Next stop: Cluj-Napoca

Written by on May 18, 2010 in Blog, Romania, Travel - 12 Comments

The day following our little Romanian Road Trip, it was time to head out. Tommy and Benjamin had left the previous night, Chris was leaving at the crack of dawn for Istanbul (and an Anzac Day event), and I was boarding a train northeast to Cluj-Napoca for some more time in Romania.

The trip from Brasov to Romania was beautiful. The clouds hung low in the sky, gray against bright green rolling hills and the odd trees poking out of the ground, boasting the first blooms of spring.

And then, after six hours and some harassing by gypsy children, there it was in the distance, spreading up one of those rolling hills in red and yellow and all sorts of pretty, Cluj-Napoca.

Once I got off the train, the skies turned blue. For the first time in nearly a week, I saw the sun. And it was marvelous. I exited the station with my head aimed up, basking in the warm glow and breathing in.

I arrived to Retro Hostel, which is housed practically in the city’s old walls, and checked in.

“You can have any bed you want upstairs,” said the girl at reception.

Well, OK then.

I hauled my life upstairs.

Empty. Both rooms were completely void of people.

But, this time the empty felt completely perfect to me. I hopped in the shower and just stood there, letting the hot water wash over me. I gave myself a mini-facial using some samples I had stashed away in my toiletry bag. I got into pajamas. And, I caught up on some writing.

The perfect night.

Even the next day, when there were still no other people in the hostel (minus one man who I didn’t talk to until later), I was still soaking in the alone time. The quiet. The no-need-to-rush, do-whatever mode that had firmly implanted itself in my body.

I spent the day quietly thinking, exploring the lush botanical gardens, walking about town, writing, doing whatever I felt like doing.

It wasn’t until later that evening, after I had a little nap, did I meet my first friend in Cluj.

About the Author

Diana Edelman is a travel writer and expat currently residing in Spain. Previously, she lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand where she worked for Save Elephant Foundation and Elephant Nature Park, an organization dedicated to rescuing elephants and raising awareness about responsible elephant tourism. A former career breaker and long term solo traveler,  today, Diana is a responsible elephant tourism expert and is the co-founder of #RTTC, the Responsible Travel & Tourism Collective, which includes a weekly chat on Twitter focusing on responsible tourism. She has spoken about responsible tourism at TBEX and has appeared as an elephant tourism expert in numerous documentaries. Recently, Diana was featured in an episode of House Hunters International. Her writing has appeared in About.com, Thought Catalog, The Huffington Post, Matador Network, Travel + Escape, Luna Luna, Vegas Seven, World Nomads, Viator, CheapOair, OneTravel and more.

12 Comments on " Next stop: Cluj-Napoca "

  1. Lenore Sack May 18, 2010 at 11:03 am · Reply

    Love keeping up with you this way. We’ll have a lot to talk about when you return, if ever……Your writing and personal observations are right on the mark. Keep doing what you’re doing. good stuff. Lenore

    • dtravelsround May 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm · Reply

      I will be home again. I think I will extend my trip through my birthday and spend it in Spain, but will be home soon after that as I have a wedding in LA Nov. 14 and wouldn’t miss Thanksgiving with the family. So, I will see you and we will talk!! Thank you for the note! I appreciate it!

  2. Lenore Sack May 18, 2010 at 11:03 am · Reply

    Love keeping up with you this way. We’ll have a lot to talk about when you return, if ever……Your writing and personal observations are right on the mark. Keep doing what you’re doing. good stuff. Lenore

    • dtravelsround May 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm · Reply

      I will be home again. I think I will extend my trip through my birthday and spend it in Spain, but will be home soon after that as I have a wedding in LA Nov. 14 and wouldn’t miss Thanksgiving with the family. So, I will see you and we will talk!! Thank you for the note! I appreciate it!

  3. Abby May 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm · Reply

    You’re all over the place — who can keep up? Amazing trip!

    • dtravelsround May 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm · Reply

      It just keeps getting better!! Seriously though … we need a Skype date.

  4. Abby May 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm · Reply

    You’re all over the place — who can keep up? Amazing trip!

    • dtravelsround May 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm · Reply

      It just keeps getting better!! Seriously though … we need a Skype date.

  5. Candice May 19, 2010 at 8:22 am · Reply

    That sounds like the perfect solo experience. :)

  6. Candice May 19, 2010 at 8:22 am · Reply

    That sounds like the perfect solo experience. :)

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