot of English in this museum, compared to the other one, so I had to do quite a bit of guesswork. I liked the exhibit about military history. There were lots of uniforms and artefacts on display. The history of medicine in Brasov was interesting, too. A good one for non-Romanian speakers was the cartoon exhibit as you could figure a lot out from the pictures. There was one exhibit, on the upper floor, about life and revolt in Romania that I would have really liked to understand more about. I did enjoy the views from the balcony of
Brasov SignBrasov SignBrasov Sign

Mount Tampa
the old town, but I don't think I would return to this munseum, unless I spoke Romanian.

Since I had skipped lunch, it was time for an early dinner. The guide on the walking tour had recommended a place that served Saxon/German style cuisine, so I decided to go there as I had googled it and it really did look good. 'Am Rosenanger' is tucked away in a backstreet off the main square. It was pretty quiet when I got there, as there were only a couple of other tables taken. I had already looked at the menu and pictures online so I had pretty much decided what I wanted and after having a qucik browse of the menu, nothing changed my mind. I ordered the Jaeger Schnitzel (Hunter Schnitzel) and the Kartoffelsalat (potato salad). I relaxed with a beer while waiting for my food. I liked the decor in the restaurant as it was really homely. I got a bit of a shock when my plate of food turned up as it was bloody huge. I did wonder if I would be able to eat it all, however I much prefer to see a huge plate of food that seeing one where I am left wondering if I would need to order a second. The potato salad was really, really good. I don't remember eating a lot of this when I lived in Germany, I feel like I missed out, I should have had more potato salad. The Jaeger Schnitzel was amazing. The sauce with cream, mushrooms and onions is something I love, so putting that on top of a pork schnitzel is just genius in my opinion. My meal was the perfect end to my day in Brasov.

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