To rain or not?
Bus to Astra museum
Old mills and farmhouses
The plan for today is to visit the Astra museum, as advised by Bob from Alba Iulia. It is the largest open-air museum in Romania and is dedicated to traditional houses and workshops from all over the country. Located out of town it covers a massive area with over 300 buildings!
From the hostel we need to go to the train station for our bus. On the way we stop by for a closer look at the fortifications. Parts of the walls are still nicely standing with the different guard towers. In the past the guilds would be in control of a tower each and therefore they tend to all be different. We go past The Potters, The Archers, and Carpenters Guild Towers.
The the rain sets in again. What to do? We can bus out to this big open-air park, but if it rains all day it isn’t much fun out there. We have a coffee and try to come up with an alternative day planning. Unfortunately the museums in town don’t sound that interesting. On the bright side though, the rains stopped and the sun was obviously trying, so we went for it.
The bus was easy enough and it dropped us right at the front gate of the Astra Museum. The gate is stunning carved woodwork form the Northern regions. A good start and the rest of the park did not let us down. The setting is great, all around a big lake. Farm tools and wagons. Windmills water mills and even floating mills. Wineries and wine cellars. Wooden churches and thatched cottages.
A man, speaking only Romanian, invited us into this one house and proudly showed us around. It was a house of a wine farmer, fully decorated and all the equipment there. Under the house we were shown the impressive wine cellar. Language was a bit tricky, but it was a fun impromptu tour. At the end he pulled a banknote out of his pocket, and cynical travellers that we are, we thought he was going to ask us for some money. This was not the case. He was just trying to show us how special this building really is. It is featured on the 10 Lei note!
We walked around for hours and really enjoyed it, but eventually the drizzle forced to go back.
A quick meal and some nice wine and an early night.