We ended up with a pretty good deal...162 euros ($233 CAD, $173 USD) for 10 days, but we were going to have to go 100 kms north of here to the city of Cluj by bus to pick up the car. So we made plans to do that this morning.
And then, it turned out all of that effort was for nothing.
Ruth and I went into town after lunch, planning on going back to the citadel to finish seeing some things we had missed. We took the local bus, and then had a bit of a walk along a main street to get to where we wanted to go.
As we're walking along, I saw a sign in a window advertising a car rental. So we walked in, but they didn't have an actual office, and nobody there spoke any English. We took down a number and figured we would ask Valentina or Gaby to call them later. It would sure be a lot easier to get a local rental than to have to take the bus.
We carried on to the citadel. As we were getting to the window where you buy tickets to the Three Fortifications Tour, a guy in period costume waved us over.
He didn't speak any English, but we got the point that we were supposed to pose for pictures with him.
Okay, why not...
I hope it's not loaded!
Ruth, with the sword.
Then, the guy puts his hand out for money, asking for a euro. Oh, whatever....so I pulled out five lei ($1.60 CAD, $1.20 USD) and he was happy.
We went to the ticket booth and paid 15 lei ($4.80 CAD, $3.60 USD) each for the tour. The place is really quiet at this time of year, and we were the only ones. It turns out that the only reason a guide is needed is for the part that takes you through the Medieval Hotel which is an operating hotel partly located in the old structure.
The guide seemed in a bit of a rush, and it wasn't really worth it. But, we did get some photos of the interior...
This old room in the fort has been turned into a lounge for the five star hotel.
Dinner at the knights table?
The swords weigh 8 kilos (18 lbs) each!
The rest of the "tour" if you could call it that was self guided. Again, not really worth the extra money...unless you really wanted to see the dungeon and torture chamber...
At this time of year we really think that the tour should be free, in the summer it may be a different story as they have lots of activities going in that section and people are dressed in period costumes so it may well be worth the extra change then.
Apparently this room really was a torture chamber.
After we were done, we called Valentina and went to meet her her and Gaby, and two friends of theirs. We went to a cafeteria style restaurant where Gaby had said the food is really good, and really good value. He said that because so many people eat there, the food is always fresh.
It was mid afternoon, so Ruth and I each had a bowl of soup.
Ruth had a meatball soup made with some kind of sour milk. Had a kind of an odd flavor, but it was good. I had vegetable soup. For our two soups, it cost 9 lei ($2.90 CAD, $2.15 USD).
We will keep our eyes open for this type of restaurant in the future. Apparently most small cities have them.
While we were having our soup, Gaby used the phone to call the car rental phone number that I had written down. Sure enough, they have a car for us. I wanted the 10 day rate of 15 euros per day, but they don't have that car available for us the first day. So they said they would give us a more expensive car the first day if we promise to come back and exchange it for the cheaper car on the second day...and at no extra charge.
They are actually located in another town, but are going to bring the car to us. Good service! And, even cheaper than the other place and we don't have to take the bus to Cluj. Hopefully it all goes as planned. As Valentina says, in Romania you never count on something until it has actually happened!
Meanwhile, the other rental we had booked in Cluj had called to cancel, saying that the car we were getting had to go into service. So...maybe things were meant to happen this way. I guess we'll see!
Oh, and the weather has changed! We woke up to sunshine this morning, and they're calling for a high of 11C (52F) today..and sunny and 13C (56F) tomorrow!
Big selection of hiking shoes and boots on Deal of the Day at Amazon. Includes quite a few of our favorite Merrell brand...
Also in Canada!