Brasov

On Wednesday evening we were able to tag along on a trip to the nearby city of Brasov. We were thankful to have Elke (Ebbe's wife) to show us around and tell us about some of the sights. Brasov is about 30 minutes away from PDF by car. PDF is only 6 km away from Râsnov, but the road to Râsnov from PDF is a very rough gravel road full of potholes. To get to Brasov from Râsnov, you continue on the same highway, so it's very simple. And in Romanian the names of the towns don't sound the same even though they look the same in English!

Here's a picture of Miriam...finally in a carseat. Though probably not up to Canadian standards, it is certainly better than nothing! We are very thankful to have been able to borrow it.


Jerry and Ebbe were chatting Romanian politics on the way:


Once we got to Brasov, Elke took us to the city centre. It's very old and rich in history. Because the city is so nice and the weather is so nice here because of the mountains, Brasov is a tourist destination for people in other parts of Eastern Europe and Romania, particularly Bucharest which is a huge city and really hot in the summer. 



The church in the photo below is called The Black Church. It is a Lutheran church that went by another name until it was burned in 1689 and all the stone went black. It took 100 years to restore so that's how it came to be known as The Black Church.




There is still a small German community in Brasov (known here as the Saxons) that hold services at this church every Sunday in German.

These city walls date back to the 15th century and were built to protect the city of Brasov from invasion:




This is the view from above the walls:


It was nice to see that the old parts of the city have been fairly well maintained and even updated in places. 


We walked along the street in the picture below. It's full of restaurants and shops, so we stopped for some Kebap for dinner before going home.


Since Brasov is a fairly big city it has a couple of malls, many stores like H&M and Carrefour (a European box store like Walmart or Superstore except classier. Carrefour is also in France and Spain.), and even a Hornbach which is basically Europe's answer to Home Depot - orange aprons and everything. 

We've heard that this area is considered to be fairly modern compared to other areas of Romania. Ebbe and Elke said that when they first moved here from Germany (about 16 years ago) it was impossible to find simple grocery items, produce or things like diapers because certain things still weren't available after the end of communism. Now, finding these things in this area is as simple as in other parts of Europe. Unfortunately, this still isn't true for all parts of Romania.

We were fairly impressed by Brasov and the Western conveniences it offers while maintaining a charming Eastern European feel. We hope to visit it again while we are here!

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