Change of Guards
Walk of town
Beer Tuica – Palinka – Firewater
We slept in a bit today. After a few long walks we needed it. Then out to check out the citadel fortress. This at least is right next door. We walked up through the main walkway and stood at the entrance, beside a large statue looking out over the old city. There is not that much old here though, the occasional building.
The fortress itself is being renewed, walking in you can see the work that has gone into the place, and it is very well done. The entrance gates have their drawbridge and walls recreated, passing over the defensive trenches. Through to the central area where the standard 18th century buildings are arranged around. Off to one side a crowd was gathering, so we went for a look. Apparently something is happening. As we approached, we saw three soldiers on horseback, and another couple of guards walking around. Hanging out there, we got to see the changing of the guard. Past the wall is the old Roman section of the citadel, and they approached from there. Marching out the gate and lining up. Then the sergeant took the replacements and switched the guard. Marching off with the horses following. It was an impressive ceremony with everyone in traditional dress, although one person had seen fit to include a pair of sunnies! That was definitely a look. Black sideburns coming out from under the white wig, and big sunnies on. It did look good.
We wandered around,visited the Catholic church and then the Orthodox church next door. It was built fairly recently and was finished in time for the coronation of the Romanian King (This only happened after 1918) so they called it the coronation church. Very original, but also very pretty.
We had been in there for a while, and only seen half of the citadel, but decided to find some lunch. Heading out the far side, we saw that the reconstruction is still ongoing, and they are cleaning out the last sections of the trenches. It is a bit messy at the moment but that is only to be expected.
On the other side of the citadel the town continues. This is new town, and as we found out later this is the heart of the city. It is a lot more lively than the old down town. Walking around there is a large boulevard, happy people and a good atmosphere.
As usual we went to a pub for a drink, and after we finished we were planning on doing the other half of the citadel. There was only one problem with this though. Another drink appeared before we finished the first. Courtesy of the table next to us.
Then we were invited to another pub. It was only about 3pm so we had plenty of time to be sociable and still see the rest of the citadel. Not even thinking about a golden rule – Never go to the second destination! Needless to say it was very late by the time we left. Beer, Tuica (Pilenka), scotch and good company. We organised to meet a few people the next day, both in the morning and again in the evening.
Needless to say we didn’t see the rest of the citadel!