ANDY WEBB - ROMANIA MARCH 2002
Sunday 24 March - London-Munich-Bucharest
An early start of 3.30am hailed our punctual cab arrival at just before 4am. Me, Rich, Dom and Anna bundled into the cab in the half hour trip to Heathrow. All the airport necessities went well and after a short 2 hour flight we were at Munich Airport for our connecting flight to Bucharest. We boarded our second plane, which looked suspiciously identical amidst snow blizzards. As we made our approach we passed the course of a big river before touching down at the Bucharest airport, which was situated 8km from the Capital.
We negotiated our way through the passport control queue, collected our luggage before going to get some Romanian money. It appeared the maximum withdrawal amount was 2 million lei's, which was only £50, so that'd have to do for now. We got some helpful advice from a local and caught the no.783 bus into the centre for the bargain price of just 50p. We passed an abundance of drab grey communist style apartment blocks in the suburbs before our 'friend' signalled that we should get off. He then organized a taxi for us to our hostel, a lift that cost us 30p each. We had decided to stay at a place called Hostel Elvis, which I had recommended to me by a while back. On arrival we were shown around and then introduced to Elvis the owner, a tall Aussie thai boxer. The hostel itself was nice enough with a free beer and cigarettes when you arrive, a kitchen with free breakfast and a TV room which had an abundance of Satellite channels including Dubai TV and a large amount of porn channels for people who wanted to spend their whole trip locked away from the outside world.
After turning down the offer of some free porn we went out to explore, unfortunately due to the fact that the map was upside down we ended up walking in the wrong direction out of the city. The place was eerily quiet like a ghost town with small pockets of people milling about, a plethora of stray dogs and a few Dakias. After a few misleading directions from various passers-by and the Lonely Planet we eventually found a bar after an hour or two. Walhalla was a cosy basement bar with wooden tables, shields and swords and nordic styles with attractive barmaids with frilly dresses. In the absence of taxis we braved a large rainstorm in search of the US Embassy where we were informed we could eat bear.
The place we were headed was Burebista which was supposedly next to the US embassy, we circled the embassy about 4 times before we eventually found the restaurant. 4 bedraggled soaken travellers entered through the main door into a restaurant that we could have only dreamt of eating at in London, virtually everyone else was dressed up and seemed to be from the richer echelons of Romanian society. I imagined a lot of politicians, rich businessmen, local mafia and wealthy families were to be our fellow diners tonight. We were shown to a central table with a lavish menu accompanied with live music of double bass, fiddle, accordian and traditional singing. We were served up a complimentary fish snack with tartare sauce that was very tasty before ordering our started. My choice was to go for the wild boar meatballs, one of which, however, when I tried to slice it, decided that it would prefer to leave my plate and shoot across the room and landing in someone's lap. Luckily they appeared not to notice and it soon resided under their table for the rest of the night. Dom, who had ordered the same dish, had similar problems and his one decided it would shoot off in the other direction and land right in the middle of the floor by the door. For the next hour or so we had a lot of fun, predicting who would tread on it or play football with it.
My main dish was the Bear Ragot with vegetables, the meat was very rich but extremely tasty. We were also treated to our own concert at our table with singing which was nice and got to join in the local dance. When our bill arrived we were shocked to see it was only £10 per head, despite the fact that we had ordered 3 courses each and had drinks all night. I imagined that if we had eaten somewhere like this in London it would have been well over £100 each. The rain had got worse when we left, and our quest for a late night bar seemed doomed so after walking round in circles again for another half hour or so we headed back to the hostel for a deep and rewarding sleep.
Monday 25 March - Bucharest - Brasov
After a hearty breakfast we booked our selves some rooms in the Elvis Hostel in Brasov ahead of our arrival before jumping into a battered old Dacia to the Gare du Nord. Quite alarmingly their appeared to be no seat belts and just a foot away from me their was a large crack in the windscreen, where it looked like someone had bumped it with their head. There was also a couple of cockroaches who had decided to stow away with us on our trip to the station. Taking a Dacia in Romania is something of an institution, mainly because almost half the cars in Romania are Dacia's! Our price for travelling in such comfort was just 40,000 Lei (approximately£1). On entering the station we were accosted by security, we had forgotten to buy our station passes. Presumably this was to stop beggars and tramps hanging around the station, so anyway we got our passes and legally went about our business. After stocking up on supplies we purchased our tickets which cost approximately£5 per person in a 2nd Class compartment. Our journey time was 3 and a half hours winding our way into the heart of Transylvania to Brasov.
