Thursday, August 11, 2011

Romanian Road Trip - Day 1 Cluj

When I made the planning of the trip, I knew I had to go here. I didn't know about other places of interest around Cluj, but this restaurant was on my list after reading this about Mazilique's favorite restaurant. You can say I built the whole trip around this central point. I chose to enter Romania via Oradea because it was closer to Cluj, we then went to Sibiu via Turda where we visited the salt mine because that was close to Cluj as well and so on.

What is there to see in Cluj, you might ask, because I will make you wait a bit until the best part. To be honest, I hadn't researched Cluj Napoca as much as I did Oradea before leaving, maybe because I already knew for some years that I wanted to visit Cluj, a vibrant city, with a strong presence of students due to the many excellent universities and with an important Hungarian minority.

The city spreads around the two squares: one with the Church of St Michael and the Statue of Matei Corvin, king of Hungary of Romanian descent, born in the city and the other with an Orthodox Cathedral consecrated to the Virgin and a Statue of Avram Iancu, hero of the Revolution in 1848. You can see both squares here, first in a picture from the afternoon, notice the clouds again and the second in a picture from that night.

I also like to observe people in squares, more about that later, and try to imagine how it is to live in a certain town and people from Cluj seems more relaxed than folks from Bucharest, maybe it's because of the reputed calm of Transylvanians.
Other sightseeing points of interest surround this center such as the Botanical garden, with a beautiful Japanese garden, the Central Park, the Palace of Justice etc. The many universities and associated nightlife venues, are close but not directly in the center. As the hotel manager in Oradea warned me, the center of Cluj Napoca is not very compact, he was right once again.

Nevertheless, Cluj Napoca made it on the list of the cities I wouldn't mind living in, if and when I decide to "expatriate "myself back home.

Our hotel was on the street connecting the two squares and we could have found many restaurants and pubs there but we already had a target.We spent some of the evening after the restaurant in town, going to a bar or two and it was fun. I've heard that the night clubs here rival the ones in Bucharest but we were already to tired and haven't sampled that. Maybe next time. 

Come back for the pictures of yumminess.


  1. Sa inteleg ca nu ati ajuns sus la cetatuie?
    Sau prin padurile din Faget? Iti puteam recomanda o zona excelenta pentru plaja in perioada asta...

  2. Nu am ajuns dar poate la anul cand vrem sa facem o noua excursie prin tara. Astept recomandari.


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