Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Romania: Days 1-4

A few things before I get started....

1. I'm SEVERELY behind on the blog.  Like almost a month behind.  It's gotten to the point where I'm so behind I don't even want to try and catch up, but then I remember how special it will be to have this crazy experience all documented and I feel a little more motivated.

2. Romania! I was super excited for this trip because it was kind of off the beaten path, but was supposed to be beautiful.  We planned this trip for the beginning of November because we had heard that the leaves were supposed to be especially pretty and it would give us a taste of fall.  We caught the latter end of fall the first few days we were there, but by the time we left, it had completely transitioned to winter. Snow and all!!

3. Romania was the first country we went to that we could tell how underdeveloped it was.  We definitely didn't plan for the lack of infrastructure between cities, which often meant nowhere to stop for lunch or gas while driving.  We came to the conclusion that Romania is the perfect place to go and get away if you want to relax and do a lot of nothing, but we do that when we aren't travelling (well, at least I do!), so we are always ready to hit the streets and do a lot of sight seeing.  I also think that it would be a great outdoorsy vacation when the weather is warmer because there were tons of hiking trails and even some ropes courses that were set up.

4.  We listened to Dracula on tape as we were driving around Romania.  We thought most of it would be set in Transylvania, but it actually takes place in London a lot.  We also thought that the style of writing probably wasn't the best for a book on tape, but it was a good choice for us because I'm not sure either of us would have read it otherwise.

Okay, onto the good stuff.  We arrived in Romania early in the morning and picked up our rental car without any real trouble.  Everything is pretty spaced out, so we knew a car would be almost essential.  Our first stop was Sibui, which was pretty far from the airport.  Perfect for a car nap! Ha! One day Mike is just going to kick me out of the car for sleeping so much.  It's become quite a thing now.  I just sit down in the car and fall right asleep.  Pregnancy plus an early morning wake up were asking for it.

Anyways, we arrived in Sibui just in time to check in to our hotel and head out for dinner.  We were spending two nights in Sibui and had one full day there, which was probably too much time.  Sibui is a cute little town with a town square, church and lots of restaurants and shopping.  There isn't a ton to do, but would be a great place to stay if you had day trips planned.  Our original plan for this trip was to get out of Berlin and our routine so that we wouldn't be sitting around following the election news (the election was the day we left and we knew the winner would be announced the next day our time), but since Sibui was so small, we ended up not having a lot to do and, instead, sitting around following the election. Almost a month later and I think we're still in shock.  For another post....or not.

Such a cute little town

We found the Natural History Museum...and some autumnal colors!

After a slow day in Sibui, we bid our farewells the next morning and headed for Alba Iulia.  We only had one night there and by the time we got there, it was just enough time to explore, grab dinner and call it a day. Again, there wasn't a ton to see, but it was a cute little town where there was enough to fill an afternoon. 

Baby Maximus (staying warm under a bajillion layers) and I hanging out!

There is a really cool citadel there, which we walked around. After dinner and a few drinks (of beer for Mike and water for me), we called it a night.  The next morning, we hit the road for our next little town, Moldevensc.  This brought us out of Transylvania and into the northern part of the country.  We were the only people at the bed and breakfast we stayed at and the town was TINY.  The bed and breakfast was nice and the owner even gave us an authentic Romanian liquor as a welcome drink.  When I told him I was pregnant, he insisted it wouldn't hurt.  One whiff of it and I had to disagree.  Whatever it was, it was strong!! The wifi in the hotel didn't work, so we spent the night reading. It was quite romantic and cozy, but I think at this point, we were both pretty bored. 

We had kind of a rough start to Romania, not because it wasn't beautiful, but because we kind of planned our trip wrong.  We thought we would need an entire day in these cities, but as it turned out, a few hours would have done the job.  Unfortunately, they were so spread out (4+ hours of driving), so in order to see them, we needed to spend the night.  This is where the infrastructure and lack of development played a role. In the summer, there are lots of things to do outside, but considering it was in the 30s during the day, we opted out.  Luckily, the second half of our trip was a little more exciting and included a bear sanctuary and visits with Olmsted Scholars!   

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