despre ce se mănîncă în București - și cu ce se mănîncă Bucureștiul


The Quiet Irishman 5: la munte şi la mare

Hi All,

First of all apologies for the long delay in updating the Quiet Irishman blog! It’s been very busy in work but I guess I’m not much of a writer either :-)) The upside is I’ve managed to see a lot of places in the meantime here in Romania including outside Bucharest so it’s been interesting. I know that Simply Bucharest is of course really a Bucharest web site but I think I’ll try and break the mould a little bit and share some of what I’ve seen in Romania.

Well since I’ve been in touch last I’ve had an opportunity to get to the Transfăgărăşan road, Sibiu, Sinaia, Constanţa, Bran, Poenari… all the touristy spots I guess but then again I am a tourist 🙂 of sorts!

After being here for almost 8 months now I have tried to get hold of the language a bit better also, I’ve certainly gained the appreciation of how difficult it is and that as with all languages the only way to really learn it is through speaking it; so with the help and patience of my colleagues in work and the tolerant locals in shops etc where I try out as much Romanian as I can I’ve got a little better at it, the biggest problem for me is still trying to understand the language when it’s being spoken by Native Romanians, it almost becomes a different language to the one I’m learning through the speed and dialect but I refuse to give up and for as long as I remain I will persevere! Most people I have to say especially the younger generation do support me quite a lot in my attempts, it’s easy to dismiss it and say “just speak in English, I understand English” but the majority of people are patient enough (or probably amused enough lol) to sit it out and hear what I’ve got to (try and) say! Taxi drivers are pretty good too, I know they usually get a tough rap but when it comes to understanding my quasi-Romanian/English.

Anyway back to some of my travels; rather than giving you the tourist guide all I should really say is that there is a huge amount to see in Romania and because in my view it’s one of the countries in Europe that’s held onto it’s language and culture without becoming overly globalised or “Euro-ised” whilst still developing modern cites and a modern society etc that it’s worth getting to!

The best way I found to get a round to see as much as I could was by car so I rented a car a couple of times! I’ve not tried the trains yet although I’ve been told they are good for getting there quickly and well I guess not everyone wants to drive in a new country especially if its left hand drive on the right hand side of the road, wow…. I’m not sure if I was more of a danger to others or felt I was in danger myself but you really have to be on top of things, drives show no mercy and if you’re in the way then get out…. fast, haha, without being overly critical some of the roads especially in the country do contribute to this on the weekend with a lot of travellers and tourists and not so many motorways but after a while you become accustomed to things and just go with it, even if sometimes you get lost of flashing lights and horns beeping…. lol, damn tourists, not sure what that is in Romanian but I should know it at this stage 🙂 Briefly though if I was to summarise some of what I’ve seen, I think Poenari is spectacular, it’s advertised less than Bran but if you ask me has more to offer with the whole mystique and history that surrounds it.

The Transfăgărăşan road speaks for itself and anyone who gets near Romania should make a point of driving it; would love to get back there in the winter before they close off the tunnel, now that would be a challenge.

Constanţa was nice to visit too, beach had a bit of seaweed but still plenty of places and room for swimming, the town was really nice too but very much like Braşov in my view, almost impossible to find your way round haha, ok maybe if I’m being honest I probably should have done more homework about the area and maybe asked a few more people directions but difficult roads to get round in and not great signs so I learned quick, find out exactly where you need to go and how to get round there before you go!! A lesson for me!!!

Something I though was really great to see were the stork nests up on the telegraph poles in a lot of the small villages along the roads around Braşov and on the way over to Constanţa, they’re probably in a lot more places around Romania but they’re really postcard kind of pictures; great to see that the Storks themselves are happy to set up in a village and that the villages or townspeople can live there without affecting them. Most of the locals seemed to take it pretty much for granted and paid little or no attention to them but I think something that is really unique, amazing to see for tourists like myself who don’t normally get that close to them and something really worth making sure you don’t loose!

I’ve talked way too much about the food already in the past but I have to say that if and when I move on, I absolutely intend on ensuring I have a Palinca supply to source when I need and that I have the recipe’s for both Sarmale and Mici :-)) …. enough said.

Well back to Bucharest which I’m supposed to be talking about, I took the opportunity to go and see the Ireland under 19 football team playing against Spain over in Chiajna; nice stadium and easy to get to, Ireland were whipped 5-0 but getting to the semi’s was good in itself I guess.

I’ve continued to try and get as familiar as I can with the city so that I know where I’m going which I’m pretty much happy I have at this stage. I’ve noticed that as we’ve gotten further into the summer that the old city and the cafes and bars have begun to extend out into further areas around town which is good in terms of options and choice.

One of my old enemies which are Mosquito’s (Ţânţar as I’ve learned out of necessity) have started to become more obvious, I guess with the heat although I have to say there’s never been much humidity here which is great, much more tolerable. Anyway, the “mossies” are out in force so for anyone travelling here keep it in mind! Don’t seem to bother the locals here for some reason so maybe it’s just me haha, anyway, keep it in mind.

Ok definitely going on too much here so I’ll wrap up, I’ve added a couple of pictures from the trips I’ve taken as well, maybe better to just show it rather than all the above dialogue 🙂 all the best and see you next time.

QI.  🙂

1 comment to The Quiet Irishman 5: la munte şi la mare

  • Radu

    Hey dude, nice to see you back 🙂 I really appreciate it when you kids from foreign lands come over and do make an attempt at learning the language; unlike Mr. Franks from the IMF it makes you look genuine, he just looks like a jackass. 😛

    Anyhow, good luck and enjoy your travels in the future 🙂 Pretty soon the railway between Bucharest and Predeal will be completed and thus it won’t take forever and then some to get there and I recommend giving it a try. Great way to meet people and practice Romanian, especially if you get into a car with loads of retired people. Same goes for public transit; just say a word (usually ask for directions) and you’ll get a thousand of them coming out of every corner to tell you where to go and how. 😀

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