In the middle of the night a mosquito found its way in to Vin and took a shine to Craig. This morning we woke to find the little bugger had bit him straight in the corner of his eye, it was a right mess and it looked very sore. Fortunately a antihistamine and an ibuprofen helped ease the swelling and the itch.
A short drive to the city centre and being so early parking was not an issue. We parked just off the main road next to the city park. Quiet from passing cars but busy with people. A stroll in to the city and what can we say, it was amazing. A beautiful large square with elegant buildings, statues and fountains. We spotted a bank and tootled over to get some cash. All the notes looked huge in comparison to any other currency we’ve used with a super waxy coating. With cash in the wallet, time to explore a little more.
Over the bridge and in to the old quarters. Everywhere we looked the most beautiful buildings with intricate detail. The medieval churches, theatres, hotels all snuggled in back streets and alleys. Renovation projects dotted all over the city in an attempt to preserve and protect some of the best buildings in Romania. The city consisted almost entirely of a complex network of elaborated walls with tiny passageways, some crumbling and some beautiful restored, and all of them interconnected in a wonderfully bewildering way. By the time we finished we had neck ache and big smiles.
Our Bumble Verdict: Oradea excellent architecture and loads of interesting places to visit.
Our drive through Pocaeu Valley was not only pretty but captivating. Peasant farmers hand working their farms with endless straw bales dotted around the countryside. Tiny communities with single story homes and people sat outside selling their chosen speciality of fruit from melons to apple, grapes and oranges. In between villages, little old ladies dressed in all black with shabby headscarves selling local grown mushrooms. It was fascinating.
Our next stop at Cluj Napoca was a great place too. We managed to park right in the centre opposite the military quarters. Mac n Tosh were out Vin in a flash, it was hot and sticky and they were in need of some fresh air.
With no plan we just strolled around the city looking at all the different buildings and observing life of the once Hungarian landlord city. Part of Hungary until 1920, so population is half Hungarian and half Romanian with each side having their own schools, churches and theatres. The place certainly has a different feel with grand buildings, museums and wide streets.
It was brilliant but the best building is definitely the cathedral. Reasonably small and very dark but exquisite, with its domed roof, polished marble, intricate paintings and its stained glass. Every inch of it was superb.
Outside a small farmers market selling rugs, hand made pots, honey and other traditional goods. A nice mooch before climbing back in to a rather hot Vin. We all flopped in the heat before setting off towards our final stop tonight.
Our Bumble Verdict: Cluj Napoca a unique feel and worth a stopover.
The drivers in Romania are bonkers. Craig is constantly switching his gaze between front and wing mirror trying to keep an eye on vehicles zooming up to Vin’s rear. First they aim to bag a free ride on your tail gate before overtaking on blind bends or going head to head with 50 tonne trucks. Jeez these drivers have no sense of risk, no wonder there are so many scrap yards around. Eventually, we turned off the main road at Turda, passed the disused factories and went on a bouncy ride down the pot hole lanes to the base of Turdu gorge.
We arrived at the gorge just before sunset and in time to watch everyone pack up for the day and head back home. The pretty grass land with mountain stream looked idyllic until everyone departed. They forgot to pack up and take home their litter. The site looked like an rubbish dump with vomit slicks, nappies, litter, twisted beer cans and wafting toilet paper. Not a pretty site, why people can’t just leave the place as they find it.
Our motorhome sleepy spot: Turda Gorge, quiet but certainly not pretty
Wild Camping GPS position Turda N046.561061, E023.691443
Route: Oradea to Turdu Gorge