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!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lesson learned...

We slept in a little bit on Friday morning. Not much really, but then we kind of relaxed for a couple of hours before getting ambitious enough to get outside. It was about 10:30am by the time we left the apartment.

Oh, speaking of which, some of you had asked for pictures of where we're staying. We had booked an AirBnb rental to stay in a private room in a shared apartment in Bucharest. We got lucky in that our hosts Cosmin and Carmen are really nice and helpful people, and we will probably stay with them again when we return to Bucharest in mid December.

So, here are some interior pics. The apartment block is a 1980's communist style concrete building. But they own the apartment and have renovated the interior...

The kitchen.

The main bathroom.

Our bedroom.

Outside in the hallway, it is still 1980's style!

The elevator!

With Cosmin's help, we figured  out the bus route to the Village Museum. Also, he got me to download the Moovit app which is a great addition to our helpful travel apps. This one tells you the best public bus routes, including connections for most cities around the world. Of course it also live maps your route as you travel it, telling you how many stops until you have to get off, etcetera. Neat!

Some European RVs.

We took the Bucharest public bus. Cosmin had given us a couple of rechargeable cards and there was a booth at the bust stop where we put 10 lei ($3.50 CAD, $2.75 USD) on one of the cards. This should do for 8 bus rides. 

Each time you get on the bus, you tap the card on an electronic reader. So I tapped it twice...once for me, and once for Ruth. We thought (incorrectly!) that this was the proper procedure.

We got off the bus, transferred to another one, and tapped the card twice again. No problem.

Then off the second bus, and walked through a beautiful park.

Ruth, walking in Herastrau Park.

I'm sure there's a story to this. 
Seemed an odd place for a Michael Jackson memorial!

Bucharest has it's own Arc de Triomphe.

We made it to the entrance of the Village Museum and paid our 10 lei ($3.50 CAD, $2.75 USD) entrance fee each. Good price. The Village Museum has taken many old homes from the countryside and relocted them here. Some of the homes were brought to the museum when a dam was built in the countryside and the village was to be flooded. Others were donated, and are prime examples of what housing may have been like in the countryside back in the 1700's and 1800's.

Why don't we never see neat fences like this in Canada?

Old church.

Nice view of another church.

Ruth, and another neat fence.

This 17th century country house was transferred here in 1961.

A picture from the dismantling in 1961.

The big wooden church, dates back to 1722. It was brought to the museum in 1936.

The museum grounds have a lot of cats. This one was relaxing in a tipped over garbage bin.

Painted and beaded eggs for sale.

The big church.

We left the museum village at around 3:30pm and started walking back to the bus stop. We decided to walk through the park that borders the lake shore.

Those tall buildings are not downtown Bucharest. Just a north section of the city.

Never did figure out exactly what this building is!

Walking through the park.

We got to our bust stop, an the bus came right away.We got on the rear entrance with a lot of other people, I tapped the card twice on the electronic machine, and we sat down opposite a lady who was right beside the machine.

At the next stop, a couple of inspectors got on and started checking people's cards to see that they had paid. It was our turn, so I pulled out the card and gave it to him. He showed me the reader that said "1", and proceeded to tell me in broken English that I had to pay a fine. 

The woman immediately starting berating the inspector. It was all in Romanian, so we couldn't understand it but we think she was telling him that we had paid, and that we had paid twice. The problem was that I didn't do it properly. There is a small button on the machine that you have to press if you are paying for two people on the same card. Of course we didn't know this.

I explained to the inspector, and he said the normal fine is 150 lei ($50 CAD, $35 USD), but because we didn't do it on purpose he would assign the reduced fine of 50 lei ($16.50 CAD, $12 USD). Not a big deal, and I paid the fine. But many people on the bus were not impressed with the inspector. And especially the lady opposite us who had stood up for us. She didn't speak any English, but she was downright mad at the inspector for charging us the fine.

The inspector then gave us a special card that said we didn't have to pay for the rest of the day. Gee, thanks!

Anyhow, lesson learned and now we know. 

We got off the bus and walked the rest of the way

Somewhere near downtown.

Today, we are on the train to Brasov. You'll have to wait until tomorrow for this story...but what gorgeous scenery. This is what we came to Romania for!!

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A fantastic deal on Bushnell binoculars at Amazon...almost half price...very good quality for the money!


And in Canada, the Black and Decker Matrix combo tool kit is on sale. Includes drill, sander, jig saw, oscillating tool, router, and impact driver.




36 comments:

  1. Live and learn, sometimes the hard way.

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    1. For sure, but it also gave us a story for the blog! :-P

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  2. Tough that you had to pay... But wonderful that someone was sticking up for you! What a crazy deal, eh?

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    1. It was very frustrating indeed but we were very thankful for that lady speaking up for us as well as a couple of the other bus riders, she was the most vocal though.

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  3. It's the same system in France, and like you we've found it somewhat confusing. We've also been stopped by inspectors and once John made the mistake of providing a used ticket instead of the current one. It was quickly resolved, but was definitely an unpleasant experience. As you say, lesson learned. and we now discard used tickets immediately rather than stuff them in our pockets!

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    1. Yes, it did make it an unpleasant experience, especially because we knew we paid! Oh well, life goes on and we got over it quickly. :-)

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  4. What a beautiful museum village. I, too, love the fence.

    You would think for your first offense they would let you off with a warning. Very nice of that lady to try to defend you.

    The Jackson memorial does look very strange there.

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    1. It was a lovely museum, it was a shame that more of the exhibits weren't open or that there weren't people in traditional dress but I guess they only do that in the summer or perhaps on weekends when the park may be busier. At least it didn't cost much to go in so we felt we got our money's worth.

