Monday, September 7, 2009

Brasov, Romania

Brasov is a city in the region of Transylvania, which is renowned for Dracula. I was not visiting this place to find vampires. Instead, I came to experience the mountain scenery and historical architecture.

Brasov, like the whole region of Transylvania, has a German feel to it. That is because the Habsburgs used to rule the region. Thus, the town abounds with red-roof buildings, central courtyards and reminded me of Central Europe.

I had two highlights while in Brasov. The first was walking down Strada Sforii, the narrowest street in Eastern Europe. My second highlight was hiking up Tampa Hill, with its Hollywood-like “Brasov” sign on top. The summit of Tampa provided us with sweeping views of the mountains and both the old and new areas of Brasov. I will especially remember the old city walls that surrounds the old town.

I took an overnight bus to Chisinau, Moldova that night. I was the only person neither from Romania nor from Moldova. The interesting aspect about this trip is that it took forever for the Romanian authorities to allow the Moldovans to leave Romania, which I found ironic. The bus surprisingly arrived 20 minutes early, at 4:40am. Given the fact that it was still dark when I arrived, I decided to wait until dawn to walk to my host’s apartment. Waiting 1.5 hours in the chilly night was worth it, as barely anyone speaks English in Chisinau and there are sometimes more stray dogs that there are people!

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