Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Okay new plan.

Remember that last post?

Yeah nothing actually happened the way we planned today. This is where the lesson "always check twice, or thrice, or just be really really sure" comes to use. 

For the first time in two months, we missed our ride. Now that's technically not that bad of a record. But for us? Yeah, that was about the last straw. As we finally get back on our feet, ready to finish this trip after almost booking a flight home...then missing the bus to Budapest that only leaves every three days or so.

We were waiting for an hour, totally on time. Just at the wrong stupid bus stop a half mile away from the correct stupid bus stop. So we slunk back to the hotel lobby from the night before, since it had wifi. I might have cried a little. In frustration. I was so ready for that 11 hour bus ride that would get us out of the silly transport town of Targu Mures. 

By the way you should google maps that really quick, for some perspective. Targu Mures, Romania -- Budapest, Hungary. (And how far away we are from the rest of the world.)

After making a list of options:

Finally we got out wits about us, and checked in for another night here at Hotel Darina, because we decided there wasn't a way to leave the city today.

*fast forward through about 10 different plans*

Wow, Targu Mures does fly to Budapest. Awesome. It's five times as expensive, but there's a flight tomorrow. *book* It's amazing, all over Europe you can just buy an air ticket somewhere the day before, pretty much no problem. This was a budget airline, sure, but the flight wasn't even full.

We are out of Romania now. Technically we were there three months of the year, 6-29 to 8-1. ;) I'll really miss it there.

Okay moving on. Hungary! (And a new currency for two days. That's always fun to work with.)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Where do we go, from here?

I guess we are feeling a little like Buffy and the Scooby gang right now. Though dancing and singing hasn't been our top priority on the farm, we've gone through quite the mid-trip-crisis.

Goodbye, Ferma Indianlui; till the next time we come back to visit beautiful Romania. We are on our way to Budapest now, only an 11 hour bus stuff, that. 

I guess I better start from the beginning, this past week. In my last post, I believe I mentioned I was sick. Well I didn't actually end up recovering until yesterday, after a trip to the hospital and some antibiotics. I relapsed into some worse kind of bug, and we still aren't sure what it was, but I threw up for the first time in seven years, so that sucked. In fact, I was sick so much my stomach wouldn't really uncramp, hence the hospital visit. 

Krishan knew someone at the hospital so I didn't had to wait in the waiting room very long, and after an ultrasound to look at all my insides, they gave me an IV drip with some muscle relaxants and glucose to rehydrate me. I had never been to a hospital before so I had a slight panic attack (um needles.) but Daciana and Tessa kept talking to me and I made it pretty well. Honestly I don't remember much of it. 

At this point I felt the worse I've ever felt before, and Tessa and I had a little melt down a long time coming...we were hours away from changing our tickets home to next week. Honestly, 60 days in, we are both completely burnt out from traveling and just really want to go back to the monotonous routine of every day life. This morning though, we felt a tiny bit better (and after finding out how much it would take to get home early, um ouch.) we decided to continue almost as we planned originally. Even though we are both really homesick. 

To vent, here is what I am missing right now:

Ice cubes
A different shirt than the four I have
Not having to shop every day for each meal
TV (if I'm being really honest here.)
Oh, I forgot I owned a laptop.
Any paper book
Mexican food
My kitties

But I'll get them all back in about 40 days. Not that we are counting down or anything.

Since we decided to stay, as Calvin's dad would say, it builds character.

Doesn't make it any easier.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One more week of Romania

It finally happened. I got sick.
I was crossing my fingers for a completely sick-free trip, but it was inevitable for the length of my trip. I'm better now after two days of fever, four heads of garlic, and lots of mint tea. One of the workers was sick too, and then Bernardo, another volunteer, got sick just after I did, so we figured it was some sort of influenza going around. 

It was the worst week I've had in recent memory. I literally felt like I was going to die. It's bad enough getting sick away from home, but then factor in the whole: Transylvania. Farm. Closest village 40 mins away. Maybe a doctor. Probably not English speaking. 

Okay enough depressing news.

Well Philippe left, so that is depressing; I lied. He has been out one friend we made on this trip so far, since we've been so busy hopping from place to place, and every hostel we've been in anyway has been empty. Tessa puts it best, "It's like summer camp is ending and we have to say goodbye to everybody." Considering it was just the three of us though...everybody consists of  Philippe. He is in Budapest now actually, where we are heading next. 

