Friday, August 12, 2011

Sleeps, eats and drinks in Transylvania

On August 11th, Mizz S and I traveled from Bucharest to Brazov, in the heart of Transylvania. Everyone we spoke to in Bucharest seemed to be of a differing opinion as to the best way to get there: bus versus train. We were told the bus was faster, was slower, was tighter, was better, was cheaper, was less frustrating, was more frustrating. Conversely we heard all the same things about the train- although most everyone agreed the bus was faster, so ding-ding, it was the winner.

If the taxi hadn't dropped us off at the bus station, I'm not sure I would have identified it as a bus station. More like 'large passenger van' station. But no worries, we queued up and we jumped on the first transpo to Brasov. Then the fighting started. Something about too many seats sold, the bus wasn't the direct one, there were cries of discrimination, and one passenger stormed off. The bus was the 11:15, and the 18-pax van got on the road with 21 passengers and some luggage about 11:40.

The drive took over three hours which, although cramped, was really quite decent overall. The temperatures cooled as we climbed altitude, the bus driver only smoked a couple of cigarettes to Mizz S's delight, and I sat across the aisle from a man about my age named Dragush- a very smart, quite pleasant man who deals in carbon trading. We had a varied conversation about politics, urban development, Romania under communism, rock climbing, and Vlad the Impaler. I will be none too surprised to see him on CNN one day running for the Romanian presidency.

But, back to Transylvania.....

First, our delightful little room at Casa Rozelor.
And for food, well boy howdy, I think Romanian food is where it's at. The first day I had deer with a wild berry sauce (not quite picture worthy tho) and Mizz S had something called like "Auntie's Delight" which included sausage and short ribs and fresh pastrami. We also had a delish bottle of Romanian red.
And while I did not have the "Pork filled with goat's delights" I will be dreaming of it until I can find a way to make it.
For a hearty lunch the next day (today), I had Bulz which is a feta-filled ball of polenta, pan fried and served as you can see with egg and pork. We also had sauteed cabbage and beets with horseradish. These people are not joking with food that sticks to your ribs (any Barcelona weight loss is gone, for the record).
For our return trip to Bucharest, we opted for the train- not quite sure of what we'd get, but pleasantly surprised with our second class seats, and the trip only took 3 hours as well. And, joy of joys, one of the food vendors walking the aisle was selling fresh berries in a pretty little handmade basket.


EcoGrrl said...

man that's way better than the crap they sold on the train from scotland to london! love the pix (as usual)...enjoy :)

TWest said...

What, by the way, are "Goat's Delights?" Akin to Rocky Mountain Oysters perhaps?