Hello fellow budget hunters
Back at the diary style posts as I’m sure the nosy people among you (and my mum) want to know what we’ve been up to. So I’m going to give you the summary of where we have been and what we’ve been up to as well as a few observations we’ve made about the city!
Firstly we set out on wednesday with the main aim of finding the Cathedral – we had looked up roughly where it was and knew it would take less than 15 minutes to walk there from the beautiful square near our apartment. I also wanted to look for the opera house as it was also on the tourist ‘things to do’ that I had seen – sadly there isn’t many of those so I might make one in the future on my blog! We walked through the victory square which is steeped in history – it is famous for playing a role in the 1989 Romanian revolution that led to overthrowing the Communist Regime and gave Romania it’s independence. Timisoara is the first place the revolution took place and proudly displays a sign on entry to the city of being the first communist free city in Romania.
We admired the statues and then strolled on to find the Cathedral. We were certainly not disappointed as it was very beautiful! The decoration of the orthodox cathedral was just amazing and the architecture is just out of this world. I was in awe at this awesome building however I did laugh a lot at the big letters for the Timisoara sign that echo that of Amsterdam.
We then headed back to the square to a little road off the side that is home to a hipster style soup restaurant – the food was amazing! It had the english translation on the window and for either 9 or 10 Lei (£1.80-£2) it was so good for the portion. You can also help yourself to as much bread as you like! We really think it is an amazing business model and would be very successful in South East England. My partner chose a caribbean coconut and chicken soup and I had parsnip cream.
Later we went to the Botanical Gardens and sat reading our books in the warm afternoon sunshine. In the evening we spent a lot of time watching the BBC world channel for news on the UK. We also peaked with excitement when we played monopoly for a few hours…
Day 4 started with us waking up late morning, as the shutters on our windows were so dark we didn’t wake up naturally! After breakfast, we decided the plan for the day was to visit the art museum in the square (which has free entry for students) and we strolled round looking at the array of Romanian art throughout the Cold War and post cold war. After a while we were a bit fed up of being followed by staff – as we were the only people in the museum!
Looking at the sun, we decided to head to the popular cafes in the square and ordered a creme brulee latte for around £1.80 and it was beautiful. Not as hot as we were expecting but it was super sweet and lovely. After enjoying the sun, we headed back to the soup shop for another choice of 5 soups daily.
The afternoon involved enjoying ice cream and a local bread with cheese and ham inside before heading to the Timisoara Nord train station (ironically in the south of the city) to buy train tickets for tomorrow to Vrsac in Serbia. The tickets cost us £7 ish for a return but be prepared for long queues and the staff just disappearing for 20 minutes with a queue of 10 people! It was frustrating but once the woman came back we were served swiftly!
This evening we have been out for some food at a restaurant nearby – we both chose a chicken dish. Mine was coated in cornflakes and fried whereas my partner had a gorgonzola sauce for his. It was a lovely meal which came to about £5 with a bottle of coca cola.
Since being in Romania we have noticed a few things which are mostly cultural and just different – firstly everyone speaks English but not as confidently as other parts of Europe, probably due to the distance from here to the UK.
Secondly, it is very chilled out as a city. People do not rush and we love that we can take our time. Another thing about taking your time is the crossing of roads – rather than wait for cars to stop for you at a zebra crossing (like we do in the UK) you just walk and the cars have to stop. There’s an element of trust but it is really interesting to watch!
Buses are attached at the roof to overhead wires like trams but still have drivable wheels! One of our most exciting discoveries was the crazy tram buses although there is also a tram network in this city too.