So! April has passed, 4 weeks, just like that and a whole lot has happened! It seems that every single year, something new and exciting seems to happen and this month has already proved it!
In 2013, I moved to Romania.. I’d say that’s pretty exciting, wouldn’t you? In 2014 I moved to Cluj-Napoca from Targu-Mures, I’d say that’s pretty awesome too.. especially considering it was the first time I’d move to somewhere where I literally know nobody!
In 2015, I found a new job, covered the last day of Untold Festival and moved apartments! Every single year, something new and interesting happens.. and well, this year, I started working for a new company again and it’s going really well!
One of the best things about this fresh start is the fact that I’ve been given the chance to make many new friends and connections! Learn about an entirely new industry, but the one period of this year so far that will definitely stick with me, is April.
Some of my colleagues from Canada have just left Cluj-Napoca after spending the whole of April here, helping this new team get set up and started on our project. Obviously, we had to take them around to different places near Cluj-Napoca and show them what Romania is all about!
This was also my first time in most of these places and probably the farthest I’ve travelled since I lived here. It was as much an adventure for me as it was for them! What I think I loved the most about it was the sense of pride I felt when seeing some of these places for the first time. The mix of what I already know and what I am learning or seeing for the first time, shared with people whom’s very first experience of Europe is right here in Romania, a place that I am now proud to call my home.
We travelled deep into the country, walked through hills and across bridges that I could hardly imagine were still reaching across the river, let alone hold the group of people that were standing on it!
The weather was extremely beautiful also, it’s a shame that it has changed a little now and I’m hoping that over the course of this month it’s going to improve as we approach June!
We also travelled to Hunedoara to check out Corvin Castle! This was my first time inside a Romanian castle! I’ve seen a couple from the outside but not had the chance to step inside one of these incredible places! Honestly, I think the thing that took me back the most was how truly beautiful it was but at the same time, the grim past and purposes that it served! Check out: This Wikipedia Article!
Also during our trip to Hunedoara, we stopped by Alba-Iulia to check out the citadel and the fortified town. This place was a perfect example of a good restoration. The EU had put a whole load of funds towards the regeneration of the area, making it a beautiful place to visit and spend some time.
It was the first time our new Canadian friends had seen and tried Kürtőskalács! When I first tried it when I visited, it was something special to me too! They’re gonna have a crack at making that when they get back to Canada!
We explored a number of different places during their visit, including the quaint village museum which sits here right in Cluj-Napoca! Apparently, there are even a few people in Cluj that don’t even know about his place.. which surprised me quite a lot. I suppose it’s one of those, “you don’t tour the city that you live in” sort of things. Even-so, it’s quite impressive to see how some of these buildings and structures were literally transported brick by brick from other cities, just to sit here in Cluj-Napoca for us to remember the way of life back then.
The final destination of our trip was the salt mine – turned attraction in Turda! (Salina Turda). I have visited Salina Turda before on my first visit to Romania which was also in April, just April 2013 instead of 2016! So it was really awesome to go back there again… I must admit, I spent a little bit of time trying to find something which I hid there when I was visiting before, but due to the fact the salt is so corrosive, I’m pretty sure it’s almost long gone.. I sure couldn’t remember where it was exactly.
It was great to return and finally take some photos in this amazing place! It’s truly remarkable how they have turned something so industrial into something that breath taking! In the event of a nuclear fallout, I think I know where I’ll be heading!
Anyway, just a few days ago, it was time to say goodbye to our new friends. It felt like we’d know them forever. They settled in and were truly a part of the family and the team. But more importantly, we made some great friends and I know that we have all left a mark on them both that will never be forgotten!
How did we celebrate? Well, we gathered up whoever we could and hit the local bar… in the rain… on a holiday. Our first reservation was cancelled by the bar because they wanted to close early, so it nearly didn’t happen. But we managed to find a place and settled down for a few drinks before saying goodbye.
It was both sad and exciting as they both are now travelling in other areas of Europe before heading back to Canada!
April 2016 is definitely one that I will remember!
Thanks for reading!