A Rose between two Thorns

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August 7th 2013
Published: August 7th 2013
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We woke to a bright sunny morning after a most restful night. As all campsites are now an average of five hours drive apart so we plan to stop for two nights when this occurs, it also gives us a chance to look round a little more.

Woolly says – it was a nice slow get up today and once washing was pegged out we set off to find the Botanical Gardens at Cluj Napoca. There were plenty of options for us but with it being so warm being stuck inside seemed silly so a nice stroll was just the ticket. I’m very glad that Ian was driving Ollie and I think Jo was as well, the roads are like race tracks with vehicles passing both on the outside and the inside and flying out of side roads, I shut my eyes several times. As we hit the city it got worse as bus-like trams joined in the general mayhem.

Finding the gardens was easy, well except for the road works blocking the whole of the street and the lack of parking, Ian skilfully maneuvered Ollie onto a road space while I tried to work the metre out. Eventually a very nice lady came to my rescue and popped money in so that a ticket came out, thanking her gratefully she went on her way for me to find that the ticket would only last half an hour!

Woolly says – off we went again, through the throng of traffic and round the block, I spied a parking sign and down a little road we flew and into the tightest and darkest of multistory car parks. Squeezing Ollie into a space we retraced our steps and walked up to the gates. Paying 5 LEI each (approximately £1.00 GBP), we thought this a bargain and headed inside, with the beautiful gardens laid out in front of us. Jo headed straight to the ice cream counter to buy drinks and ice creams all round and returned with ice cream only, no drinks available!!! Our thought for the day….provide a café and make lots of money from the very thirsty tourists.

Once we had cleaned Woolly up from his ice-cream we wandered round, our first show was a fine display of roses so integral to an English garden and although a lot of the blooms were blown they still locked wonderful and smelt divine.

Woolly says – it was a lovely place and I played hide and seek in amongst the flower beds. We walked through the cool shady woodlands and looked for the tiny babbling brook. Everywhere we went we found more plants and shrubs that are indigenous to the UK and as none of us know the names and types we could only go round going ‘oh look it’s a thingy ….. like we used to have in the garden’. We found ourselves in a Japanese Garden and sat admiring the pond and the plants around it for a while before going to investigate the green houses. Inside were the biggest palm trees EVER, I went looking through the tropical rain forest that they had made, I thought I might find a undiscovered tribe or plant but it was not to be. The last greenhouse had a large pond at its centre which had massive Amazonian Lotus leaves which grow up to 1 ½ metres in diameter, there where pictures of small children sitting on them, unfortunately they were too far away for me to get to.

With Woolly contemplating the leaves we walked further on to find ourselves nearly back at the start, a lovely peaceful place to go and if they had a café we would have stayed longer.

Woolly says – Back through the steamy hot streets to Ollie. Having spotted a Decathlon on our inward journey we made tracks for it to stock up on gas bottles and, seeing a Carrefour I shot in to get the most important thing I needed for the next few days – GARLIC!

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8th August 2013

lucky people
hi! I hope you don't mind me commenting? I stumbled upon your blog a while ago and love seeing all the places you go to. You are so lucky to be able to tour Europe! Will you visit the rest of the world as well? Have a lovely time. :)
8th August 2013

Very Lucky indeed
We all dream of being able to do this sort of thing and we are so very lucky and thankful to be doing it. We still have some of Europe to cover but will come back to that at a later point, once settled in Turkey we want to explore there a lot more before heading to Africa and Asia. Then of course there's Russia, America and so on and so on, would love to see everywhere lets see where the Mammoth takes us! Thank you for reading and the blogs and we hope you keep on enjoying them.

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