Sibiu, Romania is a charming maze of winding cobblestone streets, large open squares and fine restaurants. It was a very welcomed relief from the gritty streets of Bucharest. I had seen the above blue wall and cat scene photo posted by Vagabon and Dave sixty days earlier in their travel blog and instantly loved it. So I cruised from Texas to Spain, flew from Barcelona to Bucharest, rented a car to Sibiu just to see these beautiful blue tones….. Thank you Bonnie and Dave!
Astra Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization
Getting out of Sibiu was not at all an easy drive. I have successfully navigated at least 1,000 round-abouts during my European travels, Sibiu was somehow a challenge. Maybe there was some mental block driving in the far off land, Romania. I began to cringe each time the GPS said to take the third exit at the round-about. First exits are the easiest, second exits are OK but the third exit of a two lane roundabout and you had better know where you are going and be in the correct lane. We eventually found our way to the country side and the sprawling Astra open-air museum of Folk Civilization.
Inspiration from Dave and Bonnie
Dave and Bonnie Carleton, through their travel blog Vagabon and Dave provided the inspiration and confidence I needed to fly to Romania from Barcelona, rent a car and see the Romanian countryside. If they can an do it in their big motor home, I should be able to drive the same roads in a compact rental car. While still in Utah, I saw their wonderfully captured photo of a cat and a beautifully textured blue wall and old wooden door taken at the open air museum outside of Sibiu, Romania. Apparently it spoke to me. So I took a 15 day cruise to Barcelona, 90 days later flew to Romania, rented a car, found the Astra open-air museum of Folk Civilization, the same door and the same cat! The result is the above photo which I very much enjoy. It was raining periodically this day and the many tourists prevented any cats from making a showing. When the cats would peek out, tourists would shriek with delight, and run to them, chasing them off. I waited over an hour and eventually got these photos.
Mr Grumpy Pants could not understand why any sane person would hang around for such a long time to get a photo of common cats . Obviously I was up to no good. Each time he walked by me, he grunted and shook his head. A friendly conversation or explanation was not an option. Crazy tourists with a camera are apparently not to be trusted.
While waiting for the elusive cats to make an appearance, just outside the courtyard were some beautiful cosmos flowers in full bloom. My Mom struggled to grow these in Ruidoso, NM. They thrive throughout Romania.
Reluctantly I left the blue courtyard and explored the rest of the outdoor Astra Museum. The blues were still very striking and appealing.
The homes in the Astra Folk Museum are authentic Romanian buildings plucked up and moved from other parts of the country to show different styles and aspects of the Romanian culture. My Blog is not where you go to learn in detail about the museum and what you would see on your visit. Rather, I stroll along and take photos of what appeals to me from a photography viewpoint. I’m not in a hurry as I dread the drive back to Sibiu.
Exploring Sibu, Romania Old Town Area
One morning I was extra ambitious and was able to get out into the parking lot where we were staying by 7:00AM as the church clock shows. Any later and I would have missed the setting moon. This was also basically the view from our room. Notice the roof windows and arches which look like eyebrows. I hope this similarity would have occurred to me on my own. But once again due to the blog from http://www.vagabonandave.com/ I was on the lookout for them.
When staying in such an old hotel, you never are sure what to expect. While our room was large and spacious the jungle gym maze of support beams presented quite an obstacle. Nobody six feet tall should stay in this room.
There is a large, open central square with beautiful old buildings on the perimeter. More example of the eyebrow windows.
Outdoor Grocery Store
During my early morning outing I saw a car load of produce being delivered and unloaded at a local grocery store. No large trucks can navigate these narrow streets, so the two girls who own the store fill their compact car with the produce for the day.
While lurking and pacing about in the background, waiting or the grocery stocking to be completed, a local customer stopped by for a chat. I’m guessing the little poodle dog hanging from the harness got tired of the walk, like it does most mornings.
