After a lovely introduction to the city of Brasov during our free walking tour, my roommate at I headed back to our Air B & B for a quick rest and refuel. My main objective in Brasov was to hike up to the Brasov sign for a better view of the city. I found the trail head the day before, and planned to hike to the sign in the afternoon after our walking tour.
The Brasov sign is a replica of the Hollywood sign, and sits at a comfortable 955m.
The hike itself is by no means difficult, however it did elevate my heart rate which was nice. If you’re not feeling up for the climb, there is also a cable car that will take visitors to the summit. My roommate chose to take the cable car up, and I chose to hike up and take the cable car down.
The weather was perfect the entire time we were in Romania, and this day was no exception. The sun was out and it was relatively warm, allowing me to work up a sweat. Those who know me know I love sweating, I literally feel the toxins sliding down my skin. You’re welcome for that mental image.
The trail was easy to follow, and I relished in the moments of quiet I had. It took me about 50 minutes to get to the top.
I couldn’t help but look around and think to myself, “I am in the middle of the woods in Romania.” It was a surreal thought, and I remember becoming teary eyed. I felt such a wave of peace and gratitude for the ability to travel. Before I began traveling on a regular basis hiking alone (granted, this was in the middle of the city) in Romania would have given me anxiety, but now it’s liberating.
I made it to the top and I walked towards the Brasov sign for a view of the city below. I then continued up towards a platform I thought would be more isolated. Not only was this location full of other humans, there were two platforms with couples sitting on them to enjoy the view. I waited for about ten minutes hoping one of the pairs would move, but no one moved.
I wanted this tourist photo of me, sitting on the platform with the city down below to showcase my accomplishment of climbing the mountain, but instead these selfish people with their jackets, jeans, and purses (who clearly took the cable car up) hogged the location. Needless to say, I was a little bitter that I did the work of climbing and didn’t get to enjoy the platform…because I am five years old.
My roommate had already been waiting long enough, so I called this a loss, put my big girl pants on to enjoy the view one last time, and headed towards the cable car for the ride down. The cable car down took all of five minutes, and was a worthy reward for doing the hard work of climbing up.
After our adventures up Tampa Mountain, we wandered the city a bit more and I found a shop selling raw desserts. Despite the fact that certain ingredients within raw treats make me feel off, I am a sucker for vegan desserts. I by no means associate “vegan” with healthy, but it momentarily takes me back to a time in my life when eating food was…simple.
Until it wasn’t. Alas, the treats were delicious.
The remainder of the day was spent solo wandering around the city, ending at a popular restaurant suggested to me twice for their Sarmale. A friend from the states had been to Brasov, and told me to eat dinner at La Ceaun. Then our tour guide Diana also suggested this place to eat for authentic Romanian food, so I decided to try it.
I ordered Sarmale, a traditional Romanian cabbage dish stuffed with meat. I was disappointed to see how quickly the food reached my table after I ordered, leading me to believe the restaurant pre-makes the food and reheats when ordered. My food was lukewarm confirming this suspicion.
My meal tasted good, but my experience was tainted by the lack of freshness.
I soaked up the calm energy of the evening, before heading back to the Air B & B to rest. The following morning we had a few hours to spare before heading back to the airport, and we decided to go back into town for breakfast. I found an adorable place called La Birou Bistro, where I enjoyed the most amazing avocado toast of my life.
I mean look at those eggs. They glisten with perfection. Our waiter, along with everyone else we met in Romania, was unbelievably kind. With full bellies we finished packing our stuff to head back to Bucharest. I drove us to the airport in the small bus, which wasn’t as terrible as I anticipated. I literally feel like I can drive anywhere with anything after my time living in Europe.
Except stick shift…aka the most important lesson I could have learned while living here.
Romania was such a pleasant surprise of a trip. Rich with history, culture, and beauty. I have officially been to Eastern Europe now, and I hope to visit more countries nearby when the world starts to breathe again. We arrived back in Germany just in time for shit to hit the fan in the world, and our timing couldn’t have been better.
I am thankful my last trip was such a positive one, and I’m thankful I didn’t have to cancel it.
Q: Am I being dramatic about the Tampa Mountain platform hogs?? LOL.