A new volunteer arrived soon after he left, to fill the whole. Tessa was beginning to go stir crazy without someone to tease and mess with. Thankfully Daciana is perfect for that, and has lots of working energy. 


Yesterday I finally saw the cheese making process! Unfortunately I forgot to grab my camera since it was a last minute discovery, but I'll try to see it again in the next week.

(Sorry, no picture here.)

Two days ago a van arrived and this is what we did: 

"It's a white van. With a body bag on top."

Okay so once it got here, the body bag turned into a blue canoe, but I think it's easy to see how similar they look from half a mile away.

This old couple, Helena and Nick, are from the Incredible Farm. (Incredible Edible) From what I understand, this Incredible farm is outside Yorkshire, and is like a self sustaining community with educational courses on farming and natural things of all sorts. 

Helena and Nick are on a trip around Romania, kind of an annual thing. They are full of knowledge and are currently talking with Krishan about ways to improve the farm. I think they're very nice and unique people in general, and share fun stories with us.

This is a blog post Nick recently wrote, and I encourage you to take a look; it's a beautiful little story.

The gypsies in some places are known for their bowl carving, and Helena made sure to buy a whole bunch of them this year. Tessa helped her oil some.


Cathryn made some ice cream with the Buffalo milk: walnut cinnamon. We didn't have the patience to seperate cream for it for now, so it's more ice than cream, but still tasty! Buffalo milk is significantly higher in fat than cows milk so that helps. And it's fresh/raw, so whole milk.


Today we got back to hard working in the field. I stay wayyy away from Tessa and her scythe.

And the rest of us are left with these tiny things for detail weed-annihilation. 
(I think I posted a pic before.)

They're still wicked fun to use. :)

The problem with the food forest is the thistles and other nasties are getting way out of control, and we are trying to convert the land from...wait I can remember this...bacterial to fungal? From weeds and grasses and flowers, to soil...stuff. Okay Tessa understands this much better than me.

Pretty much we have to chop down everything to let the trees and bushes grow. And over the past few weeks summer has done her job and everything we don't want alive, is waist high! Not good!

It's getting better now. Lets have another pic of Tessa's badassery.

Excuse the crookedness. This is candid, so sneakiness was involved.


We have one more week here! About. We leave August 1st or 2nd. And one way or another, we will get to Budapest...still working that part out.

Two thirds of this trip is over! And I'm-dare I say it?- ready to go home now...but I'm sure this will change once we get on the road again. It will be weird since this has been our home for the whole month.

Tessa and I will definitely come back someday. In the very least, we need to get some gypsy bowls.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Yeah we're still here.

A few more activities happening in the last few days....

One of Krishan's friends has a bee keeping hobby, and she offered to show us the hives in the food forest because she happened to have some extra gear on hand. I knew I wasn't allergic, so I took just the netting hat and put on my jacket, and Tessa put on the spiffy full body suit just to be safe, because she is allergic to about half the world.

There are three hives, one recently swarmed. That means when a hive gets too big for the space, and there are too many bees, they start to make another queen, and the new group needs a new place to go. The two hives are now three.

Neither of us are afraid of bees, so it wasn't super terrifying. Certain bees have different jobs, and I think it's the drone ones, they kind of perpetually dive bomb you. But bees are good. And if you talk quietly and stay calm, they stay calm too. Relatively.

The lady (I can't say we ever learned her name, but she was Dutch) smoked the hives and took some slats out to show us the inner workings, and to check the hives were healthy. Healthy hives have a queen (which is hard to spot sometimes) and sections with honey, and different compartments with the larvae. All of the hives he has are doing quite well. And also, before I thought the smoke made them sleepy, but Dutch Lady said they don't like it, and it makes them stay inside the hive because they think something is wrong.


A baby buffalo was born last night! We were all hanging out near the fire and they brought it down from somewhere, I'm not exactly sure where, but the carrier van came from the hill slash forest.

We didn't see it being born, but I did get some video of it wobbling around. The baby buffalo was still slick and had its umbilical chord. They let it wobble into the pen with others, and its mama. At least I'm pretty sure that's what happened. There were five workers involved and a lot of Romanian back and forth.

Well it doesn't look adorable from this picture today, but that's the best picture we could get, and it's mama was giving us LOOKS. That's her ear to the right.

Sorry for the Tessa's-arm close up. But I wanted you to see the LOOKS we received from the mama.


