After departing Brasov, our travel plan was to head to Sibiu and then northwards to Sighisoara, before heading to Cluj to catch our flight.
Whatever preconceptions we had about Romania, Sibiu was the one place we visited that was completely nothing like we were expecting. Streets of centuries old houses with distinctive “eyes” on their roofs all seemed to lead to the huge square that is the centre of the Old Town.
At the time we visited there was a lot of music events going on around the city, so on a couple of evenings we ended up sitting in the pop up beer gardens in 32 degrees heat, drinking €1 a pint beers listening to Romanian rock classics. Unfortunately, given my knowledge of Romanian classics extends to Eurovision and “Dragosta Din Tei” (Giles got annoyed with hearing this on repeat prior to our trip…), we couldn’t really sing along.
Sibiu was also named as the 2019 European Capital of Gastronomy so we visited a few restaurants recommended by our AirBnB hosts and travel blogs. We did have some of the best food of the trip here, and there was something that seemed unique to Sibiu called “gogosi” which were basically like Cornish pasties using a sweet donut dough filled with cheese or lots of other fillings. Very nice, but still not as good as “Papanasi“.
Our next destination was Sighisoara, birthplace of Vlad the Impaler and one of the last inhabited medieval citadels in Europe (that’s what the guidebook said – I don’t actually know what a citadel is but its like a castle on a hill!). Looking at the houses, it is hard to imagine that most of these are over 600 years old.
Unlike many of the other places we had visited, the population of Sighisoara is swelled by tourists drawn by the cobbled streets and views. Sitting having a drink, I heard the woman next to us say “It’s like a Transylvanian Kinsale” and sure enough, she was from Cork and literally lived a few streets down from us.
Arriving in Cluj to catch our flight, our Romanian trip was at an end. Romania was definitely not what were expecting, everything from the food to the buzz in the cities. Thoroughly recommend it, particularly (if I’m being honest) Brasov which was such a nice place. Just watch out for the Palinca!
Take a look at the video below for some more clips of Sibiu and Sighisoara.
Next stop is to see family for a fortnight before we head to India. Very excited!!