Romania, Romania, Romania.... Just B-E-A-UTIFUL!
We have had the most amazing time there. It is a shame we had not booked to stay longer as the country was gorgeous!
We got up to get the 5:45am taxi from Ruse, crossing the Danube and travelled to Bucharest. Arriving at about 8am, we wandered through the town to find our hostel. We felt like we were back in London. It was lovely. Grand buildings, malls, monuments, fountains... was a nice change from what we were used to. I was excpecting something similar to Sofia, but it was so much nicer!
We stayed at Butterfly Villa Hostel in the North of Bucharest which was a really nice hostel. Managed to get a room to ourselves, on the top bunks and got organised. We then went out to explore Bucharest, finding a lovely park with a boating lake, swans, a children's park, brass band... and to top things off, it was sunny! We decided to hire a boat out for half an hour which was a rather amuzing experience as we discovered Claire has zero coordination when it comes to rowing a boat and we ended up going around in circles for about 10 minutes
of our time. We went to the shopping mall afterwards to get a few bits and bats. Walking past was difficult as there were many gypsy people begging for money with their very sick children in their arms, and disabled people sat outside looking helpless... then us walking past with our Zara, H&M and Pull&Bear bags...
We returned to the park again afterwards and enjoyed a beer in the sunshine, sitting by the water. Some of the locals were jumping in the lake, lots of families enjoying the weekend together, and couples snuggles on benches. It was a nice atmosphere. We had our tea in a delicious Italian restauant then headed back to the hostel, finding ourselves sat watching the Man U V Barcelona match with a guy from Korea and another from Norway. Good times!
Then today has just been fantastic....very random and funny... but fantastic!
We woke at 8ish to get ready to leave on our Transylvania Tour at 9:30. There was just me, Emily and Claire booked on the tour so a random Romanian guy showed up and we all jumped in his car to start our adventure! We went to Sinaia first to visit Peles
castle. It used to be home to a Romanian King and was magnificent inside. Paying just 5 lei (£1.75 student price!), we wandered around, admiring the themed rooms and gorgeous artwork, woorwork and ornaments.
We then got back in the car with our new Romanian mate to visit Bran Castle, the place where Dracula was filmed and where the 1897 book 'Dracula' by Bran Stoker, was based. The castle itself appeared too nice for the legends of Dracula to be based there, however it was lovely to wander through it, up and down spial staircases, across outdoor terraces and in small hidden rooms.
Afterwards our driver took us to Brasov where we enjoyed a lovely beer in the town square, surrounded by a live music festival. We got up and joined in some traditional Romanian dancing and had some good banter.
The whole day was just fantasticly random. We booked the hostel and the tour not really knowing what to expect, which is why I feel it felt so good. I just loved driving through the quaint towns, surrounded by mountains, trees, just one backpack on my shoulder, with a random Romanian guy.
We got a taxi back to Ruse
about 10:30pm and returned just after midnight to our place!
Cracking few days - would definalty love to return to Romania as there was so much more to see. The ski resorts we drove through looked fantastic and it would be nice to visit in the winter when there was more snow on the mountains... yes MORE snow... we couldn't believe in 30 degree heat at road level, there was still some snow high on the mountain tops! Very odd!
Tune in later for Varna blog - off there on Tuesday 😊 Then, Im afraid it's over and out folks...until next time!
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