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Romania a Historic Adventure

Cometfire

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Tags: eastern europe, romania, history, cluj napoca, dracula, transilvania
  • Added on: November 17th, 2008
Romania is a fantastic country to visit for all thier castles and history. A gorgeous countryside, with a beautiful Danube Delta. There of course is the "dirty" side of this Eastern European country due to the fact they have a lot of growing and political corruption here. Making it slow to get things accomplished. Cluj-Napoca is a wonderful town with lots of night life, not as much history in the way of castles or medieval dwellings involved here as other places such as Timisoara, or Brasov. Cluj is a heavily populated by a "young" crowd as it is a huge college city. Located in the heart of Transilvania <birth place of Vlad Dracul "tepes" known as Count Dracula. I am now living in Alba Iulia which is south of Cluj-Napoca by about 1 1/2 hours. Also in Transilvania, Alba is about 25% of the size of Cluj-Napoca with a limited amount of activities however, it is certainly a good place to hang your hat for a week as it's relatively central to many places you might want to travel and see while here in Romania. There are many flocks of sheep and cattle wondering the country side with shepards still guiding the way. You will find Gypsy caravans still traveling the roadways and parked off in the hillsides of the further out country lands. The smaller villages many without electricity or running water still operating in many ways as they did centuries ago. Bucharesti is "the" major city of Romania as the capital. While if you like cities this differs very little as most in the western world where there is much crime and rather dirty. Not worth the time if can be avoided. There are several nice places of interest there however. Flying into Romania is the best way to go and truly better to fly into Cluj-Napoca as the price to fly here instead of Bucharesti is similiar in price, it's a very small airport well kept, little to no crime and of course centrally located within Romania. Taxi from this airport to the nearest hotel, Hotel Melody <which is nice but a bit expensive approx. 85 euro p/night> should cost you no more than 10 euro or about 36 lei. Most taxis will try to charge you 20 to 25 euro. DO NOT ACCEPT THIS. If need be, walk to the street which is about 100 meters from the exit and hail one from there. I hope this is helpful, if anyone would like any information concerning Romania feel free to post and i will do my best to answer you.

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: November 18th, 2008
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Very true...

However, as an alternate route, I suggest a week in Budapest, hungary, and take a train from Budapest to Bucharest.

Recommended are the monasteries, and yes, Bucharest is a little boring after a few days. Its a bit seedy as well.

Still, it has a quite cool McDonalds there.
Open your heart, and your dreams will follow

Cristina Puscas

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  • Added on: November 21st, 2008
quote:
Originally posted by Cometfire:
There of course is the "dirty" side of this Eastern European country due to the fact they have a lot of growing and political corruption here.


You are so wrong abt the "dirty" side of Europe. Yes, corruption is not extinct but it's not that bad. I've visited my country enough to tell you that many travelers and travel guides have a WRONG view of it.

You can actually fly into Timisoara as well, an incredible city in the west part of the country.

I don't love Bucharest (Bucuresti, RO) but I'd take it any day instead of ANY of the cities in the Eastern part of the country. In the summer of 2007 I spent a week in Bucharest and no, I wasn't bored. We stayed at my best friend and we visited the parks, took a day trip to Sinaia/Busteni, had fun checking out the city. True, it can be a bit weird if you don't speak Romanian.

If you have any questions, please ask. I've visited pretty much all provinces Smile
~~Travel Writer~~
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~"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Confucius

Andromeda

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  • Added on: November 23rd, 2008
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You are so wrong abt the "dirty" side of Europe. Yes, corruption is not extinct but it's not that bad. I've visited my country enough to tell you that many travelers and travel guides have a WRONG view of it.


Dunno- I visited Transylvania two summers ago and would agree with Cometfire's assertion. I think a lot of this has to do with how I come from a Hungarian family and there are still a decent number of disagreements between Hungarians and Romanians (though I don't know how much these are visible to an ordinary traveler who doesn't speak Hungarian/ interact with that sizable minority).

Not taking a side in that bit of ethnic tensions, just making an observation.

Cristina Puscas

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  • Added on: November 23rd, 2008
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Originally posted by Andromeda:
I think a lot of this has to do with how I come from a Hungarian family and there are still a decent number of disagreements between Hungarians and Romanians (though I don't know how much these are visible to an ordinary traveler who doesn't speak Hungarian/ interact with that sizable minority).


no one is taking sides, we are just talking Smile

the majority of my friends are of Hungarian origin so I seriously don't feel any problems. I live in Ardeal, just by the Hungarian border and I'm totally in love wt Hungary.

I've heard abt some problems travelers had in the eastern part of Romania and i've been to that part of the country myself and didn't feel "well" there. I think it has to do a bit wt what you read, what you experienced and what other travelers have said.
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Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: November 24th, 2008
I did a tour of the monasteries in Romania, and the tourist facilities and infrastructure is still fairly rough. One had to take a minivan to a street, and walk down it looking for signs of people renting rooms. I rented one, and the family was nice enough. Still, couches really aren't beds, are they?

