Sighisoara was very entertaining with the whole Dracula thing. Although our hotel was fantastic, the experience was soured by the indifference of the staff. This continued on checkout when we discovered we had been charged 120 Ron – about 30 Euro, for laundry services… This is the most I have ever paid for a bag of washing anywhere… I even checked the pockets to see if they had lined them with gold while I wasn’t looking!!
I was pretty happy to leave Hotel Korona behind and look forward to the next stage of our journey. Our last night in Romania was to be spent in Sibiu.
After driving up and down the street looking for our hotel apartment, Cath finally parked up and went on foot to see where we were staying. The news when she came back wasn’t good. It wasn’t a hotel apartment after all, but just a set of apartments. There was no where to park. The courtyard entry looked old and dilapidated. The stairways looked like they were about to fall down… further more, there was no one there to greet us… Other people at the apartment ended up phoning the landlord who promptly advised that the room would not be available until after 4:30pm… it was only just 11:00am.
Cath and I did what we do best in a crisis… we found somewhere to dine, and over a glass of good red, we promptly cancelled our accommodation, and booked a room at the Ramada Hotel, which not only had secure parking, but offered a 40% discount on the room and the room was available immediately…
So we happily high five each other and went to book into our new hotel.
Sibiu is a more… well… arty town. Thats about it. There were lovely buildings to look at again, and this time we got to take photos inside the church. Cath was braver than I was, and climbed the tower to take some photos of the town… I stopped about half way… I was fully trusting Cath and her ability with the camera to be my eyes in this case.
We stumbled upon one of the art galleries and decided that a little bit of culture wouldn’t be amiss so brought a ticket to see the Romanian Art, we gave the European art section a miss. We also couldn’t take photos. Well that’s not right we could have but it would have cost 120 LEI for an hour. Seriously the ticket for the exhibit only cost about 12! So unsurprisingly we gave that option a miss.
After refreshing ourselves with another glass of wine (well… its not like we were driving anywhere!!) Cath and I set about town looking for dinner.
After reading the menu’s, we opted for a rather nice looking place, and decided to sit inside. On going inside, none of the chairs or tables were set up, so we reluctantly chose a table outside with the smokers. The nice waiter approached us and suggested that if we wished to dine indoors, to go down the staircase.
What met us, was an amazing restaurant, under the street, that used to be an old wine cellar. The food (and of course, the wine) was amazing. Very tasty and great atmosphere. The service was fantastic, especially after the indifference of the staff in Sighisoara.
Upon returning to the room that night, I immediately fell asleep… the beds were just soooo comfy.
In the morning, we made our plans over breakfast. This was to be a driving day back to Bucharest. We had hoped to stop off at the Castle of Vlad the Impaler, however, there was 1400 steps to climb to… well… not much. As we were pressed for time, we decided to try to find the Transfargarasan Road that climbs through the mountains… We couldn’t find it on any maps which made navigating to it quite difficult. Eventually we pulled over, to find our trusty navigation map was sending us in the wrong direction… after a bit more consulting with Lonely Planet guide we also discovered there was a very good chance the road was still closed due to snow in the Mountains. We did not have time to check and see if it was open, and still have time to meet our plane, so unfortunately we drove directly back to Bucharest. We went through some amazing towns along the way that we had not previously seen, so the day was not a complete waste.
Cath got us back to the car hire place in one piece (not for her lack of driving skills, but the driving of others… my heart was often in my throat, my eyes closed and muttering in the corner) and we boarded our plane for Greece.
Good bye Romania. You were amazing.