November 12 Brasov to Otopeni via Câmpina
Otopeni Travel Blog› entry 23 of 23 › view all entries
November 12th, 2008 – by: woosang
The dog next door woke us both up, but as it was almost 7am, we decided that it was a good time to get going. The washing had not yet been returned which caused me some angst but I decided to just eat some vegimite on toast and leave David to find our missing clothes. I left the vegimite behind as there are a lot of Australian Travellers through this hostel.
Got out of Braşov unscathed by the traffic and turned towards the Castle at Câmpina. This little castle was built by a man in the 1880's to mourn the death of his daughter at 18. She was a prodigy and spoke many languages by the age of 4. By 6 she wrote an opera about Romania's first king. She was the first woman from Romania to attend university in Paris. The father practiced séances to speak with his dead daughter for 10 years up to his death. A bit creepy. There are hundreds of letters written by the daughter post humously and she even wrote a piece of haunting music that was engraved in marble and now is playing in the basement of this museum.
From here we drove back a bit up the side roads to the Unirea Salt mine and sporting complex. I kid you not, the soccer field and a pool are located 200m underground in the old salt mine. Sureal would be a good word for it but sterile would be the other adjective. This is not warm and soft like the Turda mine and there is no walking through tunnels to get your reward of a WOW moment. This one, you get a lift to the bottom of a hole where romanians come for the air (!!) to have a swim, drink coffee and then play soccer. (I used to say only in America but now-a-days I say only in Romania)
This may be the biggest mine, but not the best. We left this place an hour earlier than expected, giving us two hours to get to the airport to drop off the car. Unfortunatley, the romanian traffic was working against us and with 50km to go, we got held up and the longest single lane road work in the world (35 mins) and then a head on (Bound to happen here- 20 mins) and them general Buchareşti traffic. We were 20 minutes late for the man, but when we arrived, he seemed surprised that the car was in one piece.
We are sitting here, in the Otopeni airport, relaxing after a manic drive and happy to not have a car to stress about. NEVER drive in Romania unless your are a kamakazii or suicidal.
Bring on French coffee!!
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