500,000 bottles of sparkling wine mature in this section of the underground cellars at Cricova Winery just north of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 3, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Busy day with lots of pictures in Brasov, Romania!

Our guesthouse host Daniel picked us up exactly at 10:00am from the studio apartment where we were staying at his parent's place. We drove through the old part of town to the opposite side, with Daniel pointing things out along the way.

Just before we arrived at La Despani Guesthouse, I noticed the car rental place where we have our booking for this morning. I knew it was quite close to the guesthouse, but it's almost right across the street!

So that's certainly convenient. Total coincidence in a city of 250,000 people that we chose a car rental place and a guesthouse that are only a two minute walk apart.

We got settled in our new room, and actually put things in the cupboards. We're going to be here for six nights, so might as well not live out of a suitcase, so to speak.

We'll show you pictures of the place another day.

Once we were settled, we walked to a grocery store to get some food for the next few days. There's a 24 hour shop close by, but we walked on to check out a bigger one and ended up getting everything but the booze there. That way we didn't have to carry it so far, and we figured we would pick it up on our way home later in the day.

By the time we got back with the groceries, it was lunchtime so we had something to eat before heading out to explore the old town of Brasov.

We set out walking, and headed straight for the citadel on the hill in the middle of town.

The Brasov Citadel.

Originally built of wood in 1524, the citadel walls were renovated to stone late in the 16th century. It's located on a hill, so walking around the exterior gives beautiful views in all directions. Unfortunately, the citadel is closed on the inside due to some kind of legal dispute that's been going on for almost two years.

View from the Citadel.

Thick exterior walls.

See the flag? It was a windy afternoon!

The blue sky and sunshine was wonderful! The temperature was about 17C (63F), but it was really windy. Still, a beautiful day and it was so nice to see the sun.

No, that's not the street address!

View of the modern section of Brasov.

From there, we walked down a path on the side of the hill towards the old town. 

Some beautiful buildings near the central area.

Another one.

Buna Vestire Orthodox Church overlooks Brasov's central park.

Playing chess in the park.

Nice free exercise equipment in the park. 

Looking back at the Citadel from Brasov's central park.

The Brasov City Hall.

We wandered over to the pedestrian mall. Of course being such a beautiful Sunday, the people were out enjoying the day, as were we! It was busy, but it was fun to people watch.

The pedestrian street. 

Lots of people in the central square.

Looking up to Tampa Hill where we hiked the other day.

The Brasov central square.


On the left side of the street above, we found a shop selling those prepackaged ice cream style popsicles. We each had a mint and chocolate one, and they cost 2 lei ($0.70 CAD, $0.52 USD) each. And so we went and stood in the sun and enjoyed our ice cream.

The "Black" church, so named because of a fire in the 1600's that blackened the walls.

The church was built between 1385 and 1476. It costs 9 lei ($3 CAD, $2.25 USD), to enter, but it had closed at 3:00pm. Don't think we would have gone inside anyhow. The pictures we saw of the inside didn't look that exciting.

Unfortunate that some areas of Brasov have been hit by graffiti criminals. Sorry, but anybody to does this to a historic building (or anywhere, for that matter!) is a criminal.

This is the building immediately behind the church in the central area. Nice, huh? 
I can't for the life of me figure out why societies put up with this.

The Black Tower. Built as an observation tower outside the city walls. 

A heavy rain in 1996 cause one of the sides to start to collapse, and it was renovated with a glass roof to prevent further deterioration.

We couldn't enter the tower, but from the front deck there is a beautiful view of the old town.

View of old town Brasov.

Depiction of old town Brasov and the wall around the town.

The steps leading down from the observation tower.

Part of the old wall.

Outside the old wall there is a walkway.

Ruth and an art car.

We've noticed several abandoned cars just sitting around with flat tires that have obviously been there for years. I guess someone decided to paint this one!

We had a good day.

On the way back home, we stopped in and bought some booze. Three 500 ml cans of good beer, a decent bottle of wine, and a small bottle of cider. Total cost was 20 lei ($7 CAD, $5 USD). So far, we really like Romania!

This morning, we pick up our rental car, and we're going out exploring. Hoping to have some beautiful pictures of Romanian countryside for you tomorrow!

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22 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures. Graffiti appears to be in most countries. But it's catching those responsible as even when removed seems to miraculously appear again. Love the car graffiti, that is a work of art.

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    1. Thanks Helen!