After learning Philippe is an artist, we both really wanted him to draw something for us. And he is leaving in two days, so we spent half an hour yesterday interrupting his yoga-ing in the back garden, trying to figure out which medium he prefers and what he needed. Considering we couldn't get much, Krishan found some water colors and we both managed to scrounge up some small pieces of paper. Something simple, that is all we ask for....

We concluded bribery would be our best hope, and so came up with some ideas. I gave him a small earbud rubber thingy, since he had lost one of his, and I brought two pairs of earbuds. And Tessa fixed his murse (man-purse) by sewing a new zipper for him. This was a pretty fair trade, for backpackers on a farm.

Philippe's murse below. He wouldn't let me take a pic with him wearing it, and it took some convincing to even get it alone. "Why? Why would you want to take a picture of that? Well if you must."


Our zucchini is still...growing. Way too much. But, Krishan is leaving tomorrow for Bucharest again, and will bring a bunch of them to his restaurant.

Ah. His restaurant! I haven't mentioned it yet, have I? Well. You'll have to wait till the next post.

Monday, July 15, 2013


We learned some games today.

Krishan has come back from Bucharest with his two kids, Idan and Lucas. They're about 7 & 10 years old; very fun and adorable.

So since there wasn't much work today for us, and the kids wanted to do something, Philippe, Tessa, and I all played some games out in the nice weather.

We learned that "European" hide and seek isn't the same. Combine that with the fact that it's been about a decade since either of us have actually played the "American" hide and seek...well we really sucked. And Philippe is tall and runs fast, so we were outnumbered all together.

Second, they got the ball out and started playing "piggy in the middle". The boys didn't understand why we were laughing so hard. But when we explained that ours was "monkey" in the middle, Idan adopted that idea very quickly and the game became doubly goofy.

Cathryn and Philippe found some more mushrooms in the woods, and besides finding the deadliest one ever, the rest are apparently delicious. And they're both still alive today, so I trust it now.
(To the left is the new volunteer, Bernardo, from Puerto Rico.)

Philippe was teaching them how to use his "poi" to do tricks. This led to some entertaining results.

Krishan tried it out too.

Our garden is bursting with zucchini. There are WAY too many of them. And we don't even have an oven. So our zucchini recipes are starting to become repetitive.

Frying buffalo cheese to have with our clover jelly. So tasty! Sorry Tessa, I should have warned you I was taking the picture.


It's been a few days since rain has fallen, so the garden beds are dry. We are hoping to get some afternoon showers today...saves time having to water them all by hand. But I don't even know of the weather here because my weather app can't get a fix on my location....

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Spoon Man

I promise I didn't forget about blogging. (Or globbing as Tessa calls it.)

Workawayers usually get a day a week off, so we took our first free day to go touring around the area. Cathryn has her car that she shipped overseas (after literally filling it all the way up with Trader Joe's groceries) so she took us to a few villages nearby.


The name may sound familiar. There's one UNESCO site, an old church. It was one of the coolest churches I've ever been to. There's a tower in the middle and then a wall full of rooms surrounding the area, with a courtyard too. It's all very quiet and accessible. 

(I forgot to take a picture on my phone.)

Prince Charles owns a few houses in Viscri but apparently his wife doesn't let him stay there because it's not super fancy and she's kinda spoiled like that. At least that's my interpretation. 

We bought some local honey:


The Spoon Man.

At the top of a hill where a famous church stands, we hung around for a little while to take pictures. Soon we spotted a crafter's booth with a bunch of spoons on display. They were very beautifully crafted and the guy sitting there started telling us about these spoons. Only two countries are known for their spoons, Romania and Wales. And this is when I notice he is actually carving one at the moment. His explaining wasn't at all trying to sell to us, spoon wittling is just a family tradition of his. His whole air was just so genuine and he got really enthusiastic in telling us what all the designs mean...

I couldn't help but buy one. It's about 10inches long.

Let us hope it makes it home all right...!
(Made of linden wood and glazed in beeswax.)

His website is and it's all in Romanian. So if you want to learn about any of the stories or meaning behind his spoon designs you can just use google translate or something, maybe recall your Latin studies.

We got ice cream at the bottom of the hill. All natural yummy. Tessa got black vanilla (we still aren't sure exactly how/what that is) and coconut. I got strawberry and kiwi. The day was a hot one, so this refreshed us!

Back at the farm, look at this awkward adorableness! (Baby buffalo: "what the hell are you doing at my fence?")

And this evening a new volunteer is coming to the farm, a guy from Puerto Rico who is cycling around Europe. Yeah. On a bicycle. 

