Monday, July 12, 2010
Brasov--"Probably the Best City in the World"
This past weekend the W(h)ine and Wisdom group (over-50 PCVs) met in Brasov, Transylvania, for gabbing, sightseeing and venting. The 3-hour bus ride up through the Carpathian Mountains was beautiful, and the city itself was a treat (see my Facebook page for pictures I'll gradually post). The weather was strange, but made for great lighting as the dark sky formed a backdrop for the lovely old buildings when the afternoon sun spotlighted them. We did eventually have a gully-washer Saturday evening that drove us inside from our sidewalk seating at an Italian restaurant. Brasov's architecture is a wonderful mixture of Gothic, Medieval, but mostly the stately 18th century style Austrian architects brought to it. Cobblestone streets and flower boxes spilling over with petunias, magnificent churches and bustling squares all charmed us. We took in museums and churches and a breathtaking cable car ride to see the city from high above. We all loved the fact that the city slogan appearing everywhere on cafe umbrellas was "Probably the Best City in the World."***The women in our group were fun to meet, many making long train rides to get there from their sites. Interesting women, every one, with wild stories of their bungles and triumphs in Romania. We stayed at a well-run and well-located hostel which was quite an experience in itself.***I'm now back to the training "camp" and behind in my journal writing homework (in Romanian, of course) and with a pile of dirty clothes, but it was worth it.***Coming next weekend is our Counterpart Conference when our Romanian teacher counterparts whom we'll be working with the next 2 years arrive here for a 3-day meeting after which we'll journey with them (a 10-hour train ride in my case) back to our sites. We'll spend all next week working with them, making plans, and getting our lodging arranged. Then we come back to our training site and prepare for the language exam and our swearing-in ceremony in Bucharest on August 6. I feel I'm on the crest of a giant wave, holding my breath as it sweeps me to the shore where I hope to glide in with only a few sand burns on my knees. May it be so. ;-)