To Cluj-Napoca, with reservations

To Cluj-Napoca, with reservations

Sunday, 12th August 2018

A much more leisurely start to today. We were able to lie in at the hotel, have breakfast at 08:15 and then walk to the railway station to catch the 09:57 from Oradea [Romania] to Cluc-Napoca [Romania].

Today’s journey takes 2h 36mins and is approximately 100 miles. We had elected to travel 1st class because it was only slightly more expensive. An equivalent train journey in the UK is Coventry to London. It cost 39lei for the two of us [£8], and that includes reservations for the window seats at a table. Well thank goodness we had booked our seats because the train was heaving, with people standing everywhere. Strangely, the gentleman we had to ask to vacate Matilda’s seat opted to stand and leave his luggage on the seat next to her, despite the heat and the length of the journey.

Unfortunately, the train’s air conditioning was not working and the windows were locked. So it got pretty hot, especially with the volume of people.

We mentioned yesterday about the state of the railway infrastructure here in Romania. Below is an example of a typical rural station. Most of the buildings are derelict, the platforms non existent and you have to walk across the tracks to get to the trains. But there is always a neatly dressed, uniformed, station master stood in front of the station with his flag at the ready.

The hotel we had booked was at the top of the hill overlooking the town. The view from our room’s balcony was…

The hotel had the advantage of a proper swimmer’s pool. So in the afternoon Matilda was able to do 50 lengths. It is compulsory to wear a swimming cap in Romania too it seems but these were available to borrow from the pool reception.

Since we had had a late start, a relatively long train journey, followed by a leisurely time in the hotel pool, and all on a Sunday there was not much culture today. We are staying in Cluj-Napoca again tomorrow and plan to visit the sights then. So down the hill we walked to the main square in search of refreshment.

Matilda chose between two bars on the basis of the comfort of the seats. The choice of beers next door subsequently looked to be more extensive. While we were sampling our first beer of the day in the main square, Robert did some research into the local craft beers and had a look to see if there were any local brew pubs. Small local breweries are on the rise across Europe, and that includes Romania. Anyway he identified that there was one here in Cluj-Napoca called Klausen Burger Brewery. It is mentioned here. When we arrived at the location defined by Google Maps there was no sign of it. We went into another bar at the said location and we were told to go in the lift to the fourth floor. The lift took us up to a very spacious, although empty, modern bar. The sole barman there directed us by pointing up to the fifth floor sky bar…

Which has wonderful views over the city…

In fact you could see our hotel high up on the top of the hill, which Matilda will point out for you…

The beer was very good, Robert particularly liked the Red Revolutin.

We also opted to eat here, which was very good and the waitor was outstanding. We would highly recommend this place for beers, food, ambience, service and views. The only thing that is wrong with it is that it does not seem to be advertised anywhere, not even from the street or in the lift, accessed from the street. On the otherhand it keeps the uninformed riff-raff out, which is a positive. We seemed to be only non-Romanians there.

To finish the day we had to walk up the hill back to our hotel. According to the Health app on the phone it was 17 flights of steps and the guide book tells us it is 400 metres high. We were back in time to view the sunset from our hotel balcony. Good night.

Lesson for the day: Always reserve seats on trains, in advance, if you can.

Miles walked today: 5.2
Flights climbed today: 34

Route Map:

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