Braşov, Romania

Brasov Travel Blog

 › entry 21 of 49 › view all entries

Well, I made it to Transylvania, one of only 3 or 4 "musts" that I felt while planning this trip.  Yesterday was spent primarily on a train.  For quite a while I was the only person in the entire car (not just the compartment I was in, but the whole car).  I slept, but not very well, as for much of the night we were in the Tatras in Slovakia ... quite chilly, and then through the day in Hungary and Romania it was really hot.  When we stopped just across the Polish/Slovak boarder, I was asleep & was awoken by a loud scream as we were pulling in to the customs stop.  Then somebody walked past my compartment (as I said, that was odd, as I was alone in the car) ... my half conscious mind began to think about Agatha Christie plots, etc, and I had no way of remembering the person enough to give a decent description.

Romanian flag atop Mt. Tâmpa.
  Well, as I woke up more fully I realized that I was just being silly, and certainly when the Slovak boarder guards did their customary walk through of the train, they didn't find anything out of the ordinary, but it made for an interesting introduction to Slovakia - which I wouldn't get to really visit for another week & a half or so.

I'm glad that I stocked up on water when I was in the station in Krakow.  I never saw any vendors on the train, and as I didn't have any Hungarian or Romanian currency, I couldn't even run out at a stop, but I had two liters of "woda niegazowana" (non-sparkling water) from Poland and some food from Lithuania.  It was an interesting 22 hours, almost exclusively alone on the train.

Well, in any case, I made it to Brasov, got a cab to the hostel I had a reservation at, and discovered that I had misremembered my confirmed dates .

Biserica Neagră - The Black Church - as seen from Mt. Tâmpa.
.. I had reserved it from check in on July 6th ... I got there on July 5th.  But they had empty beds, so it didn't pose any problems.  Although the room I was in on the first night was one with 10 beds.  One of the sleepers snored very loud & without any pattern or rhythm.  Eventually I slept and slept well, but it was annoying for me (and many others ... I'd guess about 8 others :P).

On the 6th, I took a ride up to the top of Mt. Tâmpa, part of the Carpathians aka the Transylvanian Alps.  I explored Brasov, ate at a Scottish-style pub (had the driest shepherd's pie ever) and made my way back to the hostel.  There one person was getting together a group to go out, rather than learning our names, he just learned where we were from, so the group that he (New York) got together called each other: New York, Chicago (me), California, Helsinki, Perth, Florida, Seoul, London, Oregon, Dublin .

Helsinki, New York and Perth
.. etc ... there were a few others along the way.  It was a good mnemonic device as I remember these people's "names" better than any other people I met on the trip.  After the bar closed, we walked back as a group to the Black Church, an enormous and imposing edifice from the late 1300s looming over everything, by the time we got near the hostel, it was discovered that Perth wasn't actually from our hostel, and as such, she was not allowed in.  As it was the middle of the night, she certainly wasn't sober, and her hotel was a good 20 minute walk away, I agreed to walk back with her.  So, back the way we came, got her safely to her hotel's door, and once more back to my hostel.  This time going past the Black Church, I noticed that there were in fact bats flying around it and I marveled the situation: alone, in the middle of Transylvania, in the middle of the night, next to a 600+ year old church with bats flying all around!  Horror films have been successfully made based on lesser setups.

Marius1981 says:
actually its quite ok that you only met some bats. lately more and more bears are comin in the city from the moutains near by lookin for food. a month ago one of them came close to the city center. by night of course... :)
there werent any incidents so far...
Posted on: Jun 10, 2008
fr3yam says:
Love you review! That means you won't forget anytime in the near future your trip to Transylvania, even though you haven't met Dracula :)
Posted on: Sep 05, 2007
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Romanian flag atop Mt. Tâmpa.
Romanian flag atop Mt. Tâmpa.
Biserica Neagră - The Black Churc…
Biserica Neagră - The Black Chur…
Helsinki, New York and Perth
Helsinki, New York and Perth
Mt. Tâmpa
Mt. Tâmpa
A moth atop Mt. Tâmpa
A moth atop Mt. Tâmpa
Atop Mt. Tâmpa
Atop Mt. Tâmpa
Yes, cable TV and internet is avai…
Yes, cable TV and internet is ava…
The old city wall.
The old city wall.
The old city wall.
The old city wall.
The old city wall.
The old city wall.
The old city wall.
The old city wall.
Western bar - I didnt go in, but …
Western bar - I didn't go in, but…
Mt. Tâmpa
Mt. Tâmpa
Heading up Mt. Tâmpa.
Heading up Mt. Tâmpa.
Heading up Mt. Tâmpa.
Heading up Mt. Tâmpa.
Heading up Mt. Tâmpa.
Heading up Mt. Tâmpa.
View from Mt. Tâmpa.
View from Mt. Tâmpa.
Capitalistic construction atop Mt.…
Capitalistic construction atop Mt…
view from Mt. Tâmpa
view from Mt. Tâmpa
Braşov, main square
Braşov, main square
Braşov, main square
Braşov, main square
Braşov, main square
Braşov, main square
Braşov, main square
Braşov, main square
Braşov, main square
Braşov, main square
Mt. Tâmpa
Mt. Tâmpa
Biserica Neagră - The Black Church
Biserica Neagră - The Black Church
Biserica Neagră - The Black Church
Biserica Neagră - The Black Church
Biserica Neagră - The Black Church
Biserica Neagră - The Black Church
The view from my hostel.
The view from my hostel.
some door that I thought looked in…
some door that I thought looked i…
Ursus
Ursus
Perth and me
Perth and me
London doing a cartwheel.
London doing a cartwheel.
Perth doing a handstand.
Perth doing a handstand.
Brasov
photo by: travelman727