Today is set to be a long day of travel. L O N G.
From Eger, we board a local bus to Debrecen two and a half hours away. Debrecen is Hungary’s second largest city. After spending a couple of hours to stop for lunch and stock up on snacks, we hop aboard the train into Romania. The carriages are quite comfortable for the journey. The most valuable thing in my luggage at this point of the trip is my IPOD. I could not have done without it today, the way it simply turned hours and hours into minutes and a good nap. #travellersbestfriend.
Arriving into Romania, we pull alongside another train. Heads hanging out the window of our train, and noticing the shattered glass in the windows (bullet holes?), it’s at this point we realise how close we are to the Ukraine. At the border, the Hungarian guards grumpily stamp us out of their country, while the Romanian guards cheerfully welcome us on in with big smiles and a happy voice while they stamp us into their country. Not what I was expecting for some reason. Though to be honest, I have no idea what to expect of Romania full stop. I mean, I have some pre-conceived notions, no doubt obtained from the media over the years – and probably not an altogether bright picture. But I’ll keep it to myself and see what unfolds. Especially seeing as this is now Marco’s country and he is clearly excited to show it to us.
At the end of the train ride, it’s another two and a half hours by private minivan transport to a town called Vadu Izei in the Maramures region of Romania. We drive up into, down around and through the Carpathian mountains, all the time the sky darkening around us. Images of wolves and Dracula come to mind – yes really. It seems we are driving forever before we finally arrive in Vadu Izei, greated by our host for the next couple of days, Ramona.
It’s been such a long (and boring) day so I am hitting the hay to wake up fresh and early because I can’t wait til tomorrow to see where it is we have ended up!