Got a decent night of sleep, on and off for 5 hours
Simone's apt was very neat and comfy. The neighborhood was quiet. I got up at 6:45 to shower, and at 7:45 my cab arrived to take me to the train station. I didn't fuss much with make up, because it was raining cats and dogs anyway. The cost to the station was just over 6 lei. I gave the cabbie a 10 lei, and he said he didn't have change. I'm not shocked. I don't know which company Simona called, but I read some will rip you off. And given that I clearly look like a tourist, I am going to get ripped off. Unfortunately, I have learned and accepted that it is part of traveling. I gave him a look and was like whatever. Enjoy your tip, loser.
I got to the train station and found my platform to Brasov (brah-shof). This is a medieval city in the Transylvania region. I read how Romania trains are a crowded, hot mess. There are three kinds, and they vary by cost, speed and overall craziness
So now I am sitting in my seat with my backpack at my feet
At a stop, Ploiesti Vest. Romanian teenagers are singing 'Hit the Road Jack' and rap songs that were popular in the U.S. in 2003. Maybe they are just arriving here?
Simona told me I was the first person from the U.S. to stay with her. I said, ' I don't think Romania gets a lot of US tourists.' She said, 'probably not.' Then it dawned on me.... How many American women come here alone? Probably not many. Am I nuts? Lol
Arrived in Brasov around 11 and took a taxi to the hotel. My room wasn't ready, so I decided to go sightsee. I had a plan mapped out and pretty much saw everything I wanted, including the plaza (Piata Sfatului), the Black Tower, the White Tower, Ekaterina's Gate, Rope Street (Europe's narrowest street!) and the Black Church
Once I got settled into my room at Casa Iacob, I took a short nap and got refreshed. Naps are fine during travel as long as you set an alarm and keep it short. I find them helpful with combating jet lag. Alex at the hotel is so sweet and hospitable.
Around 7:30, I decided to head out and stroll the plaza. I feel very safe here and didn't even bat an eye when walking alone
Other notes on Romania:
- Unlike the most of Europe now, smoking is allowed in a lot of places, including restaurants. Not a fan of that.
- I did read that service at restaurants is not the friendliest. I wouldn't say it's terrible, but it's not warm and fuzzy like in the U.S. I am ok with it because I suspected it.
- People do seem to take a bit to warm up, but once they do, they are friendly. It reminds me of Iceland in that way.
Tomorrow is another busy day. All for now.
La revedere (Bye),
Brasov: Like Disneyland, But Better
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Brasov, Transylvania, Romania