Now there will be five of us! Cathryn, Philippe, me and Tessa, and soon Puerto Rico.

Krishan's still in Bucharest, we aren't sure if he is coming back today.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Farm stuff

For those who aren't very familiar with work trade rules, the usual trade is about 4 hours of work each day in return for some meals and a place to sleep. They're nicely laid back here so we just find projects and work on them for a while. If its outside, then we work on that until it rains, then switch to something else inside. And of course, siesta. :)

What we've been doing the past few days:

Tessa and I got to watch the workers milk the buffalo in the evening (since morning milking is like 5am) and we even saw one of the calves and it was sooo adorably awkward. Lots of pictures. Next we will have to watch them make cheese.

There is a developing food forest in the fields, and mostly we have been working on fixing that up, all of us. First we had to clean around, unchoke, and mulch the trees and bushes. And that's once we have found them under all the other natural growth. Trees like apples, pears, plum, mulberry, and chestnut are common, and they were planted last year. The bushes around them are usually red or black current so we get to snack while working. :)

Another huge project that's our main focus is charting the land. This afternoon we spent hours mapping out the food forest and marking coordinates where all the trees and bushes are located. This is all by taking big meter-sized steps of course. But with all five of us, we got a system down pretty fast, and were able to record all the data for the first 60x100 meters (200x330 feet), but we are barely halfway done. Safe to say, we got a ton of walking in for the day.

Now we are creating some graphing paper and making a to-scale map of the main living area buildings/veggie garden/food forest parts of the farm. At least all that's mainly used, because Krishan's land is 500 acres all together.

We spent a few hours picking clover flowers all over, and then Tessa magically made clover jelly. It's incredibly delicious! We have a couple pounds of it but it's going away pretty quickly. Yum.

And we also went foraging in the forest about a mile away for mushrooms. Cathryn knows a whole lot about mushrooms and knows which ones are worth picking. Then we cataloged the species and Cathryn is going to dry them for soups later. They look pretty funny.

The milk comes every evening and we tried to make some butter. This is the ancient machine that separates the cream from the milk, creating skim milk and cream at the same time. Our butter didn't work this time, so we aimed for yogurt, and then ended up with some sort of buttery cheese two days later. Well it's tasty.

Anyway it's great fun and hard work here so I'll update again when something else exciting and new happens!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our first work trade

We're leaving the nice village of Curtea de Arges today. We stayed longer than originally planned (well because we weren't sure where to go yet) and went to see the one last tour attraction here. Actually since Poenari castle is in the neighboring village...the only tourist attraction. Really, if you google image search "curtea de arges" this will pop up:

It's very pretty and detailed, worth the half hour walk across town. 

So now we are heading to another small village, Rupea, this time outside the city of Brasov. It's about 5 hours away from here and north. (Red dot)

A few months ago Tessa and I signed up for which is a site that's sort of like helpx, which is older I think; people looking for work trades, and visa versa. Since we signed up and sent out requests, we have gotten two "already full" (five months in advance) and the rest didn't even respond at all. Finally as we tried to figure out something to do after Curtea de Arges this post popped up.

"Help out at a permaculture farm in Northern Transylvania."

Right up our alley!

I didn't know what exactly permaculture was, so I looked up an exact definition:

"a system of cultivation intended tomaintain permanent agriculture orhorticulture by relying on renewable resources and self-sustaining ecosystem."

So we contacted them right away and they responded a few hours later saying we were more than welcome to come stay and help out at the farm. We got really excited; finally, something more than touristing around big cities! Work! Experiencing rural Romanian life! Anyway. Maybe we got a little too excited. :)

But of course getting there was much frustration as usual, and after a whole day of traveling and figuring out these Internet timetables for busses aren't actually accurate (I'll spare you the details because you've seen my previous getting-lost posts), we found our people...

We googled the guy's name, actually. Because we were curious to what this farm actually is. It was a very new post on the site, and had no feedback or anything yet. Here is what we found:

If the link doesn't work, YouTube "Krishan George tedx"

So yep, we are staying on his farm now, with him and a bunch of workers who differ every day.

Right now there is only one other volunteer, an Italian guy staying for the month, and then another lady who is staying here indefinitely to help with everything in general. Our host Krishan, the farm owner, is Indian but he sounds British and speaks a number of languages. I can tell by talking with him and looking at him that he has great visions for this place, and I can't wait to see what happens in the future, if we come back. (As you can tell in the video)

Oh, and a few camera guys. They're making a documentary about Krishan and this farm idea, hopefully to pitch to the Discovery Channel or something. I'm not sure details, but they're really nice people too.

