Brasov was really great and now were headed to Sighisoara, it’s only an 1 1/2 hour drive away. But first we’re stopping at Viscri. Prince Charles has bought a house here and you can even stay overnight if you want. Charles bought his house in Viscri in 2006 and another in the village of Zalanpatak in 2010. His goal is to help preserve the culture, history, buildings and promote Romania’s sustainable agriculture.
I checked my google map soon after we had already passed the turnoff, there is no sign. We backtrack and end up on another classic rutted Romanian road with donkey’s, of course.
I asked the local hotel owner if she liked Prince Charles establishing himself here? I got a big smile and a resounding “YES.” I read they painted houses this blue color because it’s suppose to keep the flies away. We go to the Viscri Fortified Church first. I love the history of agriculture and the church had an interesting collection of old farming equipment.
MORE VISCRI ONLINE PHOTOS CAN BE FOUND HERE
The local residents had some of the nicest crafts that I have seen in Romania. The road out the other side of town was worse than the road coming in. The trees along the road had the largest collection of Mistletoe I’ve ever seen. We also saw, what I learned later was a Gypsy (or Roma) village.
As were driving down the road to Sighisoara I see “working” girls plying their trade along the road. I wanted the photo, they were colorfully dressed, but. It’s not just a Romanian problem, lots of Eastern European countries have working girls. The capitalist systems lack of transitional support is partially to blame, capitalism so broken and unfair.
I was having trouble reading my Google map to find our apartment, because the place we rented was inside the City Wall-called a Citadel. Our host came and rescued us, thank you Angela. We have just 2 days here in Sighisoara. This was Natasa’s pick for a place to go. Both I and Natasa together have been to some amazing old towns, like Český Krumlov in Czech. So it’s gotta be good or else, well it was great. Our apartment is just 10 meters from the main town square We walked the town, visited the museum, went to Dracula’s birth house (who really knows?), shopping, meals and or just sipping coffee. . After all the driving it was great to just hang in a town with no tours or anymore driving, for awhile. The no begging sign was an eye opener, that would never pass as PC in Portland.
The day before I saw what looked like an interesting cafe, CASA COJO .We went for breakfast, but the employee with the keys hadn’t shown up yet, the other employees were waiting around. We came back later and had healthy, green smoothies. The servers were super great to talk to, they really loved Sighisoara. They really liked promoting the “local” products, we left with syrup, jam and ? let’s just say it was a bag full of local stuff and great window photo.
I have some fun photos that didn’t get posted but I still wanted to share them. So here you are. There’s an awesome Romanian pretzel/bagel that’s covered with seeds: sunflower, sesame, poppy etc. I’m going to try and make them at home, soon. For those of you that know me, I collect rocks when I travel. There is this awesome rock shop in Brasov, I picked out the best 3 pieces, it was fun to talk rocks with the women. After taking the photo at the ferry crossing I had to have a picture of the cup to go with it. We crossed the border into Serbia, and saw the Romanian anti-corruption billboard: Stop corruption at border bribery is punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years
use your fax line of the general anti corruption free
Natasa wanted to go to Belgium for vacation, I wanted Romania. There’s a big difference, I told her I would go alone and had no problem doing that. She did some research and decided Romania could be OK. I’ve traveled around the world twice, each time for a year and have no problem traveling “alone.” It forces me to meet and talk to people, it’s healthy. So you shouldn’t be reluctant to travel “alone”, it’s actually pretty awesome. I met Natasa that way.
In Sighisoara someone was renting the “knight in shinning armor” costumes. I told Natasa let’s put them on and take a photo. She said I’ll take a photo of you. Right then I thought “I should have gone alone.” I told a friend the story , their response? “Why not” just my thought. I sold my stuff and moved a few belongings half way around the world, can you take 5 minutes to give me something I really think is fun? I was hoping to use the image on the Christmas card this year, but it’s not to be I guess. I had to tell this story because, sometimes the blog seems so shiny/happy people, but there’s real life problems here too.
Some of my preconceived images of Romania were that they were dirt poor, just barely surviving with homelessness everywhere. How wrong I was. They had, beautiful homes, some nice cars (that that drove to fast), free & fast WiFi everywhere, solar power, wind power, lots of agriculture (everyone eats), clean bathrooms everywhere, great coffee everywhere, English spoken everywhere, lots of nature, huge forest cover. Oh course they aren’t without modern day problems like corruption & pollution. Romania is one of the 3 most corrupt countries in the EU.
I’m going to try and go to the Romanian Delta region in May and see some of the 300 species of birds that migrate to there.
Natasa insisted on being home on Saturday night. We could have made it, but we spent 3 hours at the Serbia/Croatia border crossing, there had to be 400 cars just sitting and idling. Natasa talked with a friend who crosses that border often and it’s taken 6 hours. I drove the whole way back, 20 hours arriving at 3am. It wasn’t Saturday night, but close.
Final word: visit Romania for sure.
NEXT: Stanley from France visits Slovenia, we bike the loop around the Kamnik Alps.