Finally it was the day, today we would catch our plane, Wizz Air (I just love the name of that airline….and its pink!!) from Larnaca, Cyprus to Bucharest, Romania. The land of castles, black bears and…, well alright, I admit it. I looked at a map some time ago trying to work out where to go for a holiday, that I hadn’t been to before, and one word kind of sprang out at me. Transylvania.
Still we had the morning to get through since it was an afternoon flight. It amazes me how fast that time went. We kicked back in the apartment doing that packing thing before heading to Ledra Street for a leisurely coffee and breakfast followed by some last minute shopping.
Then we were on the road to the airport and checking in for our flight. Kind of funny really. Even though it is really well known that airlines like Wizz Air and the other cheap airlines really are serious about the size of your take on luggage people were still caught out. They really will make you stuff said bag into the little metal frame to check the size people still try to carry on bags that are way too big.
The line for check in was moving rather smoothly until a particular woman arrived with her bag and everything came to a grinding halt as she stood there insistent and trying to stuff all of her gear into the metal frame. In the end the staff had to end up wheeling another frame across just so we could all get moving again. Eventually the woman had to admit defeat, but instead of paying the extra tariff for a large carry on bag she opted to throw some of her possessions in the bin.
Once we managed to get though that one choke point things went rather smoothly, passing through all the formalities before we knew it we were on the plane heading for Bucharest, Romania.
Once we’d landed and passed through immigration etc in Bucharest, hassle free with no fuss at all we were met by a representative from the hire car company to pick up our hire car. I can honestly say its been some time since I’ve had to drive while sitting on the left side of the car and drive on the right side of the road.
I had a little litany running through my head, ‘keep right, keep right…..’ then ‘follow the car in front, follow the car in front..’ I found it really hard to adjust to that subconscious thing for the position of my car in relation to where I am sitting in it as the driver. As in normally I’m on the right side of the car so need to allow space to the left for the rest of the car.
Much to Cass’s dismay I kept drifting to the right in particular when all those other thing were happening (like trying to spot the traffic lights, or decide which way I should go at the round about or what side of the road I was meant to be on as I turned a corner… well you get the idea.) Thankfully we ended up at our hotel in one piece, and incidentally so did the car….
That night we wandered the streets of the old city, now a night time district filled with bars, clubs and restaurant’s before having dinner at the Caru’ cu Bere restaurant. It was a little on the touristy side with the staff bursting into dance numbers on occasion however the food was really good and the inside of the building itself is worth seeing complete with stained glass windows.
The next morning we headed out with a plan. You know what they say about plans right? Well that’s about how it worked out. Of the things we could see, having walked around the old city the night before we decided to head to the Palace of Parliament which we’re told is the second largest Parliament building in the world (the Pentagon being the largest) although the building itself has never been finished.
Now it is huge and certainly worth seeing. One can do a tour of the inside if your lucky. Unfortunately we weren’t, well that’s not quite true we could have but apparently the bulk of the building was out of bounds as they were setting up for a conference. So the lady informed us. There was that pause where I kind of expected her to then inform us there was a discount to the admission and ‘tour’ since we could only see 5 rooms but it was not to be. Still it was more the having to come back at lunch time to do the ‘tour’ that killed it particularly since we wouldn’t be able to see much of it anyway.
It had started to rain very lightly just before we got to the parliament, then of course it started to rain even harder. We ducked into the National Museum of Contemporary Art. What can I say, it got us out of the rain at least…. The other benefit was at least we got to see a bit of the Parliament building since the exhibition is housed at the back of the parliament building. Really not my thing though.
We managed to get back to the old city, both soaking wet and ducked into a restaurant for lunch, time certainly flies! We had a traditional bean stew, really, I mean really tasty.
Then it was time to hit the road once more and do that driving thing as today we were heading to Brasov.
The road on the way was spectacular as it wound through the mountains, well what I could see of it since I was concentrating on that driving thing. I had Cass at one point going ‘move a little to your left’ with me going ‘no way, they’re on my side of the road….’
Needless to say given the driving habits and impatient of some it wasn’t long before we encountered the results of a head on car accident. Still we found it into Brasov and made it to our hotel in one piece in the early evening.
We went for a stroll through the pedestrian malls after checking into the hotel, encountering the so call Black Church and a market set up in one of the squares before heading to dinner.
All in all we had a good day, despite the rain!