Sorry for the delays in posting; at first we were feeling a little lazy (and under the weather), and then internet proved to be a difficult find in the rural parts of the country where we’ve been hanging out for the past week or so.
At the time of the last post, I (Kathy) was feeling a little under the weather with some back pain. Took some pain killers and decided that there wasn’t much a doctor would be able to do for me other than prescribe pain killers, so we didn’t bother. Last Saturday evening, we learned by way of emergency room that I had a couple of infections that I apparently didn’t know about. I thought I might have been a bit under the weather, but certainly no symptoms like in Egypt. As we were out in the country, and doctors generally don’t work on Saturday evenings, our host was kind enough to drive us to the hospital in the city. We were also very fortunate that his friend joined us, as he was able to translate things for us very well. So now we know what the inside of a Communist-era hospital looks like, and I sure hope it was a once in a lifetime glance! The standard of care was probably as good as they could give, but the facilities were certainly worse for wear – the WC was a toilet at the back of a storage closet! Not to worry, the needles were sterile (I made sure of that!). So the docs prescribed Cipro (for those counting at home, that’s the second round I’ve taken this trip!), some painkillers (presumably for the back pain), and some Vitamin C!! Yes, it has been more of a challenge finding fruit here than I would like, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I’ll get to that in a bit.
Our time in Romania has been pretty good, thus far, but there have been a few frustrations, mostly because it’s high season, and trying to do anything results in lineups.
We’ve realised that it’s impossible to know in advance what’s going to be a major tourist attraction. We visited three castles in the Brasov area. The first was API Call ErrorBran Castle, which had received the Dracula treatment from the marketing department, despite having no relation to either the book, or the historical king Vlad Tepes (the Impalor), commonly referred to in the guidebooks as the “real” Dracula. So, unsurprisingly that one was pretty busy. Despite the marketing treatment, though, the castle didn’t pretend to be anything it wasn’t, it was a museum of API Call Errorold artifacts, API Call Errorfurnishings and API Call Errorthe like.
Warning: what follows may come across as a bit whiny. Sorry. If that bothers you, stop here. The fact is, it hasn’t been the best week, so most of it’s just recounting all the various problems we had.
We’ve spent the past week or so being very frustrated. It started in API Call ErrorVeliko Tarnovo, which was a beautiful city, where the hostel we were staying in claimed to offer day tour to the surrounding area, but couldn’t take us because they “needed the car for pickups (from the bus station),” something they do most days, and we didn’t actually see the car move all day anyway. Then we went to Varna, which isn’t the most interesting town, but we’d wanted to see a bit of the Black Sea coast. (Which we didn’t actually do in the end – the beaches were waaaay too crowded). Again, day trips were advertised, this time offered by a third party, but the trouble was that only one person did them, and had a repertoire of probably 20 or so tours. He was booked until Thursday, and we’d only booked accommodation until Tuesday. Even if we’d wanted to wait, we couldn’t stay longer because everything was booked up in advance. Also, because the Black Sea coast is a very popular destination for Europeans looking to party it up on their 2 week vacations, the crowds were really not our type, indeed some of the other hostelers were quite rude. So even though we stayed in a fairly nice hostel, with a bar and community atmosphere, there wasn’t much socializing for us.