*After yesterday’s post about inspiration I decided to look through trips I’ve already been on, to share here!*
My trip to Timisoara, Romania, was one which started with a 2.30 am alarm, a 3.00 am cycle and a 4.00 am bus journey arriving at Dusseldorf Weeze airport at 5.00am. Our flight wasn’t until midday.. Travelling on Sundays really does have its disadvantages! But such is life and we made it to a country I knew nothing about except for the fact it was the home of Dracula. Our AirBnb host picked us up from the airport and en route to the apartment gave us a tour of the city and told us loads of Romanian history which was a great way to start the trip. He was such a great host, even coming to the house at 11pm one night to help us light the oven- really embarrassing.
On our first day, after settling in to the apartment, we headed to a traditional Romanian restaurant for some much needed food. And oh wow. I had no idea I was in for such a great meal! We ordered a ‘pantry’ platter to start which was loaded with cured meats and cheese, and on top of it we were given freshly cooked bread and the most delicious garlic bread I’ve ever tasted. Then for the main course I had lamb chops in a beer sauce which was so tasty and even after the stuffing I gave my body during the starter I managed to eat every morsel. My friend Emily had a potato and bacon soup which looked nice, whilst my other friend Mason had a duck leg cooked in a Romanian style also with bacon and lots of fried cabbage. Washed down with Timisoara’s own breweries beer, the bill came to the equivalent of about 30 pounds!
We spent our remaining two days in Timisoara exploring the city. It has a great art gallery which let us in for free as we were students (and was only 2 pound entry otherwise) and an enormous shopping centre(really huge). The Byzantine style Orthodox cathedrals contrast the Catholic churches and make for some really striking architecture. I’ve read that Romania is the second poorest country in the EU so I wasn’t expecting such a beautiful, clean city, but it was just lovely! I’ve been to Prague and Krakow, both Eastern European cities and Timisoara definitely holds its own against them. The only evidence we saw of the poorness was the prices of alcohol, and this was something we massively took advantage of. Six beers and nine cocktails between us and only ten pounds each. We tried much fancier cocktail bars and still never more than 3 pound a drink. I’m surprised Romania hasn’t become a UK party destination, though I’m pleased it hasn’t!
Timisoara is the European City of Culture for 2021 and I can see why. Art is dotted around the city which is itself a piece of art. It was a great trip to somewhere I’d never really thought much about, but I’m so glad I went! I’d definitely love to try Bucharest and an excursion to Corvin or Bran castle to see some Dracula/ Vlad the Impaler history next time!
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