We shared our apartment with a Romanian mother and her son who soon found great amusement in Rich and Dom's bizarre antics, mainly induced by an overdose of E numbers. We cruised out past the urban sprawl that was Bucharest's suburbs into small homesteads, wastelands and train depots. Within an hour and a half the mountains became visible and we gradually began to climb, the green landscape gave way to white, until we were immersed in a winter wonderland. We stopped off at Predeal where first of all a beggar dragged himself onto the train hoping to get money, needless to say he wasn't successful and his deception was all to clear to see when he picked himself of the train then developed a limp before sprinting off round the corner, not bad for someone who couldn't walk five minutes ago. Meanwhile, Rich's curiosity into a small package on his seat, which turned out to be a plastic helicopter, ended in him being harassed by a old woman for money. With the train still waiting there was even time for him to build a quick snowman before departing.
We arrived in Brasov at 3.45pm where we were met by the representatives from Villa Elvis, we were directed past the hordes of scammers waiting to prey on innocent tourists and travellers. Split into two cars we were whisked off to our hostel, Brasov looked very pretty in a thick covering of snow. On arrival our hostel looked more like a ski chalet and looked like it had only just been built. But everything was very clean and we managed to secure private rooms for $23 or £9. Our Romanian host who wasn't called Elvis but Ronnie was inexplicably mad and a bit of a prankster, but he had some good tips of what to do in Brasov, he didn't believe that we had eaten bear though!
We headed out into the snow/slush covered streets trying our best not to break our necks or get bitten by rabid looking dogs. In retrospect these dogs seemed to be more afraid of us, which begs the question how well they are treated out here. The story goes that when Caucescu tried to move everyone into purpose built apartment blocks back in the eighties, pets weren't allowed and so they all got released. Either that or they just beat the shit out of their dogs, until one day the dogs had enough and upped and left.
We checked out the Saloon Bar first for a few beers until food beckoned. With our bellies rumbling we went off in search of food, our first try was Blue Corner (or Bistro d'Art) which was good for cocktails but didn't solve the food problem. We decided to follow the advice of the Lonely Planet and check out a restaurant whose name now escapes me, but when we got to where it should be it appeared to be shut. We asked a young couple where they would go, and they said go straight down there, it led straight to a MacDonald's! Finally we got talking to the right people who directed us to a wonderful restaurant called Bella Musica which doubles as a music shop. Set in a delightful antiquated basement vault, this place was certainly one of the gems of Brasov's culinary offerings.
After fifteen minutes of struggling with a Romanian menu we were finally given an English one. On ordering we got a shot of liqueur and home made tortillas with chili sauce. From then on the wine and beer flowed, the goulash soup is especially recommended along with the bean soup which is served in a large hunk of bread. We got talking to an American guy and his dad about various topics including the effect of 11/09 and where we had travelled. After dinner the American guy joined us at Festival 39 a delightful jazz cocktail bar, where we stayed till closing. When we got back to the hostel we were introduced to Asian Elvis, the guy who ran the show in Brasov, he was actually an American but I guess they liked to keep the Elvis theme going. I think we then had some sort of musical jam with pots and pans aswell as some sort of game with miniature flags but I couldn't be sure...
Tuesday 26th March - Brasov-Rasnov-Bran-Moieciu de Sus
Through Villa Elvis we booked a driver for the day to go and visit Dracula's castle at Bran at a cost of approximately £7-8 each. We departed Brasov passing through snow covered terrain with the backdrop of mountains. Our first stop was Rasnov Fortress set up above the town overlooking snow covered plains. Rasnov Fortress is an old peasant refuge fortress unique for its style and position, and about 20 minutes later following a leisurely climb up the mountainside and a few snowball fights we were looking down over the town of Rasnov. As if by magic our driver appeared waiting for us at the top, it transpired that he had driven to the top, negating the need for us to hike back down. We were expertly maneuvered back down past sheer ravines.
