Saturday, June 27, 2015

Leaving Romania

The last week especially had been frustrating. Waiting for visas, without having a clue when they would arrive and being told every day to call again tomorrow, is boring. Adding to the boredom was being on our own and having nothing much to do anymore. Roxy was busy organising her own trip and away most of the time. Had we been city people and loved the nightlife then perhaps it would have been different, but we want to travel... We don't care much for concrete and neon lights, nor do we enjoy being surrounded by thousands of people. Mountains, green, solitude and fresh air is what we like, non of which can be found in Bucharest.

Luckily we had one escape which was an e-mail out of the blue from a reader of our blog, Alexandru, who invited us to come to the Octoberfest Pub in the old centre of Bucharest. The old centre is a nice place and with the benefit of hindsight we should have went there more often. We had an enjoyable evening without beer for us, as we don't drink, but the beer-sausages were great!

Mike had an argument with a tea-towel and a microwave when he tried to 'pop' some popcorn in it. It wasn't microwave-friendly popcorn but he reckoned that it should work... What followed can best be described as the soundtrack of an action movie... As if the kitchen, Roxy's kitchen, had been taken over by gangsters with machine guns... When the sound died out a bit, he found the bowl unbelievably hot and only half the corn had actually popped. Unfazed he wrapped the remaining corn in a tea-towel and tried again. Only minutes later a burned smell filled the house, the microwave apparently wasn't tea-towel friendly... and caught fire!

Only days later, when we finally had the required visas in our hand, we were ecstatic! We could continue! We carefully checked the visas for any typing errors and then decided to walk back to the apartment rather than taking a taxi... We had been stationary for so long that we wanted to walk the 9.7 km back... that's how happy we were! We had no map and Mike's smart phone wasn't smart enough to work out the Romanian phone card, so we had no GPS either. I walked into a Best Western hotel and asked if they had a map, which they did. The very friendly receptionist also found the address we had to go to on the map and marked where we actually were. The map showed a couple of green parks along our route, so all seemed fine.

The first park was a building site, which we could enter on the western side but was fully fenced off on the eastern side... a strange phenomenon which we found in 3 more parks in Bucharest. No idea why, it just didn't make any sense and made our walk a 'concrete' one instead of a green walk. 

Andrei and Olivia called the night before we were leaving, they wondered if we'd like them to accompany us. Course we did, they are lovely people! Andrei suggested they just wanted to make sure we would actually leave :-) To ensure we wouldn't double back they went with us all the way to Veliko Tarnovo, knew a great little restaurant there and we once more enjoyed their company. After that it was the final goodbye, although I'm pretty sure we'll meet again!

The great people from the Veliko Tarnovo campground welcomed us again and had an exciting package waiting for us from England. More on which in the next post.