We arrived in Cluj, Romania after an overnight bus trip from Budapest. We made it across the border somewhat easily, although for a moment I was nervous that a Hungarian border control officer had confiscated my passport. Any worries were unfounded, though, and our bus sped toward its Transylvanian destination. After dropping our bags off at the hostel, we wandered around the central neighborhood and found the lovely cafe our host recommended. Everyone ate dessert for breakfast, including cheesecake and chocolate-covered pancakes, and we marveled at the Romanian language on the menu.
At a nearby park, we sat and watched mothers push their babies in strollers and children play with grandparents. One tiny girl played hide and seek with her grandmother, and she was sweet enough to say hello and wave to us. There were also many young people walking around Cluj, and the city had an incredible energy about it. Apparently, Cluj is the university city in Romania – a large portion of its population is made up of university students.
There were several Australians staying at our hostel, and after playing a bit of table tennis we all went out for a traditional Romanian meal. Afterward, we went to a pub that played the most bizarre music – Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Alanis Morisette, and dubstep – to argue about pronunciation of words like “tomato” and “aluminum.” The Aussies were not impressed with our early departure to sleep, but we had a very early bus to Brasov the next morning which would require at least a few hours of sleep.