Monday, March 18, 2013

Visting Brasov

We left Barlad about 2 PM on Friday for a trip to Brasov. This drive took about 4.5 hours. The first 20 k or so out of Barlad are on very bumpy road. We were very glad when the road smoothed out a bit.  We went over one side of the Tutova Hills which form the valley in which Barlad is found. We crossed rivers
and through villages.
We stopped about halfway at a gas station and I was delighted to find a cold Coke Zero.

The video below shows a rather typical village scene.

Also somewhere along the road we found a woman selling kurtoskalas, something I had learned to love while living in Hungary. My fellow team member had asked if we could stop for bread. I had no idea this is what she was meaning. I was surely happy, and I think too it was some of the best kurtos I have ever had.

We got to Brasov about 5:30PM and checked into the City Centre Hotel. We had just lovely rooms here. Mine was quite cool when I walked in, but I turned up the radiators.

We headed out to the pedestrian shopping area,walking up to the main market square. Then we backtracked to wonderful restaurant. The waiter brought us complimentary schnapps-- oh does that burn going down!

This restaurant had gulyas on the menu. This is the first time I've had this since living in Hungary.

Above is my scrumptious second course.

We were early to bed and then up for breakfast at 8:30. I could see our trusty van had a dusting of snow.

 Following breakfast we checked out of the hotel and then our van driver went about halfway to the location of the Black Church, called that because the stone has been blackened over time by fire.

We first walked by some very interesting glass mosaic art pieces.

 Then we entered the market square area.

Arriving at the church we found it too large to really take exterior pictures with the sight lines we could get. Here is a close-up of the clock tower.

 The inside was marked with many NO PHOTOGRAPHY signs. We walked in and were amazed. There must be a least 100 Turkish rugs hanging in the church. None of us had ever seen anything like this. Upon our return to Barlad we learned it was traditional for the German traders who built Brasov and this church to donate a rug to the church as a sign of their thanksgiving for yet another safe trip to and from Anatolia.

After seeing everything we could we walked back to the van and headed for Bran Castle, but that's another story.

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