The road to Bran was very picturesque, although Romanian roads leave a lot to be desired. I once remember reading a book about someone who cycled through Romania, virtually everywhere she stopped she needed to change her tyre and spent most of her time trying to find a bike repair shop! Nearly every road is riddled with potholes which means that journey times are quite often a lot longer due to the fact that you spend most of your time avoiding them. In addition to this, Romanian drivers seem to have little regard for themselves or anyone else. We were heart warmed that our driver seemed to be one of the best driver's in Romania, we were often overtaken by far more rickety vehicles that seemed to be oblivious of us and the trucks coming towards them.
Our arrival in Bran was greeted by a vast array of tourist gift stalls selling dracula themed souvenirs. Vlad Tepes more affectionately known as Dracula or Vlad the Impaler had once lived here, and although we did not see any sign of vampires, the castle itself is certainly foreboding with lots of winding narrow staircases, aswell as lots of antique furniture, including a cupboard that had some rather ominous scratch marks on them. After paying homages to Dracula's four poster bed we departed and headed to our lunch spot deep in the heart of the Romanian countryside.
Driving through this area, reminded me more of Ski territory with lots of expensive looking holiday chalets, certainly a far cry from some of the rundown towns we had passed through. We stopped at a place called Moieciu de Sus where were to spend lunch in an alpine style restaurant called Cheile Gradistei. We started off with generous measures of Palinca (the national spirit - a sort of plum brandy, but a lot more insipid) at the insistence of our driver. This was followed by the meatball soup, breaded veal, countryside potatoes and a large assortment of pickles. A whole meal for 5 came to just £14 and that was also in a beautiful setting with a small stream running through the restaurant. Our journey back was a bit more perilous mainly down to the fact that the driver spurred on by about 5 palincas spent the whole journey trying to run over pedestrians!
Back at the hostel we ran into Elvis again who was up here for some skiing, he recounted some stories from his times in Thailand how he was paid to lose by the thai mafia, how he once got into a fight with a politician in a Bucharest bar, broke his jaw, but was then beaten up by security. His colleague with him that night, ran off but was kidnapped the next day and taken to an old interrogation chamber until the US Embassy/police found him. Needless to say this guy never returned to Romania!
Our first stop in the evening was the aptly named For Sale pub, which had sawdust covered floors and free nuts for every table. It had a good ambience, but this was ultimately wrecked by the most grumpy and slow service I had ever experienced (well with the exception of Amsterdam!). Consulting the Rough Guide and the Lonely Planet's, both of which had been slightly inaccurate, we decided to try out a Piano Bar. This ultimately ended up with us walking to the outskirts of Brasov in a blizzard, when we found the place it appeared to be a hotel lobby with no piano! We rewarded ourselves with a quick drink before returning to the centre, now very hungry and wet. The more english sounding Britannia Arms was our next stop, where we sampled our cheapest drinks yet amongst the Brasov locals. I got a few funny looks when I mistook the Romanian toilets signs and used the wrong one twice!
Next up was perhaps the lowest point of the holiday, but sometimes you have to do things you hate in emergencies, MacDonalds. Sometimes you have to eat to stay alive, and faced with the prospect of no food or a nice warm bag of chips I eventually gave in and had my first MacDonalds in about 8 years. We ended the night back in Festival 39 and thats the last I remember
Wenesday 27th March - Brasov
A late start meant that by the time we had sorted ourselves out it was time for lunch. We elected for Blue Corner which was straight through the arch in the main square. I ordered a starter of the Bulgarian Salad, which turned out to be enormous, practically bigger than a main course salad you'd expect back home. I left some room for a delicious spicy trout which was served with a baked potato and cream. For some reason our complimentary gherkins ended up as an abstract art display in wine glasses much to the consternation of the waiters!
After letting our lunch settle we went in search of the cable car, which we found eventually after misleading maps and a severe lack of street signs. It appeared to be shut with no-one around except a few stray dogs. On further investigation there was a ticket hall which must have had some kind of medieval sensor, because as soon as I stepped near to the counter a wooden hatch slammed open and a course old woman smelling of booze appeared. Our tickets purchased we caught the next available lift, in what was to be an exclusive ride. Our ascent gave us spectacular snow covered views of Brasov and some dogs getting intimate in the woods.
At the top we were thrust into a communist style restaurant complex which looked like it had been deserted since a christmas party in 1974. There appeared to be no obvious viewpoint and when we tried to find it we ended up walking back down (later on I found out that we were on the right track to the viewpoint, shame they didn't put up signs!) Anyway we returned to the restaurant complex hoping to get a beer, but everything was shut, except for a small kiosk selling about 2 brands of soft drink and a couple of mould buns. We did find a bar eventually but there were no windows and a terrible dark orange decor, we decided to give it a miss and took part in the snowball olympics instead.
