Day 6: The Houses Have Eyes

After a late dinner last night we were late to bed, and then late to arise this morning.  We got ready leisurely and then decided to hit the town, ready to explore our first full day in our first town in Romania, Sibiu.

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Sibiu’s old town is pretty small, 3 squares connected by passageways, a main drag and a lower town.  Sibiu was a Germanic town for awhile which accounts for some of the buildings.  My impression is the architecture is 60% German, 40% Nosferatu.

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One of the architectural features is that a lot of the buildings and houses have windows that look like hooded eyes, peering, judging or following you where ever you go.

We had some breakfast under a beautiful terrace in the Piata Mare (big square) and then decided to walk down the main street, called Nicolae Balcescu St, named after a Romanian soldier hero.

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Sibiu is connected by many small passageways and courtyards, with plenty of terraces and patios serving ice cream, beer and treats.  It was pretty muggy today, so we definitely planned to partake.

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One of the many places of note in Sibiu is the Bridge of Lies.  Legend has it that is if you’re standing on the bridge and you tell a lie, it creaks and makes weird noises.  I stood on the bridge and confidently declared that the electric, plugged in Derek and the Dominoes version of Layla is superior to Eric Clapton unplugged version and no creaks or strange noises were heard.

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After crossing the Bridge of Lies we decided to head into the lower town, which is apparently less touristy.  There were lots of colourful residences, with more houses with eyes for windows.

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We started to get pretty warm and thirsty, so we decided on a pretty little patio tucked beside some stairs.  Turns out, the restaurant is called the Golden Barrel and it’s the oldest restaurant in Romania.  We drank some cool beers and watched an enormous bridal party file through the passageway.

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We walked back up the old brick stairs to the upper town and back to Piata Mare and checked out the Catholic Cathedral.

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We then got some ice cream and headed back to the hotel to start arranging our train ride to Brašov tomorrow.  At 1800hrs we found another beautiful terrace to sit, have a beer and some dinner, but almost as if it were on cue, wind started to pick up.  A LOT of wind.  Dark clouds from the Carpathian Mountains started to move in, and blocked out the setting sun.  We braved the wind and ate our dinner, watching the workers continue to erect the Oktoberfest tent in the square and blocking our drinks from blowing flora and fauna.  For Ma, when we’re on vacation, no dinner is complete without dessert, but we wanted to get out of the increasingly biting wind, so we crossed the square and sat in a cozy wood framed restaurant and ordered coffees, cakes and ice cream.  We started to dig in when all of a sudden the room lit up, and then the audio – BOOM!  Thunder and lightning!  I sat and relished what a fun position I was in – sitting in a small town square in Transylvania, watching and listening to a thunder and lightning storm.  We finished our coffees and treats, waited for the deluge to let up and headed back to our hotel for the night.

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