September 12th, 2007 – by: chrisrae
Dinner with the Hostel Mostel crew
I made it to Bulgaria last night. Bucharest was OK. One day was enough for me. It's a strange city - a mixture of old and new. If you like architecture, you'd probably dig it. I ran into a German couple my first night and he was an architecture student and was loving the place. I, however, was overwhelmed by all the building going on and advertising signs. I did check out the Palace, which is the second largest building following the Pentagon. I then hit up a village museum that had homes from rural Romanian life. It was peaceful out there by the lake. However, I wasn't that enthused about Bucharest overall, so I left yesterday for a stop in Bulgaria on the way to Turkey. I originally was going to blow through here, but I'm sure glad I decided to stop!
The train ride here was quite funny.
Bucharest's Parliamentary Palace
The guy in charge of the carriage was very concerned about where we were getting off, constantly checking in on us and confirming our stop. He grouped all of us together that were exiting in Veliko Tarnovo. He was nice enough not to charge me the five Euro for a reservation, however. There was a German fella on my train that hadn't reserved a hostel, so I told him I was being picked up at the station by my hostel, so he decided to join me. A great older fellow greeted us at the station and drove us to the hostel. It was dark out but the town looked so picturesque already, nestled into a hill between a river. We got to the hostel, which is brand new as far as renovations, and I was in heaven. It's more like a resort here.
I walked into the reception and immediately recognized two gals from Brasov whom I met on the street while hanging out with my Belgian lumberjack friend. Everyone at the hostel was getting ready to leave for dinner, so the hostel folks called the restaurant to see if enough seating was available for myself and the German guy. We dropped our stuff and headed out to meet everyone. There was a table of about 17 of us last night and the food was to die for and so cheap! I sat down next to a couple from Colorado that I also ran into in Brasov at the hostel. There was another Irish fella who had been there as well. I enjoyed conversation with a Kiwi and a gal from South Korea. It was so much fun! The older fellow who picked us up at the station joined us and it turned out he is the owner of this hostel and has been doing all the renovating himself over the last three years.
I couldn't resist - a little cat nap on a fence.
I will get pics of this place. They preserved in the design natural elements of this almost 200 year old house. I jokinging told him this place is almost as old as my country :)
I haven't even seen this town yet but I love it already. There is a fortress to check out, caves to explore and horseback riding to enjoy as well. I plan to stay here til Saturday for sure, but that's subject to change!