A Travellerspoint blog


Garlic, the difficulty with revaluing currency and Vampires

Hungary to Romania


We were finally the last ones on the bus yesterday morning as we thought it was leaving at 7.30 am and it left at 7.15 am. We had to do the walk of shame.

We left so early as we had a 12 hour drive to Sibiu in Romania. The roads are shocking and the people drive like they are playing a playstation driving game. Our driver, Hillco, (who I have been calling Willco for 8 days - I was wondering why he was giving me death stares) - must have nerves of steel. People overtake on blind bends on one lane roads. Three accidents on the way here. Thank goodness for travel insurance.

As we left Hungary, there was a great deal of garlic for sale as we were moving into Transylvania. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to stop the bus! The real Romanian Dracula - Ceacescu? awaited.

Yesterday was spent on the bus apart from a few toilet stops and a lengthy wait at the border. Daniel (me) tried to short cut the toilet queue behind a tree and ended up with a large amount of excrement on his shoe. I only wish I could say it was dog poo. Fond memories. Earnestly rubbing the shoe on the grass led to the disintigration of the shoe. One wonders what people eat here!

Anyway, we eventually arrived at Sibiu which is beautiful but is still recovering from communisim. Everything is grey and run down but it seems to be turning the corner. Regrettably, there are a few hicks on the bus who do not seem to understand what this country has been through. It is very interesting and it is beginning to be turned into a Coca Cola Amatil world but it is not there yet.

Today, we had a short drive around the medievil town of Sibiu which was impressive but it was raining heavily so we did not get to explore by foot. Out of interest, there are two currencies here - old lei and new lei. One new lei is worth 10,000.00 of the old lei. A bottle of coke is 25,000 lei or about $1.50.

Our guide is Radco and he was very interesting about the 1,100 people who lost there lives in the 1989 revolution against the communists. We visitied Ceaceceau's palace today. It is the second biggest building in the world behind the pentagon. It was an extraordinary waste of money costing $13 billion when people could not eat. 700 architects and 20,000 artisans with a million tonne of marble. It was stinking hot on the tour as Ceacesceu would not allow air conditioning as he feared poison gas.

I have really enjoyed the country despite the poverty and the gypsy's which you have to watch. We have just returned from a city tour and Jane is knackered. She is worried about me so I can't type too long as security is an issue here.

On a lighter note, I forgot to mention that when I was in London there was a huge sale at Lillywhites (a sports store) and I now own more Lonsdale than Ali G. So, Aiiiii and farewell from Daniel and his Julie.

Tomorrow, we leave Romania to go to Bulgaria for two nights in Sofia. It is very exciting to get two nights anywhere as we get to wash our clothes.

More happened today but I just can't remember. We are taking so much in it is very difficult and the Romanian wedding at Sibiu made so much racket.

Makes you realise how fortunate you are in Australia although Bucharest seems to have almost as many pokies!

Posted by janeanddan 08:19 Archived in Romania Comments (1)

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