Relaxed morning at Penny’s parking and at about 8:00 I left for the short stretch to Peles Castle. They should open at 09:15. Maybe I can walk around before that and even find a C+C somewhere nearby. Parking cost me 30 Lei / 7 Euros despite attempt to negotiate. It was really cold with 6 dgr C and humid. But the walk up from the parking to the castle was warming me up a bit and really a pleasant exercise. I found some stalls in preparation for the public holiday and a dominating restaurant across the even more dominating castle. I tried my luck and went in and found some seven ladies chatting around a large desk. Can I have a coffee, please? I caused some amusement, they all smiled at me and one jumped up and said, of course. Anything else? Yes, a croissant if you have. Of course….
As on the 1st of May they only opened the ticket shop at 10:15 and I heard a guide saying that the tour through the interior is only very short I gave it a miss. Strolled around a bit longer and back to the car.
The next target was now Curtea Arges. Took directions from Garmin which I had already checked the day before. Led to a long and winding very hilly road, but the alternative was about 1 1/2 hours longer. As the next fuel station was not at the corner of the turn off I had to turn around for one on the previous main road. Only then to seed that Garmin found now out that the main road is only 5 minutes longer. Filled diesel a bit later and had an ok passage.
From Arges I drove to Ramnicu Valcea to meet Cosmin, a friend of Sara whom she met in Brazil and is still in touch with him. The route led across a hill with a road in an unspeakable bad condition. Not only potholes but sunken “basins” on the side demanded superior driving skills, which I possess, of course… 🙂
We met where he pointed me, he then guided me to his parent’s house where I was invited to stay over. But before they fed me like a king. As the Easter weekend was just over, there were leftovers just welcome for that occasion of an surprise visitor. Very grateful to meet some locals after all and to be able to ask about God and country.
Day 8 for the records. Smooth ride to Brasov, after a short search found parking near historic center. Light but stubborn rain. But there were meters which only took coins, no cards. Did not have any Lei yet. Asked in the hotel lobby. No currency exchange. Pointed me to up the road. Hoped not to get a ticket in the meantime, found ING DIBA Bank, but only ATM. So drew money in local currency, 200 Lei, cost me 45,2 Euro. Asked in the hotel lobby again, but even no till, no cash, no splitting of the 10 Lei note. Funny enough, the money collectors from the parking meters came just then and changed the note for me. As in Timisoara I walked slowly in the rain to town enjoying low level of actions all around.
My aim was actually to go now to Sinaia for Peles Castle and then carry on to Curtea Arges for the Monastery with the King’s tombs. Other then I was caught in (Orthodox) Easter traffic and at some stage did 20 km in 2 hours. That just led me to Saina where I was welcomed with a hefty thunderstorm. Luckily I found a spot at a Penny parking lot and could relax and even have my home cooked supper. There was no thinking of visiting the castle that afternoon any more.
Later I had the desire to still find a coffee shop with Wifi to do some postings. For that I drove to town which was up about 50 m higher and crowded with Easter holidaymakers and their cars. At the end of the main road I turned right even further up in a steep and winding road. What do you do here Hartinger was a valid question! Only to find a negative one way street ending in a bend I just accessed. I turned around and parked there reversing into the space. A few steps further were the stairs leading back to the main road and across the road was the coffee shop with Wifi and excellent products and very friendly staff.
When I finished my postings I returned back to the Penny ground and had a peaceful nights rest.