I wanted to help them so they would finish while their beautiful produce display was in the shade. “Come back later, it will be wonderful” they said. I waited and waited, regretfully seeing the sun start to bleed into the scene. By the time they were finished their entire display was in bright sunshine. All I could do was to use a fast shutter speed to not blow out the highlights on the veggies, turning everything else black. The interesting part of this grocery store is all the produce was outside the store accessed from the sidewalk.
Time for Dinner, the Highlight of our Day
Finding some interesting place to have a very late lunch or early dinner is the highlight of our day. We always sample the local food, but still try to find some Indian or other ethnic food along the the way. So tonight it is Indian fusion at the Syndicate Gourmet. It was a small quaint place with only three employees. It turned out to be one of the best of the trip so far. We are simply going to dinner and these are the wonderful scenes along the way. I’m refraining from posting a photo of our meals…
Notice the street light above. Likely due to a lack of space and cost savings, there are no light poles. The street is too narrow to require lighting from both sides. A cable is simply strung down the middle of the narrow street, supported by the adjacent houses with street lights hung in the middle along the way.
A long time ago I gave up trying to understand why some photos appeal to some people and not to others. The photo below is one of my favorite of the trip. The unusual tones of green and more of those great blue colors made me take way too many photos of this scene.
Soon I noticed waiters running food from a kitchen down an alley, past this door and finally into the restaurant, so I photographed them as well. Not a very efficient kitchen layout, but I enjoyed watching them ‘do the hustle’ with large platters of food.
Returning from dinner, the street lights began to come on.
It is one of the reasons I enjoy traveling. Beautiful, hundred year old street scenes not found anywhere in the USA and unusual foods. It is interesting to me that a place I’d never heard of nor ever wished to visit in my lifetime would be so much fun to explore.
Goodnight from Sibiu, Romania.
Next we get to visit a cemetery, one like you have never seen before. So popular, there is an admission fee.
I continue to be fascinated by your photos and commentary! From you I am learning to forget snap shots. Find something that inspires you and shoot that; it will speak to your soul. Heck, you traveled across the world to see a blue wall with cats. Your curiosity was peaked. Love the realism of the round abouts. As we have yet to experience them, we are learning via your stories!
Thank you for a wonderful beginning to our Sunday.
I learn from others as well. I should include more photos of people. They can add a lot to the photo and tell of the culture. Thank you for following along.
hey there are lots of blue walls and doors and cats in Mykonos!! Did you leave Croatia to go to Romania? When will the adventure lead you to America?
We had a place picked out on a Greek Island, but that will have to wait a while. It got too late in the year and now it is the rainy season. The Greek Blue seems to be really brilliant and unique. These BLOG post are a few weeks behind. The date on them is accurate regarding our travels. So actually we moved out of Romania, to Serbia to Croatia to Bosnia back to Croatia to Montenegro. So many blogs to come…. We are glad to have missed the political season, but now we are missing the CUBS in the World Series.
I’m with you. I love the blue walls and the green doors. You are really making me want to go to Romania!
How can a blue wall or a green door speak to me (us)?? Somehow it can happen.
So beautiful. My 14 year old loves your pictures and now is asking to go to Romania!
It is a big world to explore. I went to college, worked hard for 35+ years THEN I traveled. I see so many young people doing it differently. They travel inexpensively and extensively whenever they can. There are many young 20-somethings everywhere everywhere we travel. On the bus to Kotor from Dubrovnik, the bus was held up for 8 young college students catching the bus just in time. Next they are off to Albania. WOW. More than one way to go about exploring the world. Good luck to your son.
Love what you are doing Harold and a bit embarrassed by all the credit you bestow on us, but a big thanks nevertheless!
Hope to meet you soon, hopefully in an exotic location!
Keep on Keepin’ on. I admire your travels and will continue to follow them.
Really like the eyebrow windows, also the produce looks great. Your pictures you traveled so far to obtain came out better than you pictured huh, great blog Harold! I was picturing navigating those roundabouts, if you’re in the wrong
lane it is all over or do over again. Enjoyed buddy stay safe. P.S. Did you see the umbrella shot I posted for you?
Thanks for reading Larry. Yes, I did see the umbrella picture and commented on it. Nice you’re thinking of me…. 😉