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Shepherd88
Member since Dec 2013
2484 posts

Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
Anyone been here lately? I searched and saw “Nole Man” commenting about it but it appears he still may be overseas!

Anyway, wife and I have the opportunity to go here or Edinburgh, Scotland. We love traveling off the beaten path but just don’t know much about Romania. So can anyone shed some light or would Scotland be a better adventure?


Lima Whiskey
Virginia Fan
Member since Apr 2013
5122 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
Romania is a beautiful country. And If you know Italian, Romanian is more or less understandable. It was the frontier against the Ottomans, and it heavily fortified as a result. Lots of castles.


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Buck Magnum
LSU Fan
The Dark Side
Member since Dec 2003
10397 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
We were looking at those places too but also Switzerland. Romania looks awesome.


saintsfan92612
New Orleans Saints Fan
Taiwan
Member since Oct 2008
24707 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
Bucharest is probably the worst part about Romania, but is still a good time. Brasov and Timisoara were great.


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Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3356 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
In Vukovar Croatia as we speak! Spent 4 days in Romania and will be doing an entire trip report soon. Base was Brasov. We hired a private guide that picked us up at the airport and took us for 4 days around the country. Well worth the money. I will say you must go. A contrast of amazing beauty, poverty, political uncertainty and warmth.
This post was edited on 4/13 at 11:54 am


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Tigris
Clemson Fan
Fernando Poo
Member since Jul 2005
9551 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
I was in Romania for business just over a year ago, and I really liked the place. We did not get into the mountains which is where I'd really like to go some day. But the countryside is pretty, Bucharest is decent for a big city, and everything is cheap. Uber fares for half way across Bucharest were around $8. I hired a Uber driver for half a day for $90 and he took me all over north of Bucharest, including to see his house. He drove taxis in New Jersey during the Soviet years and had a lot of stories to tell. Language can be a bit tough but at business hotels is no problem. Weirdly, everything is big box stores and huge gas stations. The Russians wrecked the economy and German investors have taken them directly from the 50's to the modern day. I think it's one of the last great hidden places remaining and would like to go back.


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SugarAggie
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Mar 2019
16 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
I was in Romania last year for work for a week. I stayed in Ploesti, but visited Bucharest, Brasov, Bran castle and some other villages in the mountains. Brasov is a pretty cool town. Feels like a lot of Western Europe with the shops and cafes. Bucharest sucks. You can tell it was once a beautiful city, in fact it was I believe called the Paris of Eastern Europe at one point. However communism did communism things and now the city looks like a run down shite hole. Don’t go to Ploesti unless you want to see packs of stray dogs running the streets and you enjoy the smell of chemicals and enjoy a skyline view of nuclear reactors and factories. I only stayed there because the company I work for has a factory there and my fiancées dad has an apartment there as well. Bran castle was very cool. It really is a beautiful country when you visit the more remote areas. I’m sure you know this but stay away from the gypsies. They will frick you over any chance you give them. The people are very friendly for the most part. But god forbid your flight is delayed and have a connecting flight right after because Romanian people are not the brightest. I mean that in no offensive way, but when you were under a dictatorship for years and are taught how to think and not think for yourself, I can see how they have trouble with making logical decisions on their own. I had a flight to Amsterdam that was delayed for an hour. I would have missed my connecting flight, no problem, there was another flight 2 hours later that wasn’t close to being booked. I informed the airline of that and figured they would take care of it. Well they don’t let me and 20 other people on the plane. Then don’t bother to tell me how they plan on getting to my final destination for another 3 hours. Finally they get me on a flight to Frankfurt with a 30 minute connection. If you’ve been to Frankfurt airport you would know how massive it is. I ran a fricking marathon just to get to my flight. I have other examples, but my point was more beware at the airport because their staff sucks.


Lima Whiskey
Virginia Fan
Member since Apr 2013
5122 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
quote:

I’m sure you know this but stay away from the gypsies.


I dated a Romanian girl, and good god, did she love stealing.

She claimed to be or Austrian extract, but I have my suspicions.

quote:

It really is a beautiful country when you visit the more remote areas.


Absolutely - especially Transylvania.

In many parts of Romania the 20th century never happened. They were so perpetually poor that the old ways never died out.

That’s my favorite part - the 20th century was such a tragedy and it’s one of the few places in Europe that largely escaped it.
This post was edited on 4/15 at 11:48 am


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lagniappe14
LSU Fan
Member since May 2018
31 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
I backpacked around Romania in 2006. Train travel was slower than Western Europe. Much slower. There was one train a day between larger cities. We overnighted twice at the once grand hotel across from the train station in Bucharest. It's charm long gone. With only 5 days available, we quickly traveled on to Brasov.

Brasov is a cool town. We found a driver (or rather he found us) to drive us to Dracula's castle. On the way back to Brasov, we stopped at Rasnov Citadel. Highly recommend adding a stop there.

