Thursday, August 12, 2010

Brasov, Romania

Topping off our romp through Romania we lunched in the town of Brasov. It too had strong Prague overtones nestled deep in a mountain valley.With the stereotypical Eastern Europe grand square hugged in wide spaces and pastel hues...Here is the aerial shot of the same central square...
We stumbled upon this gem of a spot called Bella Muzica for lunch. A great overlap of familiar and foreign. They welcomed us to a cozy underground setting.
It was a culinary treat. The chef even brought us complimentary shots of tuica (plum brandy), a Romanian specialty to toast our time there.
After a yummy meal and lots of time to relax we got up the energy to return to Romanian sightseeing. We toured all around Brasov. The visuals were stunning. Yet the reminders of the Communist past very fresh and eerie.
The building still has mortar holes from the recent revolution.
We felt fulfilled on all we were able to experience in Romania, so after Brasov we got a head start on our trek back to our Signasoara hotel. As we left Brasov on the only road west a Romanian police officer flagged and detoured all cars off the road. We took the bait the first time, but then realized there were no other routes. We returned and just drove through the police block. (We weren't the only car doing it). Yet we made it only halfway through the winding mountain roads before we came upon this...
There was a horrific head on truck-truck collision. We were parked on the curvy mountain highway for 4 hours! At first it was disheartening as we thought no one would share our language. Thankfully we found an English-speaker and confirmed there was no other way through -our only option was to wait it out. We read our same books over and over for the 100th time each. I think I can now recite the Berenstain Bears Messy Room, Are You My Mother as well as The Pokey Little Puppy. Connor was a champ and we were thankful we made it bathroom-wise and recently fed.
At long last the wrecked trucks were towed away. The wreck was maybe 3 miles ahead. The truck was covered in blood inside and out, visible even in the dusk light. It made me shiver all over. Someone lost their life in that truck just a short time before we traveled the same route. I was reminded how far and foreign we were in the land and said many prayers for safe travel the rest of our way. And though I enjoyed Romania immensely, I have never been so glad to see our "Purple Airplane" (as Connor called it) the next day to take us back to the seemingly safer, more mainstream Budapest. Who would have ever thought Budapest would be my "safe" spot?!?
Thank you God for keeping us safe in Romania. Send your blessings on the family who endured the news of that awful truck crash. And many thanks for guiding us out of Romania according to plans. The next week started the drama of the European volcano ash cloud, so we got very lucky. Being stranded in Romania would not have been my cup of tea.

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