Friday, September 9, 2011

Salut from Romania

View from my hotel room
I'm here! The trip was long but uneventful. We left Saskatoon at 6:00 am Wednesday, which means up at 3:30. We arrived in Cluj at 1:40 pm which is 4:40 am Sask time. Getting on the Romanian schedule meant staying up for another 9 hours, for a total of 33 hours of being awake (I couldn't sleep on the plane). I fell asleep within 5 seconds that night :)
New and old

The hotel we're staying at is pretty nice. It's the 5-star Opera Plaza. Five Romanian stars is about 4 Canadian stars, so it's quite good. The staff is friendly and accommodating, and breakfast is good.

The first night a couple of guys from the office met us and gave us a tour before supper. The city has been around since at least 100 AD, so it's old. None of the buildings are that old, obviously, but there are lots from the early 1900s, lots from the 1800s, and a few sprinkled going back to the 1500s. There's also a weird mix of communist-era and modern-era buildings, and they are right across the street from each other. It's an architectural mish-mash.

Huge Calzone!
Church and monument
Things are cheaper, as the lei is about a third of a dollar (or 3.20 Canadian is 10 Lei). Thus, you can eat lunch for 22 lei or $7, and supper for 50 lei or $16. The hotel is about $60 a nite, so that's good too. There's lots of pasta, pizza, sausage, and bacon. There's also lots of beer, and it's cheap and comes in 500 ml bottles :) (or 0,5L)

English is spoken a lot by the younger generation (post-communist), so it's not too hard to get your point across. They teach courses in the universities in English (not English courses, but the regular course delivered only in English). Thus, it's very easy to understand as they are fluent.

Ruins of a building
National Theater
Not sure what to do this weekend, probably just wander and take pics. There's also some salt mines nearby which have been turned into a tourist attraction. I'm told that's a must-see, so we'll see if we can get something organized either this weekend or next.
So far, so good. I'll update more as I have more to say. La revedere!

1 comment:

  1. thanks Ryan for the update, good to know things are going good so far. Hope you get to do some more touring.