Buna Ziua Bucharest (and Transylvania)!

This week has been fantastic!  A school in Iasi has asked us to teach English lessons in the evenings to different Kindergarten classes to supplement their official English classes.  All of the girls are pretty eager for it.  We have paired off and each pair will take a week for the rest of our time here.  I only had two days of work this week, but they were pretty great!  The orphanage just got a trampoline and all the kids were pretty excited about it, it so fun to watch them play!

On Wednesday at 4:00am, I got in a taxi and went to catch a train to Bucharest with Cynthia, Kate, Caroline, Kayla, and Lexi.  We got in around 11:30, and spent a little longer than expected trying to find out how to get bus tickets and where the bus we were supposed to take was.  We finally got it all sorted out and finally found our hostel, a super cute and cozy place on the 6th floor of a bloc building.  We didn’t want to carry all our stuff up, so we took the super small and sketch elevator.  I have never really been afraid of getting stuck in an elevator until Romania.

ImageOn our first day in Bucharest we explored a little around a park and the city, went to eat, and took a walking tour.  The walking tour was so great because we got to hear all the history behind everything we had just explored, and it was so interesting!  It was also really nice to meet some other Americans, because besides us and the Missionaries here, I haven’t met any until now.

ImageWalking through the park

ImageBefore we left the park I just had to get a picture in a telephone booth!  These belong together 🙂Image

In front of the Royal Court church, part of our walking tour!

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On day two of Bucharest, we started out at the House of Parlaiment.  It is the second largest building in the world and was built by the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.  Communism fell in Romania before the building was actually finished.

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ImageAfter this we had lunch and headed over to the Triumph ArchImageAfter this we walked to a Village Museum.  This is basically a huge park with authentic Romanian homes that have be moved or rebuilt to show was life was like.  ImageImageImageImageOur last activity of the day was renting paddleboats.  So much fun!ImageThat night we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe.  It was soo delicious.  After not having any American food (besides McDonalds) for the past two months, I was pretty excited about my twisted mac and cheese and grilled chicken!ImageFriday we got on a train to Transylvania, land of castles, vampires, and beautiful lush green mountains.  We are staying in a little hostel in the city of Brashov.  The first half of a day we had we did a little exploring.ImageImageThe Black Church!ImageBrashov Sign! ImageThat night I wasn’t feeling too hungry so I just ordered a salad. This is what came out to me.  It wasn’t bad, but definitely one of the more strange salads I have eaten!ImageOn Saturday we went on a tour that took us to two castles and one fortress in Transylvania.  I was feeling kind of bummed because I forgot my student ID card in the States, which for pretty much every touristy place you go to will get you a ticket for less than half the price.  My sweet hostel owners allowed me to borrow a card to try to get the student price since I am a student.  It worked every time.  Can you see the resemblance?  (PS – the card is from 1991, and that’s a boy)ImageThe first castle we went to was Peles Castle.  It was so beautiful!  It was built by the first King of Romania, after the country gained its independence.  ImageImagePeles, we drove over to Bran Castle, the home of Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  It was very different than Peles, but I really enjoyed it!ImageImageImageImageOur last stop was Rashnov Fortress.  The other fortress we saw was awesome, but I think this one topped my list!  ImageImageCan you say gorgeous view?ImageWhen he found out we were American, this sweet man played Oh Susanna for us!ImageThe tram that got us up to the fortress.ImageOur trusty van driver.  We were so grateful to him for putting up with 6 crazy girls all day!  Image

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