SIGHISOARA and MARAMURES – SEPT. 17
Stop one for the day was the fortress city Sighisoara, another adorable old town, although a bitch to walk through. It was the traditional cobblestone pathways, but with quite a bit of elevation and a lot of missing steps…lets just say there were a lot of near misses with one clear slip, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Because this was only a two hour stop there was no guided walking tour only free time, but we all stayed together and followed Piotr up the mountain to the church. To get there you need to climb up a crazy load of stairs that are covered by a wooden awning. This was nice to keep out the heat, but also a little disorienting because you couldn’t really see where you were going.
Okay, this where the story gets a little embarrassing, and it doesn’t even cover my little fall. At the top of the mountain Piotr went inside the church and the rest of us decided to keep on walking because we wanted to see the fortress. We kept going in circles trying to find some hidden entrance or staircase that we had missed trying to find it.
After what felt like forever, but realistically was probably only 10-15 minutes we decided to head back to the church in the hopes of meeting up with Piotr to find out where we needed to go. While we were sitting outside the church waiting for Piotr, Maria was brave and took one for the team and asked the man selling tickets for the church where the fortress was…so yeah, we were in it the whole time. I have never felt like more of a tourist in my life.
Now that we knew we were idiots we left the mountain and all of it’s crazy stairs. I ended up walking around this area with Tara and Taryn and we stopped in a little shop that promised handmade chocolate–it did not disappoint. Then we passed by the place where Vlad Tepes was born before entering an old clock tower turned history museum. Turns out none of the plaques in the museum were in English, so the majority of the museum was a bit of a guessing game, though I was able to be disturbed by these ancient gynecological tools 😳.
The highlight of the museum was definitely at the top where you got a good view of the walled town, the only issue was that there were a ton of tiny, steep stairs that got you there. At this point you are probably wondering if this was where I fell, and in fairness I have described numerous occasions where a fall would have made sense. Steep, worn, and small, there were plenty of areas where a fall would have made sense, and in all honesty I definitely had little slips here and there.
But no, my fall did not happen on any of these complicated stairways. No, my fall happened nearly one minute before going back on the bus. To get to the parking lot you have to climb down a mini flight of stairs that are relatively modern and significantly easier to walk on. Instead of being smart and walking down holding the railing like I normally do I figured: a) these steps are so much easier it’s no big deal, and b) there was a slow woman in front of me and I was feeling impatient. So I moved to the middle of the stairs and was just fine until…well I wasn’t.
Fortunately it was only a little fall. I could feel my left ankle roll and then I landed on my derrière. Thank goodness nothing was injured and after a couple little stretches my ankle was good as new. The only proof this happened was when I went to bed that night I was in shorts and Shanna looked at me and said “what the hell is that?” It is a pretty large and nasty looking bruise, but I didn’t even feel it, so I’m taking that as a good sign. I was definitely better off than Jacqui (a fellow Canadian, btw). She fell two days ago and completely cut up her knee, so now the running joke is that a certain walk will take 10-15 minutes to complete, but 25-30 if we walk at a Jacqui pace!
From Sighisoara we headed over to our night stop in Maramures, the emphasis being that this was a night stop, so there wasn’t supposed to be much to do in the city. Because of this dinner was a preset menu done by Topdeck at the hotel. The first course was the largest portion of polenta I have ever seen with a strong cheese and bacon. It was edible, but soooooo rich. Like way to rich to be a starter. I could barely have more than two bites.
At some point during dinner the power actually cut out, but luckily not in the portion of the restaurant that we were in. There was also a wedding going on at the hotel, so we think that something there might have tripped the break.
After dinner the majority of our group left to go walk around the old town area. Unlike the other places we have visited, Maramures is a much more recent-looking area. It still has a large old town, but it is not picturesque. That being said it turned out that there was a festival going on in the main square. Here we hung out for a little and listened to a pretty cool Romanian rock band. They were definitely a nice departure from Numa Numa.
Which reminds me, I forgot to mention that Numa Numa is our wake up song for the bus. Because it is probably one of the only well know modern Romanian songs, every time we reach a stop or bathroom break this song plays over the bus speakers to wake us up. At first I thought oh, how cute; then I reached the level of going “if I hear this song one more fucking time!”; but now I am at that level of being brainwashed were I find myself thinking, “you know, I think I actually like this song”
Maramures may have started out as just an overnight stop, but it turned out to be a fun cultural experience. I took a photo of the poster for the festival in the hope that I can somehow figure out the name of the band that was on at 8:00-9:00-ish.
*Sorry just for taking so long to get these last few days out, they are all written up but the wifi has been really spotty so I’m having a hard time uploading pictures. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the next few out soon!