Vienna, hungary, romania

Trip Start Oct 15, 2006
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Flag of Austria  ,
Monday, November 13, 2006

then off to continental europe to begin the behemoth journey...

i stayed in vienna for nearly a week with my friends peter and yva, whom i met
earlier this year in jordan. thanks guys, it was fun eh... can't wait to see u both in
SE asia next year.
i love vienna, truly a beautiful city. i walked all over town taking in the wonderful
architecture and sampling the kasekrainer.
on my second day there, peter and yva took myself and yva's friend on a mini walking
tour of the city, peter wearing a long black cloak to ward off the icy breeze. so, we're
inside the Stephansdom (st stephens church- massive gothic cathedral), with peter
explaining a few bits and pieces to us. anyway, people kept going up to him and asking
questions etc about service and tour times. we figured out eventually, it was the cloak-
they thought he was some kind of priest or god botherer. giggling, we carried on looking
around until the 4 of us nearly burst out hysterically when someone crossed themselves
when walking past peter. i gotta get me a black cloak!!

so i got a visa for georgia (you're a legend yva) whilst in vienna and my romanian visa was ready a day earlier than i expected. great- i took my passport and found me a bus to romania leaving 9pm
that night. woo hoo!! off to romania.
i'm on the bus, just looking thru my passport when i see that my romanian visa is not valid for
another 2 days. DOH! oh well what the heck, i'll see what happens.
thru hungary and at the check point into romania and everyone on the bus but me has their
passport back. it's taking too long. ....
eventually, i'm told to get off the bus and collect my luggage.
i can't go into romania.
double DOH!!
ok the border guards were friendly and said sorry but i just cant go into romania 4 another 2 days.
they even let me wander off to the duty free shop to get some cigarettes. i could only buy a
whole carton. but the dude just gave me a single pack. sweet.
its 5am when the guards said i can go. they even suggestes a nearby hungarian town i could stay in real cheap, mezoheges.
i head over the border, get my passport stamped and wander off thinking i'll walk or hitch or something and hopefully it'll get light about 2 hours early today.
but then some bloke starts all yelling and hollering 4me to come back. its the customs officer wanting to check me out and see if i've got something to declare. no nothing at all, i say.
but what are u doing here in the middle of the nite walking the border. i tell him the story and he rolls his eyes at me (u idiot) then proceeds to open the doors of the first 3 trucks demanding to know where the driver is going and for them to give me a ride.
i get a ride to oshkareskseklacoosramotice or somewhere and catch a few buses to mezoheges, only
to disocever that the only place in town i can stay is 27euro. aargh!!
ok, i'm goin to budapest where i can stay AND catch a bus back to romania for about the same
price as 2 nites in mezoheges.
i forgot how much i like budapest, its a beautiful city on the banks of the blue (????) danube.
stayed in the same hostel as last time. backpack guesthouse for anyone who's thinking of going to budapest- one of my fave hostels in all the world.

ok so now i'm in romania. (actually i started writing this mail in brasov, in the heart of transylvania, but it took too long so i had too come to the capital, bucharest). brasov is close to bran, the home of the dracula castle that vlad tepes never actually lived in or went to.
nevertheless an amazing castle wıth secret passages and beautifully furnished chambers.
(a week later now- i'm in istanbul)
after bran we visited rasnov where a beautiful old citadel straddles the top of the hill above town.
walking up a the road to the citadel we (we of course beıng the bunch of other travellers from around the globe, who went on a daytrip) were enveloped by an earie fog. amongst the late autumn trees surrounded by fog. NOW THATS WHAT I WANT FROM TRANSYLVANIA!! so we emerged above the fog to see the citadel, went round the front to dıscove that the valley we were in was now the floor of a sea of fog. beautiful stuff!!

after bran, ı went to bucharest, the capıtal of romanıa. grıtty noısy cıty where the old commy dictator bulldozed a whole precinct to build a replica of the champs de elysees in paris and the largest palace in the world, the peoples palace. in doing so he destroyed something like 27 old heritage worthy churches and a synagogue and displaced about 70 thousand people.
i really like bucharest. as far as touing goes, theres not all that much to see. but just to walk around
in the 'burbs, its amazing. and the nightlife? well....
cheap is best in my book and one really can find some cheap and exciting places to drink and boogy in bucharest. yeah!! half litre beers for a buck fifty in clubs like underworld which kinda reminds me of THE PARTY back on the gold coast. funfunfun!!
bucharest is however rivalled strongly by cluj napoca, romanias premiere student city, for bars and nightlife. cheaper and loads of students.and countless qualıty quality bars. i've only one thing to say about cluj: GO THERE!!
8 days ın bucharest, 2 vısas- kazakhstan and azerbaijan- and i'm ready to move again
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