Bus from Alba Iulia to Sibiu
Tourist info and pension
Theather and rain
We had to leave Alba Iulia today. Can’t spend too long in the one spot. It is a bit of a pity, and we would have liked to stay. Bob took us to the autogara and helped us get the right bus to Sibiu.
The trip was about the same for Romania, rolling hills, green fields cut into long strips of land. At least we knew why now. During Communism all private land was taken, but if you could prove title deed after 1989 you could get the land back, just not where it was. The government divided it up into strips that were accessible by road, leading to these very long narrow plots of land. This has led to some problems as you may have a piece of land here, or over there. Also there seems to be a few more land claims than there is actual land…
Arriving in Sibiu, we got off the bus before the station, as it seemed to be fairly close to down town. Sibiu is an old walled city. One of the seven major fortified cities built by the Saxon German immigrants. On top of the hill is the upper town, and below it is – Lower town. Not very original, but practical. Sibiu was the most important city of the German cities and the majority of its population was ethnic German up to the second world war. During the communist era, most Germans moved back, but the current mayor is German and all the street names are also still listed in German first.
We dragged our bags uphill into the walls and spotted a very cute little hotel. Too expensive for us, but they were kind enough to give us directions to Tourist info. Off course in the centre of old town on the main square. Not far, but the cobblestones will kill our bags one day. At tourist info we found out that the theatre festival is on, and most hotels are booked out. We were advised to go to the outskirts of the old town to a small hostel, not cheap, but with available beds.
We only just made it there when the skies opened up once again. Our friendly host is an avid hunter and the place is decorated with deer and bear skulls. When we asked if bears weren’t endangered, we were told that is is not dangerous hunting bears, as long as you bring a gun.. Language issues.. 🙂
After the rain cleared up, we went for a walk around. The old town has three different squares, lined by the most beautiful old buildings from the 13th to the 16th century. Lots of cafes and restaurants and everything looks all very well maintained. The city was European cultural capital in 2007 and you can tell that they put a lot of effort into the town then. It’s is different in the lower town. A lot of buildings are proudly displaying the signs that they are officially listed as historically significant, but not much maintenance is being done. It gives it a run down feel, but also more authentic.
Here we find a lovely cafe and have a carafe of wine. When the owner then treats us to free coffees, we feel we should order some more wine, and before we knew it it got dark. 🙂