Back on the ground we returned to the town centre, had a few beers in Saloon, before we were turf ed out for playing cards, I guess they didn't know the concept about playing cards for fun. Next up was Siral Vamii which was recommended to us by Ronnie, after a few wrong doors we found it eventually, each seating area was novelly in cages and their was a Romanian football match on the TV. Best of all was a perfume spray that got you in the eye everytime you switched the light off and on!
Before dinner we went to find a place to play pool, however our luck wasn't in this time as it was shut but there was a gynecologist/bra shop that was open next door, but I doubted that we'd be able to play pool there! Not to be disappointed we decided to find the citadel as apparently there was a restaurant up there, once again the joys of Lonely Planet map's reared their ugly head again as we ended up walking for 3/4s of an hour through a very dead Romanian suburbia, eventually, with nightfall closing, we found the road we needed and eventually reached the citadel only to find it shut! A little note in the guidebook to say only open in summer would have been nice. By now the troops were revolting so it was lucky we managed to find a route back down that took about a quarter of the time cutting through some woods. On our way back into town we past two hardy souls playing chess in a snow storm, fantastic! Starved and all a bit cranky we ended up at Taverna, this turned out to be the most expensive restaurant in Brasov, but once again, cheap by UK standards. We got our own alcove, a wine waiter each, and the mushrooms filled with bacon and cheese followed by the mixed grill helped to ease the hunger pains. To finish off the night, we were truly original and went to Festival 39 again!
Thursday 28th March - Brasov-Sighisoara
We checked out early in the morning, not before booking ahead yet again into another Elvis Hostel this time in Sighisoara, our next destination, boy this Elvis lad certainly has the monopoly out here! Before going to the train station we paid another visit to Festival 39, this time to pick up Dom's scarf that we had left there from the night before, you could sense their relief when we left without buying a drink! We had an hour or so wait at the train station, which wasn't helped by the lack of announcements or ones that we couldn't understand, when we tried to ask someone they didn't seem to know either! This made it difficult to do anything like buy coffee or go to the loo as you never knew when the next train would be coming. With about 5 mins to go, Rich decided his bladder wasn't going to last and decided on the novel action of going to the toilet on the train on the other platform, it almost ended in disaster when the train started pulling away and the door he needed to get out was locked, eventually the guard let him off!
The train journey was about one and half hours through rustic countryside now snow free. We were joined by a mysterious looking Romanian man who spent virtually the whole trip staring at Rich, at one point on the journey I noticed a man standing in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere with a sign with nothing on it, how bizarre!
We were met at the train stations by some a young looking girl who appeared to be the Sighisoaran hostel's representative, joined by a group of americans we took the short walk to the hostel. The hostel seemed nice enough, if not half built, it was set in an old wooden house, there only appeared to be one dorm, so we all set down in there. We headed off into town, Sighisoara seemed a nice enough place, quiet and not as large as Brasov. We went through the citadel which sits in the middle of the town looking down, with lots of windy streets. We came out on the other side on to the main street where we decided on the Rustic Cafe for dinner. The group of Americans that had accompanied to our hostel decided to join us, meals were served on wooden plates or boards, and I heartily recommend the meatball in tomato and mushroom sauce. We tried the stella in here but it didn't taste right, so it was Tuborgs all round and the usual polite conversation about jobs and travel that often comes up.
We all moved on to Club B (or was it Club Dracula?) which was situated quite bizarrely in the municipal buildings in the citadel. It basically resembled a bad tacky nightclub combined with a youth club. At least it had a few pool tables this managed to keep us happy for a while. It seemed that the whole of our hostel had decided to come here, including an australian guy who seemed to think he was team leader. When we started ordering cocktails he started having a go at us claiming we should drink the cheap beer as the cocktails were far too expensive. We tried to explain the concept that we weren't travelling on a budget and were out to live like royalty, this he didn't take too well and moped off sheepishly. By now the DJs were in full swing playing some of the worst techno I have ever heard, it seemed to be a cross between Aphex Twin and room full of monkeys (I actually like aphex twin). Anyway Dom and Rich seemed to like the fact that they were the only people dancing and took it onto themselves to get the rest of the club on the dance floor, they had mixed results, mainly down to the fact that you would have to be some sort of contortionist to dance to this sort of music.
