Once arrived in Romania, we have stayed in the most diverse accommodations ever! From a barn to a chalet, to an abandoned boarding school floor to a monastery...
Bucharest: At Radu and his mom's apartment. Radu is one of the students who take part to the student exchange programme, and Anne and I, who are the smallest of them all, end up staying with Radu, who is the tallest of them all (2,07 meters, yikes). Radu lives in those grey projects buildings that are so common in Bucharest. He lives on the 10th floor with his mom, who is divorced (and according to Radu, one of the first couples to divorce after the fall of Ceaucescu). We'll be sleeping in Radu's bedroom but advise us that, because the water pressure is so bad, we'll have to take a bucket of water from the tub that he previously filled from the neighbours to wash. We'll figure out that water is sometimes a problem in Romania.
Timisoara: In rebellious Timisoara, we get to stay at the former Communist Youth Center. It's kind of like a hostel but nicer. Classes are held on different floors for karate, judo, typing... There is even a small restaurant and a bar. We'll be sharing rooms which means not everybody will have a bed... As long as I have a cover and a pillow!
Arad: Our arrival was announced and we're taken care of by friends of another students who live in the area. It will turn out to be a night on the floor of some stranger's apartment for me.
Village in the mountains near Arad: After our meeting with Partenie and the invitation to stay at the farm, we have to split in two groups. Three will sleep in the guest rooms of the farm (I'm amongst them, still sick from the pizza I ate in Arad) while the others will sleep in their sleeping bags in the barn... which I really wanted to do. At 9 o'clock, in a rustic bed with duck down comforter and pillow, I fall asleep and spend one of the best night's sleep I ever had.
At Estera's house, in Simleu Silvaniei: Estera's house is big and has room for all seven of us. We sleep in one of the bedroom, sharing the bed with two of the girls, but the bed is so hard I can hardly sleep!
Monastery: Late at night, somewhere between Oradea and Sighet, we stop. I'm half asleep... the place is like a blur, but here we are in a monastery. A large dormitory with comfortable big beds and colorful blankets awaits travelers. Diana tells me there's a pilgrimage going on and we might have other visitors.
Tirgu Mures: One of the strangest places we've stayed at. Tirgu Mures is a sizeable city and we stayed in a boarding school. In an abandoned floor of the boarding school, may we say. It was cold and dusty and eerie. We never even heard or see the students (but I guess that was the goal).
Sibiu was probably my favourite accomodation (and my favourite city). In the woods outside of town is Sibiu's Folk Civilization Museum and you can stay in the area. We had a chalet all of our own with a tub and hot water (yay!!!) and toilet paper (you'd be amazed by the shortage of toilet paper). It was our last night together before our Romanian friends had to go back to Bucharest while we were going to wait for the rest of the group in Timisoara. We partied 'til we dropped (actually, I blacked out courtesy of homemade palinca, a 60% alcohol devil) and in the morning, we had a huge table outside our chalet to enjoy breakfast in the woods.