For now we are staying here for....who knows how long. As long as there are projects to keep us interested. Right now a few items on the list are: making some curtains for the bathroom window, creating a visual list for composting the right foods, and coming up with a way to recycle our glass, paper, and plastic, when it can't be repurposed. Since we are in the middle of nowhere there are no recycling facilities within a reasonable range, its a task.

I tried some fresh (raw, unpasturized) buffalo milk, butter, and cheese today. And it's really rich and delicious. They have 150 water buffaloes on this 500 acre piece of land, and they employ some nice gypsies to take care of them, milk them, and also deal with the horses which are not broken in yet.

It's raining outside now, and we are chillin inside from working in the fields this morning. I've already learned a bunch about plants and my brain is still processing it all, but I love it.

(Not sure how this panorama will show up on the computer. It's a view from our dorm door from when I got up this morning.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Poenari Castle

We took a baxi (yeah they're here too) to the village of Căpățânenii Pământeni today. Poenari Castle is here, which is the castle famous (to pretty much nobody but historians) but to them it's known because Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad the Impaler) lived there for a period of time.

He is one creepy lookin dude. My picture of his statue in Bucharest does not do the creep factor justice, so here you go:

If you want to read about the sickening torture he was known for, the "impaling"  here it is:

Warning, it's gross.

In order to get to this castle you have to take the baxi to the town mentioned above, and then walk a further 2 kilometers out of town into the mountains. It's an extremely pretty area. Then you find the stairs in the trees, and start ascending the mountain. It's almost 1500 steps which doesn't sound too horrible, but on switchbacks up a mountain, straight up, in the mosquitoy forest, realizing how out of shape you are...oh and don't forget the fact that you're wearing leggings and heavy socks and hiking boots even though it's 85 out. Because lime disease.

After much huffing and puffing, we reach the top! It only took us 45 minutes or so. And it's cool with a nice breeze. It costs a few bucks to get in (5 Lei= $4ish) which is kind of silly. And the guy who is the only one working up there has to walk up and down the mountain each day for work. That's a commute that'll get you in shape.

There isn't much of the castle. Like, it's not huge, and extremely off the track, but that's cool for us. We found a ledge, ate lunch, and revived ourselves before exploring around and taking pictures. Tessa read that a portion of the castle actually fell into the river below in an avalanche at one point. There is no roof, so it was hard to picture if what we walked on was the top? Or just broken down? Only a few people came while we were up there, so we had much of the place to ourselves. And had way too much fun goofing off. 

Part of this goofing off was going to include making a cheesy vampire pose somewhere, but we spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to make fake fangs with your fingers and it was just not working at all. So we resorted to looking thoughtful about how we would torture out next victims.

Some pictures.

Almost there!! And it's flatish ground.

"Very nice slave labor handicraft." 

"How shall I torture someone today?"

"We're in Dracula's castle, suckers!!" (Oh bad pun, Leah.)

Sorry Tessa but I couldn't not put this up. It's our failed attempt at looking vampiristic.

By the way this whole history is about as accurate as the Greek mythologies/history, because accounts from twelve different angles say different things. But it's generally the popular belief. Popularly the general belief?

There is a castle in Brasov, Romania, that claims to be the "Dracula's castle" but it's super touristy, so we are going with this one. Anyway Poenari Castle claimed to be Vlad the Impaler's castle, whom Dracula is claimed to be based off. There is a lot of claiming in history. Again. You just have to go with it.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Curtea de Arges. And getting lost. Again.

Things never really go how they're planned. At least on this trip. No matter how much we think we have figured out to get somewhere, and contacts, directions, all that stuff...we still manage to aimlessly wander around for a full half hour every time. And then by some crazy random happenstance, we find someone and everything is okay and we arrive at our destination. It's nerve-wracking and exciting at the same particular incident happened this afternoon, and I'd like to share it. It's a little long, but we had to trudge through it, which was longer. ;)

We check out of our hostel at noon, and head to the bus station. After a city bus ride, and two metro lines, we get to the place and can't find a single sign as to where the station is supposed to be. We wander this way and that around the metro exit, and then find it across the street and down a little. There are two buildings and about 10 buses lines up, all different brands and sizes. Our bus is scheduled to leave at 2:30 and we are an hour early. We're pretty confused right now because there isn't really any signs. Or ticket area. Or anything helpful, even in another language.

