Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Finally...a rental car!

Wow, what a circus trying to get a rental car here. Actually, I should qualify that...if we were willing to pay 25 euros ($36 CAD, $27 USD) per day, then it would have been quick and easy. But during low season, there's no way we're paying that kind of money for a ten day rental.

So we had arranged to get a car yesterday morning at 10:00am, but shortly before that they had called to cancel, saying that the people who have the car they were expecting back were keeping it for three more days. They offered the phone number of another place that might be able to help.

And once again, our couchsurfing host Gaby came through for us!

Gaby and Valentina were a lot of fun to have as couchsurfing hosts. Always smiling, and bending over backwards to help us out. This time, Gaby called the rental place located about 15 kms (9 miles) south of us in the town of Sebes. They only had a newer car available, and at 20 euros per day. But Gaby thinks like us, and negotiated the guy down to 17 euros ($24 CAD, $18 USD) per day. The guy said he would hold the car for us until 1:00pm, otherwise someone else would get it.

Also, no credit only!

Ha...sounds shady, doesn't it?

But things work differently in different parts of the world and Gaby assured us this would be fine.

We arrived there at 12:30. The address was a dress shop. Huh? So we called the guy and he said that he moved. Only a five minute walk from there. So we got there, and it was a cell phone outlet. Yep, the guy does car rentals on the side. Too funny.

The guy speaks very little English (but better than our Romanian) and we all walk over to see the car. Nice looking Dacia Logan, with all the toys including built in navigation system and tinted windows. And snow tires.


So we go back to the cell phone outlet and fill out the paper work. We needed to pay 765 lei ($240 CAD, $180 USD) in cash for the rental, plus we had to leave a cash deposit of 900 lei ($285 CAD, $210 USD) which will be returned to us when we bring the rental back unharmed. For any serious damage, insurance is included in the rental price.

With keys in hand, we said goodbye to Gaby, thanked him profusely, and we were on the road!

Lots of traffic heading through Alba Iulia and north to Cluj-Napoca. Fortunately, we planned a back road leading off from the town of Aiud, and soon we were on a nice quiet country road.

We stopped to see the fortress in Aiud.

And the old church, but it was closed up.

It was already just after 3:00pm, so we didn't waste any time. Back on the road!

Scenery along the way.

No time to stop, but this old castle is now a restaurant and hotel.

More scenery.

We had booked a room at a country pension in a village called Moldovenești. Arrived there at about 4:15pm. Again, it gets dark by 5:00pm now, so it was too late to go out and do anything. We relaxed in our room for a couple of hours and then went for dinner in the attached restaurant.

Not bad.

The room was okay, and nice and clean, but a little dated. Almost overpriced for the area, at 113 lei ($36 CAD, $26.50 USD). I know that sounds cheap to us, but it's fairly common to get rooms for under 100 lei.

Outside our balcony.

Ruth, in the restaurant.

At first, we were the only ones there. But a bunch of male construction workers came in and filled three tables. The meal was not bad, but not great. The price was great though...55 lei ($18 CAD, $13 USD) for cabbage rolls, sausage, and polenta...including a litre of homemade wine and the tip!

Today, we're going to Apuseni National Park...should have lots of fantastic scenery photos tomorrow!

Black Friday deals are starting!


  1. Nice to get back on the road again. Enjoy the interesting sights.

    1. Now we can get to some of the harder to get to places, and do it at our own pace.

  2. Glad you finally sorted out your car rental. Pretty countryside.

    1. Nice to have that behind us now. We felt like we wasted so much time trying to get it all sorted out.

      The countryside here is beautiful, which you will see from our next post. :-)

  3. Car rentals there are very interesting. Seems like a lot of money in cash to leave then get part back on return. Hope all goes well and you enjoy your 10 days of travel!

    1. They are a bit different than the way we do things, although we had absolutely no problems with booking a car in Brasov. We are now kicking ourselves that we didn't just book that one for a longer time. It seems a little harder in the smaller cities and bigger towns, which we have now found out. After meeting with the guy and talking with him we feel confident that there won't be a problem with the cash deposit when we return the car even Gaby, our couchsurfing host said it would be fine and if we had any problems to just give him a call. We are looking forward to these next ten days.

  4. Did you manage to check the car registration to the vehicle Did it say something like Joe's cell phone shop
    Good work guys You probably rented the phone company's business car

    1. No we didn't check, lol! Everything seems to be good. Guess the owner just sidelines in either cell phones or car rentals. ;-)

  5. That room looks like an amazing deal to me, but I guess I am just used to US prices!

    1. True it is a great price by Canada or US prices!The beds weren't too comfortable but it was nice and clean. We have had a few better ones since then that have been cheaper.


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