|Cities I visited on my trip|
|The thermometer in the wagon said it was 17 C inside (63 F), but with that much frost inside, we're pretty sure it was broken...|
We had arranged to stay at a hostel ahead of time, and the owner had said she'd pick us up. When we arrived at the train station in Suceava she wasn't around. We were able to call her and she came straightaway (she had thought we were on the train from Bucuresti, an hour earlier) to get us. She told us the current temperature was -27 Celsius (-17 Fahrenheit)! It was certainly chilly! We got to the hostel and were pleasantly surprised. We had a 4 person room to ourselves with our own bathroom. We also had access to a kitchen, where there was free coffee and free raw milk, so we had some nice cafe lattes the next morning. The next day we took a taxi to the school where Josi's friend Carolin was teaching and living in the attached dorm. We had forgotten to go to the ATM before our trip, so we had very little money between the two of us after paying for the hostel and we weren't entirely sure we'd make it all the way there.
|In Josi's left hand you can see the amount on the taxi meter so far. In her right hand is all the money we have remaining, 3 lei.|
|Laura, Kelli, Carolin, and Josi braving the cold in Suceava.|
|At the bottom of the stairs to the citadel|
|Climbing the snowy stairs|
|It was worth the climb!|
|The train station where I waited for 3 hours before transferring trains|
|This gelatinous casserole is made from the hooves... I didn't fancy it.|
The next day Eniko had the day off from work so she showed me around the area a bit. We went into the city, Gheorgheni, for a bit, and we also visited a castle in one of the other towns that circle Gheorgheni. According to the folks working at the office of the castle, I am the only american they can recall having visited, so I felt very special having gotten to visit. On subsequent days we went ice skating, went to the pool (this town of 4,000 has two and so far as I know, Constanta has none), went sledding pulled by a car, visited the middle school per my request, watched some traditional Hungarian dancing, and visited the museums of Ciumani and Gheorgheni. We also did some other things as well, but there's only so much I can recap in a blog post nearly three weeks later. I stayed with Eniko's family had their home and received the best hospitality. It was really a wonderful experience to stay in Hungarian town, in contrast to a Romanian city. It was like being in a whole other country.
|The church in Ciumani. Nearly everyone is Catholic, so there is just one big church.|
|A banner for the town|
|The view from the top, of the entire basin where Ciumani, Gheorgheni, and the other surrounding towns are located. It was snowing so visibility was poor.|
|Eniko's sister Julia gets naturally carbonated mineral water from a neighbor's well.|
|Eniko and Julia's boyfriend ready the sleds behind the car|
|Eniko and Julia riding on the sleds. I did it for 5 minutes before hoping in the car. I'm not really a thrill seeker.|
|It's really a very beautiful area!|
|The sun setting over Ciumani|
When it came time to move on from Ciumani to Cluj-Napoca, Eniko put me on a bus at 4:25 am that stopped right in her town. I spent six hours in transit and then arrived in Cluj-Napoca, but that's a story for another post, because this one is too long already.