Friday, June 8, 2012

Get Your Motor Running...... (staying) on the road!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Jane's white knuckles; horse cart
We loaded the blue Ford Focus rental, Jane got behind the wheel, Gail took over as navigator and Jeanne made the sign of the cross as we headed out of Oradea, bound for the mountains.  A relatively easy departure gave way to the Romanian version of the Indy 500, as Jane learned the rules of the road.  Dire predictions of car eating pot holes, bucolic bandits and maurading gypsies did not materialize, but the true meaning of defensive driving certainly did.  Jane's experience with both Colorado Rocky Mt highs and Aussie roundabouts served us well as she figured out when to move right into the shoulder/right lane and when to flash left signals and go like hell.  Some small differences between Romania and universal rural road driving included one lane bridges with double horse carts coming from the opposite direction. 

Jane and Gail decline first
Tin roof on new construction
We stopped halfway for a light lunch, but there is no such thing in this country.  The delightful owner of a restaurant/pension encouraged us to try the house speciality ciorba de burta (known to us as menudo) but we all refused.  After finishing bowls of soup, polenta and platters of pickles, she cleared the table and then brought us a bowl of burta.  We were going to try it, or else!  It was wonderful. 


Passed through the city of Bistrita, made it to the other side and checked in at the Sherrif Motel, not to be confused with the Old Sherrif Hotel next door.  We were the only folks there as we checked in, and selected our room just as Valentin, a photographer for a  Romanian travel site ( arrived to take photos of the hotel's rooms.  As we chatted about our various travels, he offered to show us pictures of some of the places we were planning to visit and might plan to visit, so we joined him in the lounge for our own private virtual journey.  We talked about old traditions in the north of the country.... when a family has a young daughter they decorate a bare trees with colorful pots.  When the daughter is finally of an age to marry, all the pots are red, and that's how you know!  Went on to religion, and skirted poltics, which would have taken the whole evening.  As we sat, the empty hotel filled with two busloads of Italian and Romanian kids on an intercultural excursion.  Though it could be a long night, we thank Valentin for a great afternoon.

1 comment:

  1. Check your facebook messages I'm going to catch you up on the goings on here.