A year ago, October 2015, I did visit Transylvania. I arrived in Cluj-Napoca, Romania which is considered as the capital (unofficial) of Transylvania which is in the Northwestern part of Romania.
The plane from Dubai landed in Cluj Airport around 1 am. Only the immigration, car rentals and one cafe were open at that time. No store to buy sim card and no place to exchange money with. I have US dollars with me.
Worse, I don’t have a transfer from the airport to the hostel.
With all these stress, I can’t appreciate the surroundings and it is dark. I am just thankful with the cool (well, too cold) autumn breeze that welcomed me as I arrive and visit Transylvania.
I took a taxi (as usual, I was ripped of again) and gave the address of the hostel. The taxi dropped me down in front of the hostel. But for a hundred times I rang the doorbell, nobody was opening the gate. That was 2 am, I was in a foreign land and I was freezing already. (I even had my fears that Transylvania is the land of Dracula.) Hopeless… that was the only feeling I knew at that time.
Given with that situation, I must have to find a way. Thanks, Felicia. She’s the young lady who was just passing by that I’d ask help for. She phoned the hostel, good thing that somebody answered. Finally, somebody opened the door for me.
The next day or the same day, in the morning, I went out for walk to check how cold the weather is. At the same time, to buy sim card and exchange money.
As I walk around, these are the scenic streets of Cluj Napoca. To be honest, I don’t have any idea which buildings are these.
I also joined the Cluj Free Walking Tour and I recommend to go with the tour specially if you are a history savvy.
I’ve learned a lot (like a pro). Knowing the history at that time gave me an idea like an expert. But well, I have a short term memory and I am poor in remembering history… I’ve heard about Neo-Gothic Styles, Austro-Hungarian Empires, Baroque Styles, Neoclassical and Byzantine Styles.
I cannot tell you all about it, so you must have to really join the walking tour when you visit Transylvania specially Cluj Napoca.
So here are the photos I captured during the walking tour. I will share some info as well as much as my memory can do best.
This is St. Michael’s Church with its architecture of a Gothic style with a statue of King Matthias Corvinus.
The name written on the facade of the building can easily be translated to English.
On the background is the Orthodox Cathedral with Avram Iancu statue
This is a historical place, now a museum. Somebody was born here, but I cannot really remember who. You’ll know it if you join the walking tour. Notice also the assymetrical windows and the many chimneys of this house/museum.
The National Theatre of Cluj.
These are the two identical buildings in the mirror street of Cluj.
With the photos above, I hope I convinced you to visit Transylvania or Cluj Napoca. Well, more post to follow. It was only in Cluj Napoca. I’ll take you to the Alexandru Borza Botanical Garden, Salina Turda and other parts of Romania
If you’re arriving late or at night, make sure to inform the place where you’re going to stay about which time you arrive or better arrange transfer.
If you don’t have any currency of the country you’re going to, take some small notes of US dollar or Euro.
Check the weather. If it’s the change of season, warm clothing and raincoats are must to bring.
If you need help, ask the people around. Your instinct will tell you whom to approach.
Have fun and enjoy your visit to Transylvania.