After we checked out of our hotel this afternoon, andas I had hoped, we were able to meet up with my friend, Ben, who is from Braşov, but now has a job in Bucharest. Before leaving the city, we all met in Old Town this afternoon in a pedestrian only area. It was so nice to visit, while we enjoyed Iced coffee and lemonade.
I met Ben and his twin brother, Joseph back in 2013, when they were in still in High School. Now, they are no longer teenagers, and have gone on to graduate from University and move on with their lives. You will never meet a nicer young man, then Ben. Thanks Ben for taking the time to meet up with us. We sure love your country!
Back in 2013, I met Ben and his twin brother; the youngest of nine total siblings in his family; all boys! Out of all the students on the train that day; the one my girlfriend and I were also riding (the students were all coming home from their school day) Ben was the only one who spoke some English. He did great, back then, and his English has only improved over the years. We managed to share social media accounts and stayed in touch. What fun to see each other after all these years, and this time I could introduce him to my husband.
We enjoyed our time visiting so much, we stayed for quite awhile. We also got to walk around and take a few more photos of Bucharest; which is a beautiful city. We realised, after we got under way to head for the border; back to Bulgaria, we still had Romanian money we could not exchange, because of it being Sunday. So, we are at a border town called Giurgiu; nothing fancy, on the Romanian side of the Danube, and are spending one more night; using up our cash for the hotel and filling up the truck with diesel, and a stop at the grocery store for a few items. We have a little apartment, with good WIFI and A/C
So now, the plan is to focus on crossing the border tomorrow (if all goes well) back in to Bulgaria.
We completed our time in the North and Central Regions of Romania, and this was the day we drove back down South. One more thing to check out along the Danube River, near the Iron Gate, from the Romania side, and then it was back to Bucharest for us, and planning our departure from Romania, to get back into Bulgaria.
Our Balkan Peninsula road-trip is not complete, yet, as we want to finish exploring Bulgaria, since we had departed from there, after only three nights, on a whim, to go to Romania.
“A Rolling Stone Collects no Moss”
This area along the Danube River, is quite pretty, and apparently a popular touristy place. There is a beautiful canyon area to drive through, along the River, but we have seen plenty of canyons on this Balkins trip, already. There were many hotels and restaurants along this Danube River area, but nothing was available for the night. We stopped at many, so the locals are still vacationing, at least the ones without children, or very young children, who are not in school, yet. The prices are very steep for this area, for a stay, anyway, so we moved on, after we got our photos. It was still light out, but we had no idea how far we would have to go to find a room! We grabbed a light dinner, and kept driving. This was the closest we came, to having to sleep in the truck! But, at least in this bigger vehicle, we would actually have more room, if it came down to it. At dark, we finally found a hotel that wasn’t closed, along the busy highway. We were traveling North to South on this day, then East towards Bucharest. The hotel was cheap, but clean, and we grabbed it. We were two of only a few people there. No A/C, no food, no WIFI, and only warm showers, but I was so tired after driving for seven hours, I really didn’t care. We slept good, and felt refreshed the next day.
Currently, we have just spent the night in Bucharest, at the lovely Cismigeu Hotel in Old Town. We got a special COVID rate, as we are only two of three people in the hotel. $70 a night including breakfast. vs $200. Brakfasts were delivered to our room at our chosen time, since the restaurant is closed (city covid rule). We were told we can stay beyond the check-out time of noon, and we might do that. I am just plain tuckered out from spending so much time at night tying to stay up with all the journaling and pictures. I have zero desire to tour around, as we are filled-up once again, and satisfied with this country visit. There are some beautiful old buildings in this capital city I might want to photograph, but we shall see.
We can’t recommend Romania enough!
Here are some random photos from our drive-day
We will relax for the afternoon, and try to meet up with an acquaintance, then try to get back over the Danube River into Bulgaria. We have no idea how that is going to go, but all we can do is give it a try. We do not have a current covid test, as we did, when we entered the first time, but we do have a rental vehicle we must return to Bulgaria.
This Medieval Castle was a mighty impressive sight to see, as we came around the corner in the town of Hunedoara!
Our goal was to get to the Castle early enough to beat the crowds, which we did pretty good with. BUT, the sun position in the morning did not offer good lighting for very many shots on the outside of the castle, as we were facing the sun for the pictures at the Castle. Later in the day, the sun would be shining directly on the castle, making the photos much better, but the amount of people would be greater, so either way its a challenge for the photographer.
Regardless, we enjoyed the visit, and did the best we could with photos, and crowds. Mr Terrific picked this stop, because he read it was the best preserved Castle in in all of Romania. What is a fact is: Corvin Castle is the largest medieval Castle in Transylvania, surpassing in size, even the mysterious Bran Castle and the Royal Peles Castle.
We would wander around the Castle, and climb many levels. The furnishings were sparsely laid out, but then again, it is an enormous Castle, which includes a Palace, so filling it up would take many, many relics. It was a great visit, and we enjoyed seeing such a magnificent example of Romanias past, where Kins and Queens lived.
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