So we stayed in until 10:00am or so as it started to warm up a little outside. The entire country of Romania has been experiencing an unusual cold spell, but that is supposed to break tomorrow.
The temperature was still around freezing, but at least the wind had disappeared.
Wandering Sibiu, Romania.
The old citadel wall in Sibiu.
The oldest plaza in Sibiu.
We had read about a market down by the river, and it's certainly not a tourist market. Only saw locals here, but maybe it would have been different if it was a nice day. Too bad we weren't staying longer in Sibiu because we had no need to buy anything because we were traveling that afternoon and didn't want to have to carry the stuff.
From there, it was back to the central area where we had been at "The Liar's Bridge" (or, The Bridge of Lies) the day before with Andrei, but we forgot to get a photo. The Liar's Bridge has a legend attached to it. It is also the oldest cast iron bridge in Romania, built in 1859. The legend says that if you tell a lie while standing on the bridge, it will begin to creak and moan and shudder.
Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu gave a speech from the bridge once, and everybody figured it would collapse...but obviously it didn't!
Ruth, on the Bridge of Lies.
The main plaza in Sibiu is getting ready for the Christmas market and festival.
Lots of people on the pedestrian plaza.
Boiled corn on the cob...3 lei each ($0.97 CAD, $0.72 USD).
We got back to the apartment and got our things packed up. We had lots of time, but better to be early. We left the keys on the desk, and had been told by Andrei just to leave the door unlocked and he would come back later to lock it up. There is another electronic lock on the front door of the apartment building.
We walked outside with our bags and were about to cross the street to the bus stop when I noticed that I hadn't used the tiny luggage lock on my bag. I asked Ruth for the key, but it had been forgotten upstairs, with Ruth expecting me to use the key and give it back to her!
Now, the lower door was locked, but if we could wait for someone to open it we could still get into the apartment. But, that could take an hour or more. Who knows? So I sent a text to Andrei, who fortunately works only a ten minute walk away.
Just before he arrived, a lady came by and let us in.
Sorry about that Andrei! But at least you were there to lock things up properly. Not like us to make a travel mistake like that.
With that done, we now crossed the street and waited for the local bus which arrived in about two minutes. We took the number 2 bus to the train station only four stops away, and the long distance bus station is right beside the train station.
Inside the long distance station, we had to figure out how to get to Alba Ulia. We already knew from the bus website http://www.autogari.ro/ that there was a bus leaving at 2:15, but we didn't know how much it cost. I didn't figure that the lady (about our age) behind the wicket would speak any English, but fortunately she spoke enough to communicate. She told us that there was a bus at 2:15pm, another at 4:00pm, and another at 6:00pm.
I told her we wanted to 2:15pm bus, and she said it would be at platform 3.
We waited in the small waiting room with a bunch of other people. Fortunately, Romania finally enacted a no smoking in public places law last March. I can just imagine what it would have been like prior to that because many Romanians smoke.
We went outside at 2:00pm and our bus was there waiting. Still quite a few empty seats. There was a guy at the front of the bus with a little portable computer printout machine selling the tickets. It cost 20 lei ($6.80 CAD, $4.85 USD) each for the 78 km (48 mile) ride.
No pictures from the bus ride because I had a nap!
I had a phone call from our couchsurfing host Gabriel while on the bus, and he was going to be at the Alba Iulia train station waiting for us. Sure enough, that's exactly what happened and we were soon in his car heading for their place.
They live in a village a short distance outside of Alba Iulia, but still on the local bus route so we'll be able to come and go as we please.
Gaby and Kevin
Gaby's girlfriend Valentina making dinner.
Traditional mamaliga. It's like a corn porridge, but Valentina adds different cheeses to it as well. Yummy!
Traditional sausage that you boil.
Dinner is served! Valentina, Kevin, Ruth, Gaby.
It's going to be a good few days here with Gaby and Valentina. They are also frugal travelers, and have semi retired early, living off investments in Bucharest. In fact, Gaby has left for Bucharest early this morning to look after some business for a couple of days, so Valentina will look after us!
Our overnight stays so far.
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