First entry on world wide adventures!
Trip Start Feb 15, 2008
5Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Albert's apartment, Arthurs apartment, Dan's apartment
Sorry for not starting my blog earlier but if you know me well I'm kind of lazy at starting these things.
I'll try to keep you better updated in the future....but no promises.
Lets see.... I arrived in Madrid, Spain in mid February with the intention of staying for three months and studying spanish. I ended up staying about 3 1/2 months (2 weeks over my visa! oops!). I was studying at a language school in the center of madrid taking an "intensive class" which was 2 hours per day, 5 days per week. I think i speak an intermediate level of spanish now...enough to have a half way decent converstation.
I had to leave the Schengen area because my visa was expired and so I chose Romania as my first country outside of the Schengen area to visit. I have been here for about 2 weeks and have traveled to bucharest, piatra neamt, and cluj (where i am currently)
So far I have had a wonderful stay in Romania and have found the people to be more than hospitable and friendly (aside from the guy in bucharest who tried to steal my money...bastard....but he said he was from Israel...who knows). Bucharest was great and my couchsurfing host Dan (and friends) were great and showed me a wonderful time around the city. Traditional food, lots of beer, walks around the park and an INCREDIBLE street theatre festival! Piatra Neamt was beautiful with a ride on a gondola, hike in the hills, traditional home cooked VEGETARIAN meal prepared by Aneta who was a Romanian woman who I met in my spanish classes in Madrid. Her Husband has remained in Madrid but she has returned home. I have been staying with this wonderful couple's sons Albert and Arthur and they have shown me a great time in their respective cities.
On my way to Cluj I met a young couple on the bus and they were festival organizers that were a part of organization of a biker festival outside of cluj and so instead of making it to Cluj we stopped just outside of it to go to the biker festival! They had invited me along for a free entrance....and so I couldn't refuse a free night of live music and partying with a campground full of rowdy bikers!
The next day I got a ride to Cluj on the back of a racing motorcycle from a guy I met who was camping next to me. FREAKING awesome! We went sooo fast on the highway....super super fun.
Here in Cluj I went to a "funeral" party last night at a cafe that was being closed for health reasons....and last night was the last night it was to be open. There was a live Gypsy band that played for hours and hours moving around the cafe and people dancing and dancing all night long. Even after the band was finished a couple locals who had brought their instrument continued to play! They had a hand drum and I asked if I could play with them and we jammed for at least another hour. I didn't get back to Albert's play until around 4am...sorry man!
Oh and earlier that day I met a fellow couchsurfer Raz who showed me around the city and gave me a personal tour of the Botanical Gardens. Thanks Raz! Super cool guy. Him and his girlfriend had traveled around europe for 6 months hitchhiking, couchsurfing and using help exchance (helpx.net) and managed to spend only 400 euros in that time!!!! That is incredible!
If you don't know these websites you have to check them out if you want to travel on the cheap and more importantly travel on the alternative routes meeting locals and what not:
Well we'll see when the next post comes, hopefully in the next week or so.
adios from the land of Dracula!