Gura Humorului to Iasi

Trip Start Jul 09, 2007
Trip End Aug 06, 2007

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday 19 July
Woken up by horse as a family had arrived to load the hay onto the cart from around us. Went to monastery as it opened at 8am, but Lehel was worried about going in as nun was praying on the ground near entrance. Eventually plucked up courage and paid the entrance fee, past preying nun and went round impressive frescos and up lookout tower after I'd used the public toilet, a hole in the ground - must improve aim. Went to railway station for some water and then Lehel started washing all his clothes in the fountain without consulting with me, so I sat in the shade and waited. Cycled to Voronet monastery with special blue frescos from 16th century where we had to wear skirts to cover our legs. Back to market to buy some melons and sat in park talking about future plans. Lehel still wanted to meet up with local from previous day and he had no intention of going to Moldova, so I told him I would catch train to Iasi pronounced Yash so we went back to station. Lehel phoned the guy up and he said he couldn't make it but still he didn't want to join me. So I brought ticket and gave Lehel the tent and map. The ticket didn't match the schedule so a helpful local English speaker helped me out and the train arrived after 10m and Lehel helped me on with the bike. Changed train at Suceava with a bit of a struggle and helped on next train by passenger.  Train was packed so stood by bike at back of train getting in the way when lots of people got on and off train. Hassled by drunk who had tried to beat down toilet door while I was having a number 2. Train broke down at station, went for a walk, but then saw a train coming at high speed behind us so started running away but realised they had put it on the other track as all lines are dual direction, so it must happen a lot. Another train came so arrived late in Iasi at 11pm after going through beautiful valley although it was dark. Cycled to recommended cheap hotel but it had been updated so not cheap. Went for a cycle round and spotted a hotel sign, went in and still a bit expensive so receptionist said there was a hostel round corner so went there. Put bike in lobby and went to late Italian restaurant, slightly smelly, for a couple of beers and spag bol and then to bed.

Friday 20 July
Had lie in till 10 and showered for the 1st time in 4 days and shaved first time since Budapest, while washing cycle gear in shower. Asked at reception for information, but none so went walkabout and found tourist office with English speaker but no information but while I was messing about a customer Ramona, who was a English translator, walked in and offered some good advice. I asked if she did city tours and she said she was free at 9 so I gave my number. Went walking round city finding town hall (an old aristocrats mansion), old monastery, piece of rail vertical in pavement, cathedral and shop selling crap. Ate at excellent railway station buffet and walked to find internet cafe having to ask in hotel. Everyone playing video games but owners English speaking, fat, no sleep eyes son was pleasant. Walked to find local beer selling pub and want to bar asking when they closed but was ignored so walked off. Found old closed state cinema with a banner asking for cash which happened to be next to the nicely refurbished cultural state office that was supposed to look after it. Back to hostel and fell asleep, woken up with phone call from Ramona and met back at local beer selling pub, with her husband, for a serious and deep discussion over excellent range of beers. Much bullshit from yours truly, stayed till closing time at 2am Back to hostel slightly sloshed.
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