Ekkk! This trip was going by so fast! But we woke up today in our beautiful hotel room, and went to the top floor (8th Floor). For breakfast. The main problem of this hotel is that there is only one elevator for all floors, but there were stairs, so that was great. We were on the sixth floor, so getting breakfast was easy. Breakfast was the usual buffet with cereal and fruit and buns and meats with cheeses.
After that we packed up and went to the lobby to catch our bus. The only real problem with this idea was the hotel did not have buds parking, just the curb in front of the hotel. And another tour group that was leaving at the same time as us got the spot first. So we had to wait until they got on their bus and left. Needless to say, the older group took their time which was frustrating since we were all left waiting in a really small lobby for our bus to show up.
Once we were on the bus and on our way out of Serbia, things got better. We did have a really long drive to get to the Romanian Boarder. To the point where we needed to take a break at a gas station so everyone could stretch and get some lunch. But we made good time, we pulled into Timisoara around 2:30pm. The downside of drive, was that once we got to Romania, it was raining. On the plus side we had our weather app tell us it was supposed to rain, so we were prepared. On the minus side it was so wet.
We got dropped off in town first, before we checked into our hotel. We were dropped off in Victoriei Square, which we would learn was quite famous during the revolution. We grabbed some money from the atm, then headed out to see what we could find in Timisoara. We had 2 free hours before our walking tour at 4pm started.
Honestly it was so wet and miserable that we wimped out and found a coffee shop to sit in. This coffee shop was amazing, very much like the chain Aroma that we have in Canada. It was warm and dry and modern, and the coffee was amazing. Coffee is one thing that I get excited about on vacation, since so many hotels and restaurants have bad coffee. Finding a good cup is amazing! We also got croissants to go with the coffee, if you were wondering.
After drying off, and drinking coffee, we realised that the rain had stopped, which meant it was time to explore. There was only about 45 minuets left until we had to meet with the group, but that meant we still had time to walk around and get a feel for the city. Honestly, it is a really cool city. I would go back for sure. It has all these lovely old buildings of all colours. It is not over run by tourists, which is so nice. It feels like a small town, but large city at the same time. We found a really cool doughnut stop called Glazed and Confused. It was a gourmet doughnut shop. So all the doughnuts were really pretty and yummy. I would recommend if the store is still there.
We headed back to Victoriei Square to start our walking tour of Timisoara. Our tour guide shared with us the entirety of Romanian history in about ten minutes. Romania has been a rather worn-torn country throughout it’s history. Due to its location the country has had to encounter many invasions from its neighbouring nations migrating through the area. As the centuries past and the World Wars raved havoc through the land the country had to deal with another ordeal, the communist rule of Nicolae Ceausescu. His dictatorship literally destroyed the country’s economy and resources with his absurd giant building projects. Under his rule the people were forced to live a rather low standard of life. Despite this a revolt arised in 1989 in Timisoara soon spreading all over the country. The dictatorship was overthrown and democracy political system was re-established. This victory by the people allowed Romania’s economy to return the European market and rejuvenate their cultural status.
Our guide showed us Timisoara’s old walls and citadels, and how it had transformed into a battle-ready fortress and then into a bustling city. We wandered through the squares and streets, saw old buildings and visited a museum dedicated to the Revolution – when Romania decided it no longer wanted to be ruled by communism. The museum was run and maintained by a older man who survived the revolution. He walked with a cane because he had been shot in the leg because he wanted his freedom. It was all new history, and very well organized in the museum. For the short amount of time we spent in Timisoara, I’m torn as to wether I would recommend the museum to visitors, since it took up a lot of our time. But it also illustrated what the city was about in the 50s.
After the museum we walked to the newer part of town and went out for dinner as a group and has a simple meal. We had a soup and a chicken breast covered in a white cream sauce with olives. We all wanted to take it easy and rest up for Budapest the next day so we all went back to the hotel after dinner.