Day 5: Long Day’s Journey Into Night

This will be a tiny post because we really didn’t do much today.

Today we said goodbye to Budapest and Hungary, popped some postcards in the maile and hopped on a train at Budapest’s Keleti (East) station headed eastbound.

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The train station itself looked like it would have been grand in years past, but has fallen into disrepair.  Nevertheless, it was bustling with people and trains arriving from and heading to major cities all over Europe.

We found our seats in our train car and made ourselves comfortable – we would be there for 10 hours.  We had read that the train we were taking was a little on the sketchy side, but we found it basic, yet clean and comfortable.  The train pulled out right on time – 0910hrs – and soon the Hapsburg architecture of downtown Budapest melted into graffiti covered suburbs, and finally flat cornfields.  At around 1400hrs, the train stopped at a station and Hungarian customs agents boarded, stamped our passports, and we were on our way, stopping a few minutes later, now in Romania, and had our arrival stamps – we were officially in Romania.  The Romanian countryside turned from flat into hilly green land with small villages boasting red tile roofs and silver topped churches, as well as buildings and construction projects in varying stages of decay.  We noticed that the signs in Romania were easier to understand – Romanian is a Latin language, so to me at least a lot of the words are vaguely French.

We read, chatted, snacked and snoozed, watched a beautiful fiery red sunset fade behind the Transylvanian hills until finally at 2030hrs our train pulled into Sibiu station in the dark.  We got a cab to drop us off relatively close to our apartment, and once we finally located our abode, dropped our bags off, we were able to head to the town square.  Sibiu has 2 squares, large and small, and our apartment is just off the large square.

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To our surprise, at 2100hrs the square was BUSY.  We found a beautiful terrace where Pa ordered a burger and beer, Ma had amazing looking vegetable soup and I ordered a pizza.  Everything was delicious and our waitress was a delight.  She informed us that the structure they were building in the middle of the square is a giant tent for their Oktoberfest happening next weekend.  We enjoyed the ambiance while Ma had a cannoli, then we took the 2 steps back to our apartment to get a good sleep for a day of exploring tomorrow.

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