After experiencing a full day in Sibiu, I was a bit surprised by the feel of Braşov. I was expecting a similarly small medieval town, but Braşov was much, much bigger – with wide boulevards, huge administration buildings, and direct transit connections to nearly everywhere in the region. Even the surrounding mountains – the Southern Carpathians – were of a much grander scale, as was its bustling town square:
“Transylvania’s number-one hub is also the first Saxon town north of Bucharest, and its setting, ringed by mountains and verdant hills, ensures Braşov (Brassó in Hungarian) fills with tourists. But locals don’t have that cynical jadedness some touristy towns get. Baroque façades and bohemian outdoor cafés spill onto brick sidewalks around the centre, particularly around lovely Piaţa Sfatului, one of Romania’s finest squares. City strolls, good food and day-trip potential – hiking or skiing in the Bucegi Mountains, castling in Bran, Râşnov and Sinaia – can easily fill a week.”
We spent the remainder of the afternoon on a walking tour through all of Braşov’s main sites: Piaţa Stafalui, where witches were once burned and prisoners tortured in the gold Council House; down its main avenues, along the old city walls and up its various defense towers, and finally…
Str Sforii, “one of Europe’s narrowest streets.”
I have no idea why this little alley got so much as a mention… 😛
Like Sibiu, Braşov is a nice place that’s absolutely worth the visit.
Peder observed that Braşov’s ornamented buildings looked a lot like Krakow, just not quite as heavily restored and touristic-feeling. I’ve yet to visit Krakow, so I wouldn’t know. At least not for a few more weeks 🙂
Then after a short break at Md D’s to catch up on a bit of Internet work (the ubiquitous free WiFi seems to extend into Eastern Europe as well!) we caught our 8 hour overnight train to Iaşi, the last town in Romania before the Moldovian border. Though I was terrified that another sleepless night on a train would push my sickness over the edge, making it too severe to enjoy our upcoming stay in Odesa, I thankfully slept just fine.
And when we disembarked and walked the short 500m to the departure point of the minitaxis that would take us over the border, after a just small amount of negotiation (in typical fashion, the first guy ‘offered’ to take us for more than twice the going rate), we were on our way.