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Published: August 2nd 2015
So just when I was getting use to Bucharest it was time to say goodbye and head off to Brasov. I took one final look around my hostel – Villa 11 – and headed over to the station. I managed to find my platform and my train, getting on 40 minutes early so that I could secure a seat for myself, and a place for my luggage. It was all very informal, there was no checks done of tickets until the train was on its way to Brasov, so I was able to just sit back, read my book, and enjoy 3 hours worth of forest scenery. It was incredibly relaxing and definitely reassured me that I have made the right choice to do the majority of my travels by rail. It was all so lush and green and beautiful. I would love to do this trip again during the winter to see the changes. I was feeling good, I was feeling confident…. it was only a matter of time before I fucked up and did something stupid. That stupid thing turned out to be the ticket I booked from Brasov to Budapest. I went to print out the ticket I had bought online. Obviously everything was in Romanian so the chances were slim that I would ever have been able to figure it out anyway so I went to the ticket office to ask for their help. With a confused look I was told that they were unable to print out the tickets as I bought them off a Hungarian website. So I was faced with a bit of a problem – I had a ticket from Brasov to Budapest however I would not be able to board the train without my ticket, and I would not be able to print my ticket until I reached Budapest. I called the helpline and will try and get my money back when I get to Budapest but I think I may just have to right off that 40 pounds. I was able to book a ticket for the same train so my plans are back on track. My advice to any future travellers, or to my future self is – don’t both booking trains in advance. They are often frequent and generally not full. On a more positive note I was able to work out the bus ticket system here – you have to the tickets in advance and validate them as soon as you get on – and also my hostel. It seems quite nice, though lugging my suitcase up 2 flights of stairs was not fun. Think I need to dump more stuff. I then headed back into the city centre to do the free walking tour. Another great tour with a really funny girl leading the tour. I learnt some really interesting facts:
- They use to sacrifice people to bless newly built buildings, nowadays some people still perform a sacrifice however they generally use a cat or a chicken.
- the Black Church is the only Lutheran Church with a painting of the Virgin Mary.
- the black church has a small gargoyle which is actually a young boy looking over the side of the building. During it's construction it is believed that a boy sneaked up to look down from the building and the architect saw him and threw him off the building in a fit of rage. The statue was created to commemorate the boy.
- Brasov has the third narrowest street in Eastern Europe (the first in Romania), This was build after a massive fire so that the firemen could access the houses quickly.
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