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Hi I've just discovered this community and I had a great time reading… - Eastern European Travel Stories - Post Yours Right Here! [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Eastern European Travel Stories - A place to share

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[Feb. 21st, 2006|03:57 pm]
Eastern European Travel Stories - A place to share


I've just discovered this community and I had a great time reading some of the stories here. I wish I'd had somewhere like this to post in the past when I've been travelling! Anyway, I hope this post is OK cos it's not so much a travel story as a few questions I want to ask to help me plan a trip - but hey, just think of it as encouragement to tell some of your stories!

I'm hopefully going to be doing a CELTA course in teaching English as a foreign language in Krakow this summer, so I'd love to hear from anyone who's spent time in that area and has any recommendations for places around there to visit at the weekends or anything else they think I should know.
After the course I'm planning to spend a week or so travelling - I'd like it to be more, but unfortunately I'll probably have to get back to England to start work. I really want to see Romania and Bulgaria because although I've travelled a lot around Europe, I've never got any further east than Hungary, and from what I know about that area I think I'd like it a lot. The only thing is, because I only have a week or so it's hard to narrow it down to fit it all in, so I'm hoping to get some recommendations for places I really shouldn't miss to help me plan where to go. I hate short trips where you don't really get to see a place properly, but I can't spare more time this summer so I'm hoping to just get a taste of the area and if I like what I see then I'll probably go back for a longer trip next year.

Anyway, my loose plan is to take the train from Krakow to Bratislava, stay there for one night, then fly to Bucharest and spend about a week in Romania and Bulgaria, then fly back to England from Sofia. If anyone has any recommendations for places they think I should include in my trip, that would be fantastic.
I like a mix of cities/towns and countryside, and I'm interested in historical stuff, art and culture. I'm not remotely interested in beaches, shopping or nightlife, so don't tell me to go to any of the beach resorts!! Also, would you recommend bus or train for travelling around this area?

Thanks for any advice you can offer! Sorry if you end up reading this more than once, I've cross-posted it to a few communities so I'll hopefully get lots of answers.

[User Picture]From: wakeelf
2006-02-24 06:14 am (UTC)

Sites to See in Romania

I lived in Bucharest for the summer of '04 and will be returning for 4 months this Fall!!! There is plenty to do in Bucharest: People's Palace, lots of fun historical buildings, several museums, Ceausescu ‘s House and King's Palace, Revolution Square, several beautiful churches, etc Any decent guide to Romania will cover Bucharest well.
If you want to see some beautiful countryside and a really neat city, you should take the train to Brasvo and/or Sinuia (pardon my spelling). The country side in the Valley outside of Brasvo is absolutely breathtaking and full of quaint, little villages some complete with dirt roads. There are also two or three castles or forts in the area that you can check out. Brasvo itself is a beautiful city that was not taken over by the gray concrete of communism in the way Bucharest was. It has retained all its charm and history.
Sinuia is home to Peles Palace which is the former summer of home of Romanian Royalty. It is in a beautiful location in the mountains and the Palace itself is really the only one of its caliber in Romania. It probably doesn't quite compare to a lot of Palaces in Western Europe (I wouldn't know, I have only been to Romania and Belarus!), but it is certainly worth the visit!!
If you want to do the typical tourist thing, you can continue past Brasvo and go to Bran Castle or Dracula's Castle (even though all he did was spend the night a couple of times when traveling between Transylvania and Walachia (sp)). It’s where Van Helsing was taped and its a nice castle but sort of overrated and a tourist trap. I didn't go to the ruins of Dracula's (or Vlad the Impaler) House but you can do that too. They are to the West of Bucharest sort near Criova.
Lastly you might want to consider taking the train to Constansa. Not only do you get to see the Black Sea. But you also get to see Roman ruins of one of the most remote sites in the Roman Empire. There is a fairly nice (especially for E. EUrope) Archeology Museum and somewhat cool nearly intact Roman mosaic.

and I am sorry I just wrote a book... but yeah these are some cool spots to visit...happy travels.
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[User Picture]From: cowprintavenger
2006-02-24 08:05 am (UTC)

Re: Sites to See in Romania

That was really helpful, thank you so much!
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[User Picture]From: drago_mi_je
2006-03-14 03:25 am (UTC)
Welcome and hope to see more of you!
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From: sozopol1
2006-03-18 08:37 am (UTC)

The Balkans

Feel free to contact me. I spent 5 years living in Sofia and Plovdiv.BG I also spent quite a bit of time living in Prague and russia.
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