After having spent a lovely weekend in the chilled Pecs – soaking in the local nightlife, drinks and highly decorated roofs with my friend who decided to come along for a short jolly – I headed into Romania.
First stop Cluj Napoca, where there happened to be a city celebration that fortnight. There were lots of folk bands and guests and markets, it was great! I intended to spend only one night there but thought it worth staying for a proper look at the city, having spend my first hours in Cluj at the festival. I went with another guy staying at the hostel and we couldn’t understand much of what was going on during the speeches given by the bands but we heard lots of blah blah Cluj (cue cheering) blah blah blah Cluj (more cheering)… and so on. So felt we knew enough to know when to cheer…
Fortunately Cluj is a fairly small city so could reach all the highlights in one day – the botanical gardens, the tailor tower (part of the old city wall), the citadel, a crazy little pharmacy museum.
I left Cluj in the direction of Sibiu. I say direction because I really didn’t know which train I was catching where because I was getting loads of conflicting information from websites and train timetables. I got shooed onto a train with an over-familiar creepy train conductor (I was so glad when I switched trains) and managed, with creepy train conductor, to figure out the route of where the hell I was meant to be going. And before you say, I did ask at the front desk but they said, um the next train is.. Oh god! now! go go go! so leapt on without a plan.
I got let off at a station in the middle of nowhere. I climbed down the train and jumped onto the gravel beneath. I walked to the ‘platform’ (some concrete slabs) and was told to get the train behind me. Again no platform to speak of so the train door started at about waist height. I lugged my bag on and clambered up after it. I felt sorry for the little old ladies I saw having to do this too… The train passed through fields, the landscape was so beautiful, really green and tumbling hills that last forever. We stopped at stations that had a sign, a rusting hut and a farm next to it. I got the feeling this was a very local train. Especially when some farm workers got on with a bucket of paint and a scythe.
Eventually made it to Sibiu and discovered festival #4 – an up and coming well respected theatre festival. I saw some street performance, some music and a one woman show about her cycling journey across the Middle East. There are performers from all over the world here to perform, how exciting! Today I’m hoping to catch some more street theatre music and a dance performance. On that note, the festivities will be starting again soon so I had better go!