Our friendly driver arranged for us to say at a place in Sighisoara, the birthpace of Vlad the Impaler. We bunked with a family inside the hilltop citadel close to Vlad's home. At night, access is limited to those staying within the citadel's walls presenting an opportunity to walk the cobblestone streets alone. (Insert Dracula joke here.)

We happened to be in Sighisoara over Eastern Orthodox's Easter weekend. The family took us to a church to observe the services and then to a popular beer garden nearby in the hills overlooking the city. Families brought picnics to celebrate the holiday.

We then traveled onward to Baia Mare and stayed at Hotel Mara, which seemed like the Ritz (ok, Hilton) compared to where we stayed in Bucharest. We hired a driver to take us into the mountains to see the wooden churches (simply stunning), the Merry Cemetery (known for its decorative tombstones), and Sighet Memorial Museum (Communists held political prisoners there).

Our last stop was in Sucevea to see the painted monasteries of Bucovina. Through our hotel, we hired a driver that left a memorable impression. He didn't kill us, only a cat... and nearly a motorcyclist.

The Romanian people are friendly and curious about Americans, especially the farther north you travel. The people dress in vibrant colors, and the homes and churches are decorative, even in the rural areas.

Outside of the big cities, Gypsy men dress in black suits and wear cowboy hats, and the women wear colorful dresses. One can see the shanties they live in as the trains pass out of town.

I highly recommend going off the beaten path and seeing more of what Romania has to offer. However, pick your drivers careful. Mule-driven carts share the highways, and cars zoom in and around them without regard to oncoming traffic.

Also, be alert for pick pockets and for people following you. This is more of a concern in Brasov, Bucharest, and on trains.


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Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3356 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
LINK

Here are some selected photos. Working on an album and trip report over the next week or so.

It's beautiful and some of the comments above are spot on. For every beautiful mountain scene, there's trash on the road. You're hiking in beautiful cities and there are feral dogs running around. You see horse driven carts all over the road. People are generally depressed because of the rise of the "Social Democrats", which is leading to a fear of a rise again of communism.

But..

It's a "must see" in my book just for the experience. Amazing scenes. Wonderful people. CHEAP!

Not much else like it in Eastern Europe.


Shepherd88
Member since Dec 2013
2484 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
Much appreciated everyone! It sounds like our time needs to be focused on the countryside which is what we will plan to do!


Nole Man
Florida State Fan
Somewhere In Tennessee!
Member since May 2011
3356 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
One point I would add is I can't stress enough how much more enriching the trip was because we hired a local guide. HIGHLY recommend Cosmin! Dude's a forester. Has a PHD. Has had to face down bear and wolves on treks. Can't say enough about how much we appreciated him.

Why? It's not a real easy country to get around. To see the best parts you have to go away from Bucharest, which, while interesting, is a s'hole. The language and customs are truly unique. The politics are top of mind for everyone you meet right now.

We traveled with another couple and his fee for the week was $1,000, which we split with another couple. He came down from Brasov, picked us up and dropped us back off in Bucharest. Took us on day trips out of Brasov to Sighisoara, Fagaras, Bran, Peles Castle and Sinaia. We didn't have to rent a car. We learned Romanian. We partook (often!) of Rakija and Tuica (you'll have to look that up!).

The highlight was the day into the Highlands of Transylvania. We visited a small village and had lunch with a local woman at her home. Stunning. And, you have a deep appreciation (AND fear) when you see fluffy ol' sheep dogs and your guide yells at you to stay close to him? Why? They'd rip you to shreds if you weren't with someone they knew or got near the sheep.

NONE of this would be possible without someone like him to show us what to do, what to say, what not to say and do yada yada. It just made the trip so much more memorable.

I won't go into the prices, but OMG. You'll live like a King there!

This post was edited on 4/19 at 3:40 pm


CelticDog
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2015
26606 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
Gypsies are 2nd class citizens.
They were enslaved in Romania for 200 years.
Treated like shit, they occupy the rung below poor whites.
Few years education.

No career?
Ok, then petty theft, drugs, prostitutes, and scams.

Chicken/egg?

Migrated from India around the time of Mongol invasions.
Darker, hence easy to discriminate against.

Their caravans are portable crime waves. Kidnapping.

You solve this one, you transform the vibration of planet.

In 1700s Germans made it illegal for gypsies to own horses and horse drawn wagons.
1600s
Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitor ran them off, did genetic cleansing, separated families.
Some countries made it illegal for gypsies to live or move there.


Lima Whiskey
Virginia Fan
Member since Apr 2013
5122 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
quote:

In 1700s Germans made it illegal for gypsies to own horses and horse drawn wagons.


The Germans are an immensely practical people, so can you guess why they did that?

quote:

You solve this one, you transform the vibration of planet.



It’s not something you solve.

The Gypsies are Gypsies, and that’s just the way it is.


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
8492 posts

re: Bucharest/Brasov, Romania
Chiming in to say that Edinburgh is a cool city, and Scotland is ridiculously scenic. Compact, easy to navigate country.


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