A few blocks down was a real hotel with real beds for a similar price. Its all pretty much agreed upon somehow. Getting around to the monasteries was a very fun adventure, between walking several kilometers and taking buses that drop one off at blind intersections, where one walks kilometers more. I missed out on the mountaintop monastery because I only found one cab driver who wanted an extortionate price to go up there. If I was with a group of four people, I would have paid 1/4th the price happily.

Meanwhile, I did a little exploring and found a hippie community living in an ancient romanian fort, and that was well worth the trip!!!!!
Open your heart, and your dreams will follow

wslow

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  • Added on: November 27th, 2008
Hie Guys,

I am excited about my trip to Romania this Christmas. A couple of friends and I will be backpacking Romania, Hungary and Austria.

There is only one issue which comes up to my mind at the moment. Will winter spoil our trip? Is the scenery and things around any different? Any advice?

Thank you in advance.

Cheers =)

Cristina Puscas

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  • Added on: November 27th, 2008
Winter is both beautiful and cold in Romania. If you end up here when it snows or in a region which gets a lot of snow, it's going to be like a fairy tale but also head-achy when it comes to transport.

You see, we seem to have a problem wt cleaning the roads and sometimes there are delays in the train schedule as well...

But the scenery is magnificent.

The south-western part of the country doesn't get much snow though. Places like Arad or Timisoara aren't exactly known for snow fall. It does get cold though and also wet (as in rain!)

Expect cold temperatures here and make sure to check out the forecast ahead of time.
~~Travel Writer~~
WhyGo Greece

~"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Confucius

wslow

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  • Added on: November 28th, 2008
quote:
Originally posted by Cristina Dima:
Winter is both beautiful and cold in Romania. If you end up here when it snows or in a region which gets a lot of snow, it's going to be like a fairy tale but also head-achy when it comes to transport.

You see, we seem to have a problem wt cleaning the roads and sometimes there are delays in the train schedule as well...

But the scenery is magnificent.

The south-western part of the country doesn't get much snow though. Places like Arad or Timisoara aren't exactly known for snow fall. It does get cold though and also wet (as in rain!)

Expect cold temperatures here and make sure to check out the forecast ahead of time.


Thanks a lot Cristina..

I did not make any booking and thought of just going by at my own pace. If you say that transportation could be delayed, do u think me doing so is a good idea?

I've got a rough itinerary from lonely planet guide book and from word of mouth through other forum members so i'll move on as and when i like.

Would hostels be packed at this time of the year like christmas and New year?

Regards.
Cheers =)

Cristina Puscas

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  • Added on: November 28th, 2008
Yup, hostels and budget hotels are packed during Christmas and New Year's especially in the mountain areas. It's a good idea to email ahead and make a reservation.

Well you can book everything and hope that by then they'll settle into the winter and everything will be ok. Sometimes there are delays, sometimes there aren't. But it's all abt the weather. For example, it already snowed so bunch of slopes are open but some days ago there were huge delays in the trains' schedule thanks to heavy snow fall.

But next week it's getting warm. So there won't be problems for sure.

You also need to know that usually that time of the year is jam packed wt ppl. So plan for a very crowded vacation.
~~Travel Writer~~
WhyGo Greece

~"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Confucius

wslow

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  • Added on: November 29th, 2008
Thanks again for the tip Cristina,

I will inform my mates about this and also be prepared for a few hic-ups. Maybe I should try to get a few hostels booked in advance.

Regarding traveling, is getting a eurorail pass necessary? I will be going all the way to Hungary and Austria too this trip.

Regards,

Low.

Cristina Puscas

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  • Added on: November 29th, 2008
Eurail pass is useful in Hungary and Austria but not so much in Romania. The tickets are cheap anyway. But they might save you some hick-ups when it comes to getting a seat in a crowded train.

Btw: it's warming up here ; they did mention it will snow around the holidays but as usual it won't in the entire country

You didn't tell us: where in Romania are you going?
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WhyGo Greece

~"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Confucius

SputnikLee

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  • Added on: December 1st, 2008
Be sure to check out Leif Pettersen's Romania and Moldova web site for good information.
A life well lived must accept some risk.

wslow

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  • Added on: December 9th, 2008
quote:
Originally posted by Cristina Dima:
Eurail pass is useful in Hungary and Austria but not so much in Romania. The tickets are cheap anyway. But they might save you some hick-ups when it comes to getting a seat in a crowded train.

Btw: it's warming up here ; they did mention it will snow around the holidays but as usual it won't in the entire country

You didn't tell us: where in Romania are you going?


Days are drawing in closer. Because i only will be in each country for 5/6 days, i thought of just traveling:-

Bucharest, Brasov, Transylvania, Sibiu then depart to Budapest from there.

Cristina Puscas

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  • Added on: December 9th, 2008
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Originally posted by wslow:


Bucharest, Brasov, Transylvania, Sibiu then depart to Budapest from there.


Transylvania is a REGION which comprises the towns of Brasov and Sibiu, btw Smile you'll be happy to see snow. it snowed heavily in Transylvania lately and the forecast says MORE snow this weekend!

You made some great choices btw!Smile
~~Travel Writer~~
WhyGo Greece

~"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Confucius


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