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Published: September 30th 2012
One final day together started early and ended late! Sandwiches and Gheorghe's tomatoes for breakfast in the van for our first 3 hour stint on the bus to Brasov! Suitcases loaded in the back by Niku - our driver for the entire trip -- he raced us across Romania to Brasov - a lovely city with tons of history, with many buildings dating to the 1400s (including the Black church – one of the few of German Lutheran decent). We spent a couple hours taking a walking tour (lots of hills) and did some shopping before lunch -- one last chance for pizza (and cabbage rolls for a couple of us).
After lunch, we grabbed some cash at the local ING Bank and headed for Bran and the every famous Dracula’s castle! As we approached Bran we were notified on the radio of bad traffic in the area – who thought it would be bumper to bumper in Central Romania on a Sunday? Turns out there was some sort of town festival going on and with the weather in the 80s it appeared that ¾ of Bucharest drove up for it! We still got the change to follow the group up the hill and through the ins and outs and secret passages of the castle. Although the tour was great and we enjoyed the tour, in reality, Vlad the Impaler only lived there for a couple of months during his reign – sad face. We did find lots of good souvenirs, and got to wrap up with some shopping.
Then the final leg of our bus journey took us through the Carpathian Mountains on our way back to Bucharest. Once you were able to pry your white knuckles form the seat in front of you, the view was magnificent! Deep valleys and cliffs on either side, ‘cows coming home’ down the sides (I can hear Noreen’s chuckle as I type) and middle of the road and bumps and tire squeals kept everyone from dozing off for that part of the trip. We arrived back at our original hotel around 9 PM and sat down at our last team dinner at 9:30 PM. A few of us are up and checking in online, but most are off to bed for a short snooze as we set that 3:30 AM alarm.
Eleven of us are heading out tomorrow – so tonight is the last time the team will be together as one complete unit. At our team meeting we reminded ourselves of the week we experienced together – and how we can carry that passion on going forward. You, our blog watchers, will be a part of that process. Thanks for taking the ride along with us. I enjoyed sharing it with you from our perspective -- Mike Martin and the rest of the Romania 2012 team. Safe travels to all!
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