      Yes, we know that it appears in most countries and we are beginning to close our eyes to it. We have however been to a number of cities where they seem to have a grip on it because as soon as it appears it is removed and they continue to remove it very quickly each time. There is also more pressure on finding the criminals responsible for it and giving them a harsher punishment. It takes a lot of effort but it has been working in those cities and the graffiti problem has improved greatly. I also believe that is one of the reasons that more cities are doing wall murals as that seems to really help with the problem as well.

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  2. I love seeing pedestrian streets. No cars, trucks or buses...just people enjoying life.

    WOW...those stairs look like a dosey, but what a beautiful photo of the city.

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    1. Pedestrian streets are lovely and normally well used. It is so nice to just walk down the middle of the street and not worry about any vehicles that might run you over. ;-) Lots of people were out on Sunday, it was a beautiful day and everyone was out enjoying it.

      Yep, the stairs were pretty steep. We were hoping yesterday to go to a fortress that had almost 1,500 steps to get up to it but we just didn't have time. :-(

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  3. You are getting to see some wonderful sites and culture, enjoy.

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  4. It all sounds great. Love the pictures and the little details.

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  5. What kind of food do they eat? Fish, chicken or beef? I know Europe eats a lot of weird food...my niece and her father traveled Europe extensively so she had a lot to tell. I think they traveled through Romania but didn't stay.

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    1. Our hosts in Bucharest said that most people here eat chicken and pork (which would include sausage) because it is the cheapest meat. Beef and lamb are more expensive. We're not sure why lamb is more expensive though because on our drive yesterday we saw tons of sheep out in the fields but not too many cows.

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  6. When looking at the menu that Kevin and Ruth provided through a link of their dining restaurant, it seems this area of Romania eats a lot of pork and sausage and related meats. What caught my eye was the tripe (cow's stomach) on the menu. When I saw that, it made me go back to my childhood in the 1950s and 1960s. Tripe in the U.S. South back then was a traditional meat (served at least once a week); it was soaked in milk, coated in seasoned flour, and fried. In fact, except for tripe soup, most of the menu could be termed a meal from the U.S. South, if you substitute collards for spinach and baked cornbread and dressing for corn polenta. Based on the menu descriptions and the visuals of their plates, Kevin and Ruth dined at what would be considered here in the South a fine dining restaurant.

    Dee

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    1. Please remember Dee that when people eat in the restaurants it is normally different to what they would eat at home. Restaurants normally try to have a menu that will cater to everyone. They do eat a lot of sausage though, we have really noticed this in the grocery stores. There is a huge selection of sausage both dried and uncooked.

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  7. Don't get any speeding or parking tickets.

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  8. Looks like a neat town to explore. I especially like the central square and the pedestrian street ... BUT, what do my tired eyes see? McDonald's arches, oh good grief.

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    1. It is a very pretty town and the central part is very easy to walk. Yep, it seems to be hard to get away from a McDonald's! I think there are only about 10 countries in the world so far that don't have them and we have been to two of them, Namibia and Iceland.

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  9. Hi,my name is Ciprian an my home town is Brasov,I live in Uk now and I'm so happy to see some pictiure and nice words about my town....thank you

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    1. Thank you for commenting Maximus! We are enjoying your home town of Brasov. The area here is beautiful, we just wish the weather was a little nicer but that's ok, we were prepared for this kind of weather. :-)

      Where in the UK are you living now?

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  10. Hi Ruth and Kevin,
    Very nice blog about Brașov, I will be following as much as possible.
    Just to add a correction and complete the description:
    -The photo of the "Brașov city hall" is not entirely correct, it is the "Prefecture of Brașov county/district"
    -The current Brașov city hall is on the left as you photographed the prefecture (you yurn 90deg)
    -The old city hall of Brașov is in the middle of the central square.

    As a recommendation for a restaurant... either Sergiana Restaurant or Restaurant Ceasu' Rau (both are the same company, but the atmosphere is different)
    Also ask Daniel to take you to the local market so you can try and/or buy the fresh cheese sorts from the farmers(shepherds).
    Have fun :)

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    1. Thank you for clarifying our slight error on the City Hall building. :-)

      As Kevin was reading me your comment today we walked right by the Sergiana Restaurant in the mall, that was just too funny. You are now the second person to recommend this restaurant, so we checked out their menu at the mall but will probably go to the restaurant downtown for dinner one night before we leave. Thank you for the recommendation.

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  11. Your pictures are awesome, your very quickly persuading us to think about a trip there. What beauty and history and architecture...lovely

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    1. Thanks Sue! Start planning your trip because we are going to be showing you so many beautiful places here. We are really enjoying our time here. :-)

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