Mim, I won’t be able to check on these for several days. Could you keep an eye on them?
no prob, don
Eurotrip Managing Editor
I can help if you want me to MIM….
Back from Transylvania and Budapest. Thanks for keeping an eye on those 3 forums for me.
No prob. Welcome back. How was the trip?
Excellent. Budapest was fully into Spring with trees blossoming and nice green grass. We’re 1-2 months behind them up here in Norway so it was nice to be outside without a coat. The differences between Hungary and western Romania are striking. Romania is more like adventure travel; Hungary more like a pleasant, less-discovered EU country with good tourist facilities and relatively inexpensive.
Welcome back. Did you figure out how the Romanian rail reservation system works? I never quite figured it out, but the office in Bucharest was certainly a step back in time….
[Realising we’re getting off topic and might have to be moved to favourite places forum … ]
I didn’t make it as far as Bucharest. I was only in western Romania, specifically Jiu Valley and used busses. Romania is definitely a step back in time. The "new" lei (money) confused me; "old" lei are still used, and new just takes 4 zero’s off the old. Old and new bills of same amounts are supposed to be similar-colour, but I still found it confusing and just had to (gulp) trust shopkeepers. Stuff there is so inexpensive anyway—especially compared to Norway—that I didn’t really mind.
The border takes forever. I’ve been across 4 times now; the longest time took 5 hours to get out of RO and into HU (yes, FIVE hours). The shortest took only 1.5, and that seemed like a 3 a.m. fluke. The other two crossings were about 3 and 4 hours. If I ever go back, and find out train takes less time at the border, I’d def. take a train. Roads in Romania are in poor condition generally. They tend to be adequately marked, but there’s lots of potholes and bumps and occasional washouts and abrupt rail crossings (and animals wandering across in and out of traffic).
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