Someone shows up at the info desk, probably because we are loitering around  it. He doesn't speak much English but a lady in passing does, and she tells us which platform the bus will show up. It occurs to us all the sudden that we don't know how much the bus ride will cost and crap is there an ATM around because we are low on money?!

The lady stops by again and says the bus will pull up soon. We ask how much the ride will cost and she says 25 Lei each.

To our name, we have 46 Lei. 

*insert monentary freak out*

We are 4 Lei short, which is about $1.75 USD. She is so nice and says, "Here I'll give you the 4 Lei." And after receiving many thanks from us, now having exactly what we need to leave the city and not a banī more, she boards her bus and leaves.

Good start. Good karma.

The bus ride is only about 2 hours, but once we start getting into this small town of Curtea de Arges, the driver starts stopping at all these random places along the street, and more and more people get off...until we are the only ones left. Right now we are assuming the last stop will be the bus station, right?

Yeah no.

He dropps us of at a steet. Random street. "Finish!" Um. Okay. So we have the map of the area screenshot on our phones, but that only does so much, especially when the road you're on isn't even on there. Our hostel people are supposed to pick us up at the station so we decide to find the station.

Finally after almost an hour, we are hot, hungry, frustrated, having to go to the bathroom, and a little pissed off at everything in the world. So Tessa sits down with a resigned sigh and I spot a bus stop attached to a kiosk-store thing across the street. There are two women talking in the entrance. I leave the bag of groceries with Tessa and cross the street, managing to avoid about five taxis beeping at me.

I approach the two and tentatively say "English? Directions?" They sort of nod, and I show them the map on my phone.
They pass my phone back and forth (while a small part of me thinks back to the guy who stole my phone) and their faces aren't looking too comprehending. 

The smoking guy says something like "oh I can show you." And as he points to his car alarm bells go off in my head, screaming "gypsy!" Which isn't very kind of me. But really. So I kind of say "how about walking me there?" And I say my friend is waiting across the street.  He doesn't look particularly harmful and there are now five people around me who seem to know one another.

At this point a lady pulls up in a purple car and starts speaking to him, and me, and at first I'm thinking "oh crap oh crap is she warning me away from this guy saying not to trust him??" But then she turns to me and says: "Tessa? Are you Tessa?" Which is about the last thing I'm expecting to hear at the moment. And I point across the street saying "That's Tessa! Yes! Are you our ride??"

The lady who picked us up said she had been asking the taxi cabs while she drove around and around looking for us. They had said yeah there were two backpackers walking this direction (or something like that) and she had seen me from the road. The smoking guy I talked to was apparently the husband of her son's ex-teacher, and her brother was there too, helping out. AND our bus driver coming into town knew her as well.

This is a very small town.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Exploring the City of Joy

According to our tour guide, that is.

Tour guide? Yep! Searching for things to do in Bucharest yielded this result. Free city walking tours. It was about 2 hours long and we learned a whole lot about the city. In English. This is much more preferable than tagging along awkwardly and listening in on tours of other cities in a variety of languages...not that we have done that, of course.

I am grateful the weather actually held up today; I actually had to wear my sunglasses.

Here are some sights of Bucharest:

Vlad Tepis. Aka Vlad the Impaler. Aka Dracula....or whom he was based on, at least. You can't really tell in the pic, but even this statue was terrifying. Along with the story our guide was explaining to us, how exactly people were impaled by him? I can't ever forget it. Ew. Ewewew.

Ah it's a little clearer here.

Our guide kept saying, all these monuments (maybe he meant statues) keep appearing in Bucharest. Pretty much every week a new one is discovered. The people don't even know where they're coming from, or what they stand for anymore. Here is one that appeared today:

It's all wrapped up nicely.

And this statue is pretty famous. The Internets have meme-d it a lot. We call it the awkward statue. It is the Roman Emperor Trajan; and the dog represents the one from Rome, Capitoline Wolf, who nurses Remus and Romulus. The funky thing sticking out of the dog's head is a snake with the head of a dog. The statue symbolizes the merging of Roman and Dacian people. Dacia was the region Romania was once called, if I'm remembering this all correctly. It's a very fascinating history, and Trajan was especially known to be one of the best Emperors ever. Maybe look him up. 

And here is me. With the awkward statue.

Tomorrow morning we head off to Curtea de Arges, to see Dracula's Castle! :)