One more night

Trip Start Mar 28, 2010
Trip End May 31, 2011

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Flag of Romania  ,
Friday, July 16, 2010

Our original plan was to head straight for Debrecen, Hungary from Sinaia, Romania (about 550km) but after experiencing first-hand the terrible state of train travel in Romania we opted to break up the trip by only going about 2/3s of the way the first day. We kid you not, most trains in the country only move at 30 km/hour or so (and buses move much slower due to all the flooding in the area). This is due partly to aging infrastructure that is seemingly incapable of handling higher speeds and partly to the many large scale infrastructure projects underway all over the country – one can see EU money hard at work all over the place.  Even though we opted for the shorter distance, the trip from Sinaia to Cluj-Napoca, Romania still took 9 hours and, unfortunately, the ride was very uncomfortable at times due to the blazing heat. On the plus side, we had a little entertainment in our cabin of six in the form of a 50-something Romanian lady who was more concerned about her appearance than anyone we have ever seen.  She was literally up every 2 minutes checking herself out in the mirror, fixing individual stands of hair, applying another layer of lipstick or striking a pose. It truly was unbelievable to watch. Although a little taxing at times to be around her, we did have a few good laughs as a result of her performance.

Happy to finally be off the train in Cluj-Napoca, we made our way to our home for the night. Given it was around 8pm by the time we made it to the hotel, we decided to take advantage of the onsite restaurant rather than roam the city looking for a suitable spot for dinner. It turned out to be a great decision as the meal prepared by the couple running the place was just what we were craving....a hearty meat and potatoes type meal. And as we were once again the only people staying at the hotel, our meal got the full attention it deserved. Although we didn't see much of Cluj due to of our late arrival and subsequent early departure the following morning for an onward train to Hungary, the stroll we took after dinner left us with the impression that Cluj is a beautiful little city that is probably worthy of some exploration should we ever find ourselves in the area again someday – although unlikely.
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