Monster Knit Rally

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Travel update

Yes, I am wearing silly sunglasses in this photo. I also happen to be sitting at the top of Gellert Hill in Budapest, looking out over the city. You can see the Parliament building in the background. (We did not see any of the protests there, although they took place on the day I arrived. When we saw Parliament a few days later, it was completely fenced in, with police at regular intervals around the perimeter, and not many people except for a few tour groups.)

I am currently in Romania, staying with friends near Brasov in Transylvania. Brasov and the surrounding towns are located in center of a horseshoe formed by the Carpathian Mountains, which makes it absolutely lovely. It has been rainy the past couple of days, but this morning we woke up to a gorgeous blue sky. We took a train to the town of Sinaia, where Peles Castle is located. I taught my friend Z. to knit this morning, and we practiced on the train, in between checking out the stunning views of the Carpathian Mountains (covered in plenty of snow already).
Once we arrived in Sinaia, we had a nice lunch of soup, french fries, and these giant polenta balls with a sour cream/cottage cheese-like dip. Then we walked up the hill and were greeted by this:
Unfortunately, the inside of the castle was closed for renovations, but the security guards let us stroll right around it, even though we weren't supposed to. They also offered to take us inside in exchange for a bribe, but we declined. Too many poorly trained armed men around. Shortly after this encounter, we saw a poster from an Anti-Corruption Conference that had taken place there just a few days before. Nice.

I will most likely write more about my impressions of Romania once I get home, but I think that the most obvious thing I've noticed is that Romania is much more like many parts of Latin America and Asia than it is like most of Europe - it is still very much a developing country. Its entry into the EU will be interesting, to say the least.

1 Comments:

  • Great photos and memories!
    Continue to enjoy your trip!

    By Anonymous MOMMO, at 4:47 AM  

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