Friday, October 3, 2008

Bucharest today Brasov (Transylvania) tomorrow

Hiking to Castle Bran.

Read this in an ad in Newsweek for international schools.

"I think having exposure to many ideas, politics, cultures, and ways of thinking can help me adapt my views on the world and finding my place in it. Meeting people with different backgrounds than my own means that I will inevitably learn from them. I want my background on culture to go further than my birthplace."

Szeged, Hungary

Szaged was a very cute relaxing town with a university in the middle. I must have walked around for hours admiring the Austria-Hungarian architecture and the music fountain that played classical music in sync with the spurts of water. Not many people here spoke English, which made it difficult to order food and find my hostel. I walked around town and saw a lot of young people hanging outside a building. I was sure this was my hostel, but when I walked inside I realized it was really a police station.

I eventually found my hostel, which was actually a hotel. I literally had the third floor all to myself. I had fun running around, eating jam and toast for dinner. Finally having privacy and a place to myself. I slept very well that night.

Bratislava, Slovakia

The difference between Western Europe and Eastern Europe are subtle differences when you go to places that border the West like Slovakia.

#1 Difference: Old brick communist buildings are scattered all over the city of Bratislava. These buildings look cold they serve a purpose and that's just about all they do.

#2 Difference: The trains are old and ragged. These trains are not pleasant. They smell and everyone smokes even when sitting next to you. Not to mention to toilets dispose the waste onto the track. Shocking, I know.

#3 Difference: Bake goods are tasty and dirt cheap. I got a croissant for 30p. It was still warm.

#4 The main cities are usually off set by stunning landscape or a huge castle. In Devin and Bratislava have huge medieval castles illuminating the so/so looking cities. The castle in Devin (thus named Castle Devin) was the setting for Dragonheart I, Peacekeeper, and Kull The Conqueror. (

#5 No tourist and not many English speakers.