Our initial plan was to have a long Eastern European tour by car but plans changed and we decided for a local, Romanian tour, which took us through some nice cities and way up north of Romania in an area called Maramures. This post is about the cities and family friends we visited on the way there.
Next stop – Targu Jiu and Runcu, Romania
Runcu is a village close to Targu Jiu and allows you quick access to beautiful scenery as well as a quick visit to Targu Jiu. Probably the main attractions of the city are two beautifully maintained small parks that help showcase works by Constantin Brancusi. Three pieces are attracting and inspiring people to kiss, be silent and embrace infinity:
Next stop – Transalpina, Romania
We were advised to take Transalpina, a road with amazing scenery that crosses the Carpathians reaching altitudes of max 2145 m. And indeed it was great advice as my heart jumped many times while Chris was driving through the tightest curves. This road was not open for cars for a long time and as a result it maintains a lot of the natural beauty. This will remain like that as long as people don’t continue to use the grass as an astray or garbage can. It’s embarrassing to misuse what nature gave us. What is the point of stopping to admire the scenery if you decide to throw your cigarette butt on it??? Anyway let’s hope we can educate ourselves to protect what is around us. It is easier to maintain than to repair or revive. Cheaper too.
A collection of beautiful cows grazing, two friendly donkeys, two hungry pigs and everything else in between.
Next stop – Sibiu, Romania
Sibiu is a beautiful city that has been doing well for itself as a touristic location. In 2007 it was declared a European Capital of Culture and as a result a lot of work was done to restore its beautiful plazas and buildings. We spent a day walking around the centre, including the Brukenthal Museum, where we had the chance to see some beautiful Romanian paintings.
Next stop – Cluj-Napoca, Romania
We were lucky to be shown around both at night and during the day for a quick introduction. I loved its centre and it seems like a vibrant city. There are a lot of students who help support this vibe. Some beautiful churches both Catholic and Christian Orthodox are well worth a visit. Similarly to Sibiu, it is not only the city that has things to offer, but there is plenty of natural sightseeing to be done on the outskirts.
Next stop – Satu-Mare, Romania
It was our first time in Satu-Mare and we liked it here too. A small city but again beautiful churches, a famous hotel Dacia that awaits to be resuscitated to its glory days, and a beautiful opera house.
Every spot has its rich history and we were fortunate to be spoiled by family and friends, some who I did not see in years. Their hospitality made Chris feel at home especially since every single house we visited introduced him to a new and improved version of tuica, the traditional (usually plum) brandy. So all we had to do was to enjoy it, enjoy the company we were in and afterwards ponder on the beauty of life like a polar bear eating ice cream.