6 months on the road - Timisoara
August 14th we arrived in Timisoara, and this marks our 6 months since we left Chicago. Yea, we know that we are a bit behind in writing and updating our blog.
After we left Belgrade, the light was back on letting us know we were having tire issues. After checking Google maps we finally found a garage which could service our car. We tried a few, and alas not opened, or no ability to assist with fixing a tire. We finally found a garage which coincidentally was the same company which helped us back in Novi Sad.
They had a bit of a line and asked if we could wait so we wandered around a bit and found a cafe to whittle the time away. About 90 minutes later we came back and they fixed the tire yet again. Hoping this would work but the mechanic advised getting a new tire, except they too, didn’t have any for our car. This should hold us until we get to Romania, and we can search out places upon arrival.
Arrived into Romania late in the afternoon, and was greeted by a couple of customs office where one took the information, and the other older gentlemen chatted with us and asking all sorts of questions. Not so much drilling us like in the U.S. Customs more out of curiosity I think.
After traveling through some villages we arrived into Timisoara around 1830. The nice thing about traveling in the summer is that it doesn’t get dark until after 2100.
Our hotel was across the bridge from the old town where you have views of the cathedral, and cafes lining the shores of the river.
There are 3 squares in this city, each one is slightly different, but all very cute. The architecture is different that what we had seen in Serbia and Croatia.
The first square had restaurants and shops, the second square seemed like it had more official offices and churches, and the third had a playground, park area, with a church and restaurants.
Everyone was out enjoying the summer, children playing and screaming with not a care in the world, tourists snapping photos while locals were dining al fresco, enjoying the weather. One would never have known this quaint city would have been the catalyst for the fall of communism in Romania.
A brief history, the cathedral which we could see from our hotel, was the beginning of of the end for Causescue, the leader of Romania from 1965 to 1989. According to the locals, the Bishop of the Church was asked to leave his apartment by the mayor of Timisoara, and he was much beloved, so the city stood up to the officials, making a human chain and not allowing law enforcement to throw him out. From there more protests against the communist regime, throughout the country,and well, the rest as they say, is history.
We walked through the squares, and side streets taking in our first glimpses of Romania, and asking why we didn’t come here earlier.
After a couple of hours, it was time to eat. Found a cute outdoor restaurant where we could get a nice view of the third square.
After our dinner, the manager/owner (not sure what his title was) came over and chatted with us, asking how we liked Romania and his city. More yakking involved, and next thing we know, we are cancelling our plans to Bulgaria, and heading north and slightly east to see more areas of Romania we weren’t expecting.
Will we regret no going to Bulgaria? Maybe but we also had planned on spending 3 weeks in Romania when we were originally planning this trip.
This is the fun of traveling.
The manager provided us with some insight as he had just visited this region, and gave us an itinerary to follow. We wrote it down and would take a look to see if it made sense but as soon as he mentioned a steam train we could take in a national park, we decided we could rearrange our plans.
The plan for day 2 was a matter of getting chores done, one was getting the tire fixed, and the next doing laundry.
So, we are set to get a new tire and while searching for a Peugot dealership Mark notices on the website, hours may be affected due to the holiday. What holiday? We opted to go to the dealership just in case it was opened. Alas, not our luck today, the dealership was closed.
Laundry was next on the To Do list, so we searched out a self-service laundromat. We find one tucked in between apartment complexes and stores, although small there were washers available. We remembered we have no local currency, so Mark hunted down an ATM, then realized he needed small change so he bought water. Finally we get to do the laundry and realized we didn’t have detergent. So off he goes again. We eventually get it done.
After laundry, headed back to the center of town, to explore more of this adorable place. Grabbed a bite to eat, and then relaxed taking in the city before heading out the next day to Sighisoara.
After our first two days in Romania, we just knew we would fall in love with this country.