      We thought that they should just have given us a warning, oh well.

      The Jackson memorial I think was there because Michael was one of the first concerts to come to Romania in 1992 (after the fall of Communism in 1989) to support the people and he returned again in 1996. The people here loved him.

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  5. These are the situations that make travel simultaneously stressful, and yet wonderful, yes? The local woman standing up for you is likely something you'll both carry warmly for a long time.

    Can't wait to see your photos from wonderful Brasov. We loved Brasov!

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    1. Yes, we totally agree with you! It will be a memory that we won't forget and it was frustrating at the time but we got over that feeling very quickly.

      After first impressions, I think we will love Brasov as well. :-)

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  6. A small thorn in an otherwise great day... The museum with the old houses is wonderful, there are a couple like that in the Netherlands as well.

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    1. It was a thorn but then again having that lady stand up for us along with a few others on the bus sure made the experience a better one!

      We have been to a few of them ourselves, one in Canad, one in Czech Republic and another one in South Korea. It is a great way to learn about the way of life from years ago.

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  7. Wonderful pics and comments. Each day I look forward to a new post.

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    1. Thank you Carol, so glad you are enjoying our travels.

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  8. Great pics and tour of Bucharest. Nice lady for trying to help the tourists :)

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    1. Thank you Anne! Yes, it was nice of her and a few others but she was definitely the most outspoken one.

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  9. Well, that sucks about the fine but glad it was not a lot of money and that others appeared to be sticking up for you, even when they spoke no English. You may want to do a post specifically about riding the bus in Bucharest lol

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    1. I think if the fine had been anymore than that we wouldn't have paid it. We would either of waited for the big boss to come or just gotten off the bus and start walking away. We were so thankful to that lady and a few others for speaking up but mostly for her, we think was as mad at the inspector as we were if not more so.

      We may just do that Cheapchick but if we do it may have to wait until next summer when we don't have so much to talk about, right now we are already spending lots of time working on the posts.

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  10. Another great day and pictures and lesson learned. Love your journey so far!

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    1. Yes, it was a wonderful day even with that little bit of excitement/frustration. Glad you are enjoying our adventures.

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  11. Have you seen any Unitarian churches yet?

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    1. Not that we have noticed!

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    2. Just because that "religion" was started here, doesn't mean that it's popular here. 80% of Romanians are Eastern Christian Orthodox. Protestant is next at 6%. Wikipedia says that Unitarian is 0.29%.

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  12. Love the village museum! The scenery is indeed quite beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your journey.

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    1. The museum was very well done and in a very pretty setting, the only downfall was that not all the houses were open for viewing and people working there weren't in tradition dress, perhaps because during the week at this time of year it just isn't busy enough for them. We felt we got our money's worth even without that added attraction.

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  13. I always ask a lot of question when traveling...I once drove a bus driver nuts because I wanted to make sure of proper procedures. The exasperated bus driver finally told me 'I am not a tour bus driver!!!' LOL I got my questions answered and off we went. One thing I do is visit the Visitor's Center to get current info and tips plus a map of buses, city, and anything else helpful. Thank you for sharing info and beautiful pictures....the fences are beautiful however in the SW of USA it would be dangerous to catching fire.

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    1. We do too and several people mentioned about using the one card for the two of us, they just neglected to mention about having to push that little tiny button on the side when you have two people on the same card. Oh well, now we know!

      We did stop into the Visitor's Office and got a map and asked lots of questions. As you know we try to get as much info as we can but even then things can be missed or overlooked.

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  14. Replies
    1. What? Paul, this Kevin and Ruth, not Donald and Hillary!! LOL.

      Dee

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    2. Paul, we thought about that! Had the fine been larger then we would have tried to get off the bus or we would have waited for the big boss or the police to come but seeing that the fine was just over $15 we didn't want to waste our precious time doing that. It would have made for an even better story however! ;-)

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    3. Can you imagine Romanian officials (the inspector's bosses) wasting THEIR time over something so trivial. No worry, it just wouldn't happen. That's the reason for the negotiated-down fine.

      Dee

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    4. Not sure what would have happened but if they had asked for more we wouldn't have paid without a fight. :-)

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  15. We purchased train tickets at main train station in Rome, Italy. Was handed our tickets & told where to board the train. After boarding train, noticed other passengers, "stamping" their tickets at large clock on the walkway. We got off the train, stamped our tickets & quickly got back on, just as the train started to leave. After a 45 min ride, train inspectors inspected our tickets. Would have been nice, when we bought the tickets, was told we needed to stamp them!....we ALMOST got fined! Watch when riding trains, you might need to stamp your ticket or do something! Transportation inspectors all over, depend on mistakes of unknowing tourists to increase revenue! Glad for a nice lady on bus speaking up, helping reduce your fine by 2/3! Really enjoying reading about your adventures. Looking forward to reading your post each day! Thanks for taking time to share & post :) Beautiful pics! Pat

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    1. Glad that you noticed people getting their tickets stamped! It sure would be helpful if they gave you a small pamphlet on how to use your ticket/card when traveling on buses and trains. We learnt quickly but the hard way. We were very thankful for that lady to speak up for us as well as a couple other people on the bus.

      Glad you are enjoying our trip. I think there will be a lot more beautiful pictures to come.

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  16. Love those fences!Paul is funny.

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    1. We did too and they were a number of different styled ones that we found interesting. I would imagine that it took a bit of work to make them.

      Yes, Paul is funny! ;-)

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