We appeared to be the last lot back and rather unwittingly had a game of cards in the kitchen with some free beer that we found, I seem to remember some bench waving and cordial being sprayed everywhere, as well as waking up half the hostel in the process, we didn't actually realize that there was a room right next to the kitchen.
Friday 29th March - Sighisoara
I awoke feeling terrible, I thought a shower would help but you had a battle on to stop yourself from drowning in the shower. I think we caused considerable amusement by our attempts to make tea while hungover, for about half an hour I listened to the stories of a few of our fellow lodgers who seemed stuck here incapable of doing their own things and exploring the rest of the country. One person was trying to get into Macedonia but couldn't work out how. After a couple of cups of tea and some disgusting jam we set off into town. The Sighisoara Citadel is apparently thought of as one of the most beautiful inhabited fortress in Europe and that was where we were headed. The Clocktower, is the most monumental of the Medieval towers in the citadel, it is a real symbol of the town. It was built in the 14th century in order to defend the main gate. The walls are massive with a height of 64 m and the view from the top is unrivalled. There was an interesting museum below the clocktower which had a baffling array of items from pots to space travel.
Next was torture museum which was more like the torture room, and is probably not worth a visit unless you have time to kill. A large crowd were gathering outside Dracula's house situated just a few metres from the clocktower, it must be one of the most photographed buildings in Romania. The Vlad Dracul House is the oldest civilian stone building of the town and it was here that between 1431 and 1435 Prince Vlad Dracul, father of Vlad the Impaler, lived. We decided to go in a try and get meal in the restaurant, but it was decidedly empty and playing awful music, still they had a toilet so I decided to at least have a crap in Vlad's house, little did I know that the rather low window was visible at street level and everyone got a view of me sitting on the toilet! We did opt for a drink in the beer hall below the house, which was quite cosy and worth a look.
We then took the covered staircase which boasts 175 steps and is made totally of wood, and would probably be condemned as a serious fire risk elsewhere. The Church on the hill was unfortunately closed for rebuilding but that didn't stop Rich going in, only to be chased out by the builders. We decided to save time and ignore the keep out signs and cut down a hill, where our path was littered with broken stone steps, we were spat out into a back street to be confronted by a man just standing staring at us, something that I notice they seem to do a lot. We searched in vain for Adele's restaurant but to no success, eventually with a little help from the police we found it, unfortunately it was shut. Nearby was a place called Joker which looked clean enough so we opted for that instead, big mistake! Being called Joker, we wondered why but as the hours passed we realized that the joke was on us. Service took about 20 minutes, drinks took a further 25 minutes, my starter took a further 30 minutes, and finally the food came after a total of 2 hours. Not only that there was no apology and the food was revolting, the steak was ropey with sinews and undercooked, the peas were like bullets. Rich's steak had an egg draped over the top of it, which meant he couldn't eat it as he is allergic to dairy. Anna's vegetarian omlette came with ham. Whatever you do do not come here, even if your life depends on it!
After our feed or lack of feed we took a stroll into the Sighisoaran suburbs in search of the Hotel Poienita, we had decided that we'd had enough of sharing a dormitory. Our walk took us past rustic houses, backyards, chickens, small children and more stray dogs. When we arrived at the hotel it seemed deserted, but very clean and new looking. We had a drink in the hotel lobby deciding that we would stay here tonight. We got a lift back to the Elvis hostel in the owner's father's space cruiser, he tactfully parked up the road as he didn't want to appear to be stealing us from them! We settled the hostel bill as well as facing an interrogation from one of the hostel workers who wanted to know where and why we were going and would we meet up for a drink later?
Our 'taxi' took us along with baggage back to the hotel where we were shown to a large attic room with four beds, TV, en suite and an array of stags heads, stuffed pheasant and boars. We headed back into town where we tried Bar De Zi which seemed to be the local hangout. It sold very cheap beer that tasted cheap and had free pool on a less than even table smothered with divots and a pool cue that resembled a stick more than anything else. Our pool playing amassed quite an audience who started demanding cigarettes, then beer and then money, at this point we decided to run away to Cafe Rustic. I forgot about the horrible Stella so had to endure one before I could resort back to Tuborg.
