Quite randomly because of cheap flight prices, Harry and I took a trip to Romania with our friend Alain and his Romanian girlfriend, Andreea. We went with no expectations and very last minute, so we packed one small backpack each and a week later hopped on a luxurious Ryanair flight (if no one got that, there was a lot of intended sarcasm there).
We landed in the cute little town of Sibiu. It’s like many other European villages with cobblestone walkways, multiple churches, and old school roof tiles. It had a very cozy feel to it, maybe the fact that we were there at sunset helped the atmosphere.
We only spent an hour or two there before we went off to Andreea’s house. Her dad had nicely come to pick us up and gave us all a place to sleep in his house in the smaller village of Aiud. After dropping our stuff, a feast was soon served with some great vegetarian options for me. The Romanian culture is very heavily based on food and no one would ever let you go hungry there. In fact, I don’t think there was a single moment when we were hungry on that whole trip.
The next day we went to visit Andreea’s grandmother. He grandma was in tears when she saw Andreea, purely out of happiness, because she had been away for quite a few months by then. Family relations are very tight and important in Romania, probably on the same level as food, dare I say.
Andreea’s grandma is still strong for a woman of her age. She does farm work regularly, collecting eggs, picking the world’s best tomatoes off the vine, selecting grapes for wine, cutting the grass with a scythe (that thing the Grim Reaper carries around), etc. She grows all of her food fresh, even the animals she eats are from her farm. Nothing is processed or has any chemicals, 100% organic. Everything we ate at Andreea’s parents’ house had been from this garden, most spices included, and I have to say the tomatoes really are something else. I can’t stress enough how good they were. They tasted like cherry tomatoes but were big and insanely juice. You could eat them like an apple.
Next we drove around a bit and got off here and there to take pictures. We found some small mountains that were a really nice spectacle since we hadn’t seen any proper mountains in a long time. We also found a town called Rimetea where we got this delicious, deep-fried Hungarian bread covered in garlic sauce and cheese called langos- it was to die for. That wasn’t the last time we had langos.
The next day we went to their family cabin, which was only a 15 minute drive from their house. Even though it was so close, it was still in the forest a bit and felt like you were on a vacation (from our current vacation…from our life which is one giant vacation). It was a small but cozy place with a pool and a fire pit- what more do you need? We spent the day enjoying the sun, walking through the forest, and playing board games.
The morning after we had a fairly busy day ahead of us. First we went to a salt mine, where people go regularly to exercise and breathe in the salty air. It was massive and at the bottom had a tennis court, playground, squash areas, and other things to play around with. They say breathing in this super salty air is really good for your lungs. After getting another langos on the way out, we visited a small, walled city called Alba. We meant to only stay for a bit but ended up getting lost on the bottom floor, unable to find our way back up for quite some time. Finally we went to visit Andreea’s sister, who we had seen the previous night, in the city she lives in. Cluj-Napoca is a university town and is the biggest city we saw while we were there. Though it has some cute parts to it, I found it to be too commercial and busy.
That pretty much concluded our trip. We were on another flight the next day back to Belgium. I gotta say, it sounds like a simple trip, but I think I had the most fun with them in comparison to my whole Belgium trip. I would love to go back to Romania one day to taste the tomatoes again; they were the highlight.