May
14
2010

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A Walk in Braşov

by Tara

We started the morning off with a delicious breakfast cooked by Lily, the woman who owns Casa Timar. Along with her husband and grown son, she runs their family's cozy pensiune. This morning we exchanged stories about Italian travel while we enjoyed eggs, sausage, and traditional potato bread with butter and jam.

Lily at Casa Timar

When we were through, she wished us well for a day of exploring the city. Thankfully, unlike yesterday's, our tour was a mostly sunny one. Greeting and following us throughout our tour of the city, was a view of the giant "Braşov" sign, posted high above the town similar to Hollywood's.

Braşov

We (me especially) enjoyed the small flower market held in Braşov's central square. I can't wait to get home and plant as many seeds and starts as I can get my hands on. Petunias aren't my favorite, but these were beautiful.

Purple Petunias

Outside the commercial flower market, I noticed this old woman selling a couple bouquets of small, blue flowers. Unfortunately, she didn't seem to be having very good luck with it.

Old Woman Selling Flowers

Braşov is home to the third narrowest street in Europe (only slightly wider than Spreuerhofstraße in Germany and Parliament Street in England). This is Strada Sforii (Rope Street), where you can walk along the cobblestones, touching the buildings on either side.

Rope Street Rope Street

One of my favorite things about Braşov is that the buildings are so old. There are many beautifully peeling doors, lovely worn brass handles, and hand-written signs informing people to be careful of the garage, or of where the mail should be put.

ATENTiE GARAJ! Yellow Door POSTA

We walked to the edge of the old city, where stone ramparts form a circle around the town. This walled ring is dotted with several towers, one of which is called the "Hunter's Tower." We climbed to the top and admired the view.

Braşov Stairs View of Braşov

Inside the Hunter's Tower, the man working there gave me his feathered cap to wear, encouraging us to take photos. He then handed me a wooden gun, and prodded us to take even more. He thought it was hilarious!

Tara at the Hunter's Tower

You must be vewy, vewy quiet.

Tara at the Hunter's Tower

After an amusing time at the Hunter's tower, we made our way around the ramparts to the Black Tower. While I waited outside, Tyler explored it for a mere 1.50 lei, and took this photo from the top. I love that there is a white sparkle in the lower left-hand corner of the picture; maybe someone has a mirror or solar panel on their roof?

View of Braşov from Black Tower

Normally we aren't too concerned about how many sites we see in a certain place, but today that completely changed. Ever since we grabbed a few cards of various tourist attractions in the breakfast room of Casa Timar, Tyler has been flipping through them as excitedly as a kid. Something about planning our visit based on these cards, separating them into piles of "seen" and "not seen" must be immensely pleasing to his organized nature.

Tyler & His Cards

Next stop, according to Tyler and his cards, was the White Tower. I found a trail through the woods to get there from the Black Tower so we wouldn't have to climb down to street level and back up again. After our brief off-road stint, we made it here:

Stairs to the White Tower

While I stayed outside, Tyler toured the White Tower taking photos when he wasn't supposed to, and leading the security guard around in circles. At many museums in Eastern Europe, someone follows you for the entire visit, making the experience a little less enjoyable than it would be otherwise. Tyler's solution is to go up and down staircases repeatedly until they get tired and stop. Here is the lone photo we kept from his illegal mission:

Inside the White Tower

After all this walking, we were a bit tired, so we headed down to street level and got ourselves an ice cream.

Stairs to Braşov

Then, we sat on a park bench in Pia?a Sfatului, and watched the world go by. Small children crowded around the fountain, while old women came to rest their tired feet nearby, and many, many pigeons enjoyed poking around for crumbs.

Downtown Braşov Pigeon at the Clock Tower

On our way back to Casa Timar, we stopped to enjoy some local buskers before calling it a day.

Braşov Buskers

Just when we arrived, the clouds opened up and it began sheeting down rain. Thank goodness we decided to explore the city when we did! Now we're settled in where it's nice and warm. Hopefully the weather will clear up tomorrow as we head towards Sibiu!


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