After eating we went to the No Limit's Nightclub which cost us 25,000 Lei and seemed to cost us much more than any one else. We stayed for one drink tolerating some of the worst eurotrash techno dance being mildy amused at all the young Romanian locals trying to impress each other with their dancing. Our drinks finished we fleed to Club B for some pool, before heading back to the hotel where Dom took about an hour to ply some bottles of beer out of the guy behind the hotel reception.
Saturday 30th March - Sighisoara-Bucharest
We awoke to fresh in the morning with views of the Romanian countryside a bit sad that we didn't have a chance to explore more. We arrived at the train station at 12 narrowly avoiding the girl from the hostel who must have been waiting for us. We found our train didn't leave till 1.30 and was an accelerat (slower than the rapide) We had a quick bite to eat in the local restaurant, where I managed to deposit a large dollop of ketchup on the tablecloth! The weather was perfect as we waited for our train. When it arrived we were joined in our carriage by two gypsys, one who was particularly grubby and had his glare constantly fixed on us for the whole journey, especially Rich! The journey took most of the day, stopping at every stop, but cards and stella helped to pass the time and we rolled into Bucharest at 7.45pm.
We checked back into Hotel Elvis before going out to the other Burebista restaurant, we had to wait 25 mins for a table but it was worth the wait. Our food was delicious and we were also treated to some live music including a rendition of a couple of Beatles tracks. Rich and Dom ended up paying 860,000 Lei because they ordered steak and didn't realize you pay by the gram. Back at the hostel we picked up Elvis, a group of American girls with an Irish companion and some Canadians. According to Elvis we were to be the tour guides tonight in Bucharest. So for about an hour I led everyone round the Bucharest streets looking for a bar called Erik the Red, I wasn't helped by the ineptitude of both the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide maps which seemed to have as much relevance here as a map of Paris! I was later informed by Elvis that there was a Lonely Planet reviewer staying at the hostel and apparently she hadn't ventured out of her room for 2 days! With the troops flagging and getting decidedly vexed we stumbled upon what should have been Erik the Red, it was now called Bar Nautica. The main feature of the bar was a bar shaped as a large viking boat in the centre, but that was about as good as it got, the drinks were pricey and the clientele rather indifferent.
We found a nice little chilled bar which would have suited us down to the ground but as is the case with a large group squabbling started and we ended up going to a nightclub called Twice instead. It was set on a couple of levels, served cheap drinks and good music. The upstairs was packed to the rafters, with sweat dripping off the ceiling and dancing girls to entertain the male customers. The basement was pretty cool, with large vault like cellars with sofas to chill on. The night was spent chatting about all things travel related via many Tuborgs and Vodka tonics. At one point Dom decided to serenade Elvis with his miniature Guinness violin much to his dismay! We realized quite late on that the clocks had gone forward and it was now 6.30am, so we decided we best head back and jumped in a cab. Back at the hostel Rich decided to wake up the entire neighbourhood by setting off car alarms and ripping a Mercedes badge of a bus. Half the dog population also decided that it would be a good idea to join in aswell. Rich's final act was to find a garden spade and start digging outside the hostel, by this stage it had all become too much and I went to bed!
Sunday 31st March
With Dom and Anna rotting in the dorms me and Rich set out to explore Bucharest on our last day. The weather was very sunny and quite hot as we jumped in a cab bound for the Palace of Parliament (the second largest administration building in the world behind the Pentagon). The building was built by Caucescu in the 80s and is perhaps one good thing to come from his regime. It took quite a while to walk around it, and as a result we never actually found the way in! Any good photos were made impossible by giant Orange film screens that had been put up just across the road. On our way back into the centre we passed an anti-communist protest, that seemed very well behaved. As were checking out the ex-communist HQ, the Royal Palace and the University library we were accosted by this jovial man who suddenly turned into a tour guide and started telling us the history of Bucharest and Romania in 5 minutes. He also managed to gather quite a crowd by the time we had to leave, already running late, we said our apologies and ran away. As a result there was no time to do any last minute shopping. When we got back to the hostel, Dom and Anna were still asleep, so we booked a cab and tried to awaken them.
We made our flight in time, although the airport had a severe lack of facilities, including the absence of a duty free place, although they were building something that looked like it could serve that purpose in the future.
All in all, I found Romania a very rewarding country, the people were really friendly, but you really notice the gap between the rich and the poor. Ideally I would have liked to have had more than just a week so I could have explored a bit of the countryside a bit more.