Europe 2009 – A Change in Plans


I had originally thought about traveling to Brasov today to see the Bran Castle. But, by the time I was ready to go, I had missed the morning train. The next one wouldn’t put me there until 2pm and I’m just not sure if that would give me enough time to explore. Besides, I didn’t do any exploring yesterday. So there should be some things for me to do in the city.

I studied the map yesterday and could see I wasn’t too far from the old royal palace and a park. So I headed out.

The palace was only a few blocks away. It is now a museum, but it didn’t look like it was open yet. So I continued on.

I soon stumbled upon the park I saw on the map. I wandered around it for a while. Its gardens are well tended to and there are plenty of statues and memorials around. There is also a small pond in the middle with a fountain in it. People can rent row and paddle boats. There is also a playground for children next to it.

The Romanian Red Cross was having a book fair next to the playground. But I don’t need to start trying to learn yet another language right now.

At the north end I found a little area with ducks, swans and even some peacocks. Not quite a zoo but a little sanctuary of sorts. As I was heading back to the south end I could hear a trombone warming up in the direction of the children’s playground. I went to investigate and I must have missed the gazebo where a small wind band was setting up to play.

I sat down for a while, but decided to do a little more exploring and then come back to hear the band and see if the restaurant next to the playground would be open for lunch.

I made it all the way to the Parliament building. It is the second largest building in the world, second only to the Pentagon. Across the street there is a park, it looks like they are setting up for a small fair or festival. So the entire perimeter is fenced off. Meaning you have to walk all the way around it to see the Parliament building. It was quite a distance. I wish I had a map of the city showing the sites. I’m sure I can’t be too far from some more places. But my explorer bug is all worn out.

I head back to the park and the band is playing now. I listen for a while and then head to the little restaurant next to the playground. I have a sausage and braised cabbage dish. It’s pretty good. It says the sausage is handmade. It’s good either way. The waiter is a little more attentive than other places I’ve been in Europe. He even comes up and asks me if I want my bill. I wasn’t expecting that.
I go back and listen a little more to the band (I could hear them while I was eating also). I listen for a few more songs then I start making my way back to the apartment. It’s starting to get a little hot and I just want to start preparing for my journey home.

My flight in the morning is fairly early. I’ve been researching how to get to the airport. My only concern is that it will be so early I may not be able to buy the tickets I need for the express bus. I was contemplating just leaving in the evening and waiting it out at the airport.

As the evening goes on I decide to just take my chances and try to get there as early as possible. I go by the metro station across the street to find out when the first train departs. It was a little difficult communicating with the lady at the ticket kiosk, but she finally was able to convey that the first train leaves at 5am. I go ahead and buy a ticket so I don’t have to worry about it in the morning.

I stop at the KFC and get another chicken dinner and head back to the apartment.

Once I’m sure that I am prepared for the morning, I set my alarm for 4:30am (that should give me plenty of time) and try and get some sleep. I usually don’t sleep well when I have to get up early for an important reason. This night was no different. I got brief periods of sleep, but would always wake up and check the time.

Alan (Travelin' Al) Stiebing

Author: Alan (Travelin' Al) Stiebing

Alan Stiebing has been traveling for over 20 years. He blogs and photographs his experiences and passions for and other digital and print outlets.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.