Jun 28, 2010
Cluj Napoca isn't much to look at but it's a good stop between Budapest and Brasov
. The trains are painfully slow here and I didn't want to arrive in Brasov at midnight so I'm here for a few days. It's a college town and feels like a college town. Not a pretty southern University campus, but along the lines of Columbus, Ohio or Ann-Arbor minus the football stadiums. It's quite a contrast from the rural areas just outside of town where horse and carriage are a common site.
Iron Maiden is playing here in a week or so.
I was told I have a movie star accent...they only hear British English accents here.
For some reason I've been looking forward to Romania since before I left. Mostly, I think, because I have no preconceptions about what it's like at all. Crossing the boarder from Hungary, it definitely seemed different. It's outside of the Shengen zone so it was the first time since I landed in France I was asked for my Passport and must have been asked for it by a different train conductor or border agent for the first 4 stops in Romania. My rail pass was also scrutinized over and over...I don't think they get nearly as many travelers using Eurail passes. There is a travel itinerary on the pass that you are supposed to fill out for each train, a survey of sorts, that had not been checked one single time prior. I believe it's used to allocate money to the different national rail systems. Romania is definitely making sure they get their share.