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Tenacious Timisoara

sunny 28 °C
View Euro trip 2013 on travellinglise's travel map.

"Of course, I grew up in Communist Romania, but I am happy to say that now our country is democratic, and prospering, since the revolution in 1989." - Nadia Comaneci

Foodie moment

No Foodie moment in Timisoara because we weren't there long, but our first dinner at Crama Sibiana in Sibiu made us very excited for our upcoming time in Romania. The funniest part was when we looked at the prices and couldn't work out if it was in Lei or Euro. It seemed WAY too cheap to be Lei, but if it was Euro we were going to be in trouble! Luckily it was Lei, meaning a main course was going to cost us about $5. Our first experience was Pork Fillet with Mustard sauce with Peasant potatoes (potatoes and bacon) and Traditional Pork stew. Yep, with all the pork on the menu it sertainly tells us we're no longer in a Muslim country!


Cultural moment

Mark had a new insight into the frustrations of travelling by public transport in a country where you don't speak a word of the language. We turned up early for a bus to our next destination, and were told we couldn't buy tickets for the bus, but would have to buy from the driver as it was a different company. So we settled down to wait the couple of hours for the bus. An hour later, Mark popped out for the toilet and came back looking pretty stressed and shaken. Whilst looking for the toilet he had seen that our bus was there, and he went to check out what was going on. He asked the driver about tickets and the driver started asking him something in Romanian which Mark translated as whether we had a reservation. When Mark answered 'No' the driver apparently just lost it! The fact Mark obviously didn't understand didn't deter the driver from continuing to rant, rave and shout at him in Romanian. Another passenger came up to translate and told Mark that the driver was saying the bus was full, and we needed a reservation (I'm sure there was more to the screaming that he didn't translate!). Finally the translator said that we could still get on the bus, but stand until someone got off (potentially a 6 hour journey!). As the driver was still screaming at Mark, this was not an option he was interested in and he made an exit, shaken, back to me sitting obliviously with the bags in the waiting room! Needless to say we had to get to this next town that day or lose our booking (and money) so this led to a sprint across the city with our bags to catch a different bus (which we caught, got seats and got into Sibiu earlier than the other bus would have got us there - so there!). We will definitely steer clear of that company from now on! The company was called Apetrans, and obviously their buses are driven by gorillas!

Wow moment

Timisoara has a beautiful main square with a stunning church up one end, the opera house at the other, and surrounded by restaurants. It looks amazing at night, all lit up. Out the front is a memorial to the uprising in Timisoara.


What we learnt today

Timisoara is well known in Romania as the town that first stood up against the dictator, Ceauşescu, causing the Romanian Revolution which led to his eventual loss of power and execution. On 16 December 1989 they started a protest in relation to the dictators plans to execute a pastor who had spoken out about human rights violation in Romania. This protest became bigger and bigger over days with many people being killed by the army. The government sent in train loads of workers to help the army defuse the protests, but this backfired as the workers joined the protesters. During a live speech to the nation Ceauşescu tried to convince the population that Timisoara were acting out of Romania's interests and had been taken back under control, but this didn't work because as he spoke the sound of guns and cannons caused panic in his audience and someone on a loud speaker announced the start of the Romanian revolution, all on live TV! As the whole country burst into protest and uprising, Ceauşescu tried to escape by helicopter with his wife, but he was tricked by the director of a technical institute into going into hiding at the college, and instead locked them in a room and handed them over to the police. They were executed by firing squad after a short trial, and were the last persons to be sentenced to death and executed in Romania. Over a thousand people were killed during the protests, and no one has been convicted for any of these deaths.


Posted by travellinglise 11:05 Archived in Romania Tagged timisoara sibiu crama_sibiana

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