Time to take a train

Trip Start Aug 18, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Romania  ,
Saturday, October 28, 2006

Visiting Romania and not visiting Transylvania would be like visiting Durham and not going to Neros. Sorry, the cathedral. I had allowed four days sightseeing time in Bucharest, but having pretty much exhausted the sights of Bucharest on day one it was an easy decision to leave Madelaine (the bike*) with the cult and catch a train to Brasov on Saturday morning.

The train ride was a great novelty after so many miles by bike. It was also a bright morning and the scenery gorgeous- mountains, swollen streams and the trees were turning the deep reds of late autumn. Arriving in the afternoon I really only had time to get my bearings. I wandered into town with a vague idea of finding l'office de tourisme, but instead spotted a 'telepherique' (cable car) up the mountain that overshadows Brasov. At the top there was a restaurant where I had probably the most traditional Romanian meal there is: minced forcemeat (whatever that may be- tastes of mince) wrapped in cabbage, served with polenta (corn porridge) and garnished with fried cabbage. BRASOV has a big sign after the style of HOLLYWOOD with a viewing area beside it, which is a short walk from the top the telepherique. No one tells you this though, and from the top of the telepherique it is impossible to get a clear view of the town, so unless you spot some people coming back from somewhere and deduce that 'there must be something over there' you could easily go back the way you came wondering what the point was.

I met a Polish/English family at the viewing point and got chatting to them. We walked together back into town and I tagged along with their quest to locate 'one of the smallest (narrowest) streets in Europe. We found it. It was narrow. They had to catch the night train to Budapest, but before they left extended a standing invitation to Warsaw, which is always nice, and introduced me to some other randoms that they'd met and onto whom I swiftly transferred my limpet status. I had a few drinks with these before heading back to the hostel, I needed a good nights sleep since in the morning I planned to face... Castle Dracula!

*Did I mention that? The bikes full name is now Madelaine World Traveler. Mad Traveler, to her friends.**

**I may be going slightly blotto
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