Archaeotek Summer- Thermal baths and a full day train ride to Cluj

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June 5th 2011
Published: June 5th 2011
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Our epic night the other night definitely meant that I slept well last night, though not for long enough. I had to repack and such, so I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight, and I had to be up to catch the train at five. Gross, but I think I’m on track with this whole time zone thing now. I’ll be totally flattened when I get back though!

So my adventures yesterday. Let’s see. We went and bought our train tickets so that we didn’t have to do that super early in the morning. It was a very good idea, as I was barely functioning when I woke up today. Then we went for a little walk to Ste. Elizabeth’s Cathedral. Those buildings are so beautiful. This one was a fairly small cathedral, for a cathedral, and it was surrounded by a lovely garden park open to everyone. There was a gorgeous rose garden in the front around a really lovely statue of the Elizabeth. I love roses, especially old roses. The ones they sell in Walmart ore so sad compared to the rich creams and corals of huge, fragrant blossoms of real roses. The statue was quite lovely too, a calm pretty saint with her cape scooped up in front of her full of picked roses. We couldn’t get into the church, but the stained glass looked pretty stunning, and the cool air coming out of the door crack was heavenly. It is soooo hot and humid here! I’m not a huge fan.

After a quick break at the hotel we had a Middle Eastern lunch (gyros, mmmm) and headed out to find some thermal baths. Our walk was pretty epic, again.The baths, once we got there, were pretty cool. I ran into Francis again, which was nice, as she will only be there through June, so I won't see her again here. There were two huge outdoor pools that were lukewarm that we played in for about two hours before we discovered the indoors series of pools at different temperatures, and saunas at varying degrees. The hottest sauna I went in was between 80-100 degrees Celsius, right before jumping into a pool at 17 C which felt FREEZING after the sauna. It was awesome. People here are very quiet about stuff like that though. I was certainly squealing a bit when I popped out of the icy water, and people just looked at me like “can’t you be a little more restrained?” Wierdos. Anyway, we played there for three hours or so before heading out. Oh, I have a rocking new swimsuit. It looks a little Bond-ish in bright yellow. I love it. We had dinner on the way back at a nice restaurant in the edge of a pond. Ducks were paddling by the table begging for breadcrumbs, but it was a no go from me. We had a really lovely bottle of wine and I had grilled Camembert with salad greens and fruit that was sublime. We need to try that when I get back. The rich creamy cheese is sooo good with a tangy vinaigrette and ripe strawberries. Mmmmm.

I’m typing away on the train to Cluj. It’s a seven hour train ride, which means about five more hours. The girls are snoozing away in front of me, heads bobbing and fingers twitching occasionally. The scenery we are passing is really beautiful. There is a patchwork of fields stretching away from the tracks, with the ditches and borders sprinkled liberally with wild poppies that glow like some sort of renaissance painting against the green and gold of the fields. I passed a couple of banks of beautiful purple spear-like flowers that were dotted with bright yellow daisy like blooms and poppies. It’s so colourful and beautiful. And the towns are full of brick and plaster houses with red tile roofs and garden in every back yard, with maybe a fruit tree or two. It’s so pretty. The stands of trees that we pass are very very tall, and it’s fun passing them because they have been planted in rows so they flash by and for a second you can see all the way down the aisles of tree trunks along the flowery paths. I wish we were going to be staying in a small town instead of a city. I’m really not a city person at all, but towns are quite charming.

So I wrote this all on the train, and I am sending it later in the afternoon form our new digs for the month. They are PLUSH!!! Oh my goodness! We have a living room and everything in our little suite and our own bathroom and a table and stuff!


5th June 2011

Oh so beautiful
Claren, it sounds Devine. I am so a small town person, so much more interesting. Jos and I plan to go see "war horse" , a brittish play set in the 1 st world war. I am so grateful for your blog and it comes to the house with some amazing music playing on the radio by John di leberto sp? Whose daughter went to westtown.....perfect looking out the window of the train music. I've adopted a fancy polish Arab, 16 1/2 hands high, looong blond maine chestnut, dressage, your kind of guy. About 200 pounds underweight. Jumps all water no matter how big. The window on the train, shuch a good start to a book,,I'd be gone.... Love tante bets
6th June 2011

Ah! Pony!
He sounds beautiful!! Ohhh, I want to visit! It would make a beautiful beginning of a book. THe country side here is really really lovely. There were hand stacked stooks of hay in half of the fields already, and so many beautiful gardens. I only saw one or two ponies, but lots of little pens and such, so maybe they were all just out for some reason. I passed one field that was full of these dark green bushes rather like juniper but wild roses had grown around the base, climbed up the trunk, and exploded out of the top of the bush with long arms of bright pink flowers. It is so pretty. I haven't been in Cluj very long, but we aren't downtown, and it already feels much more small town than Budapest did, so I'm liking it, which is good, as I'll be in the city for the next 9 weeks. I hope the play is wonderful, it sounds really interesting! Much love, Claren

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