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Summer Road-Trip in Romania: Cluj – Alba-Iulia – Târgu-Jiu – Lainici – Hunedoara – Deva – Aiud – Cluj

Here we are arriving on the memory line at our first road-trip: 600 km in 3 days by car. We started our road-trip in Cluj, in a beautiful august morning, towards Alba-Iulia, through Turda and Aiud. After 2 hours, we arrived at the Alba Carolina fortress, which we visited three months ago.

Nothing was changed since the last time we were here. This time though, we had the opportunity to witness the changing of the guard at the fortresses gate. There were also some reenactment troops from Western Europe, with clothing and props reproducing the ones from some centuries ago.

After a walk on the citadel alleys and a visit at the Coronation Cathedral, we continued our way south having a short halt to eat somewhere near Sebeș and then resuming our trip.

At some point, we made a small mistake: the GPS was set to take us on the shortest road, not on the fastest. So we found ourselves on some secondary roads in Hunedoara county, which became progressively worse and eventually led us in the middle of the forest, by a steep, were you can hardly pass in a SUV. We were lucky to have good weather and an experienced driver who saved us from there.

After this adventure, we convinced the GPS to lead us only on main roads, because the poor gadget didn’t know that, in Romania, some roads are only recommended to pursue in a tank. We passed through Petroșani and then arrived in Târgu Jiu in the evening and went to see our accommodation in a coquette pension near the Constantin Brâncuși park.

Then, we visited The Gate of the Kiss, The Chairs Alley and The Table of Silence and walked beside the Jiu river, at the sunset. The next morning , we also visited The Endless Column and walked around the pedestrian area in the city center, which looks surprisingly good, considering that there are just a few old buildings and more blocks of flats there. Then, we continued our trip heading north, this time on better roads.

We made a short stop at the Lainici Monastery, located in a superb wooded area. Unfortunately, it was a religious holiday that day and the premises were very crowded. Then we continued our road north to Hunedoara. After a short break and a pizza, we visited the castle, the only notable landmark in the area.

The Corvin (or Huniady) Castle is one of the most beautiful medieval fortresses in Romania. Actually, it is one of the few that were preserved in a good state and was renovated. Sadly, the communist regime didn’t respect the Transylvanian cultural inheritance, considering that the edifice is a symbol of Hungarian aristocracy, so they built factories around it, which were then closed, so now the view is quite depressing.

But it is really worth visiting, the interior architecture is also very interesting. We stayed in town for the night at a renovated communist hotel, with pretty decent rooms. In the evening, we walked on the empty and poor streets, a lot of locals being at work in foreign countries and remembered that we are very lucky for being born in nice families and finding each other. 🙂

The next morning, we resumed our trip heading towards Deva, where we didn’t visit the city center, as we were only interested to see the fortress. We parked the car downhill and climbed it by foot, being convinced that it’s healthier this way than going up on the chairlift. 🙂 The fortress is pretty much a ruin, though it was renovated, only a few walls remaining intact. But the view from the top is superb – you can see the entire city and many kilometers around. It’s a must to visit this place!

Then, we continued our trip and the next stop was in Aiud, where we were expecting to see something nice in the fortress. But we were a bit disappointed, the renovation works were just at the beginning, and all we could see were some walls marked by time and buildings of the Reformed Church, closed on Sunday at that time.

We arrived back in Cluj in the evening, on a different route, choosing the highway this time. Being a little tired, we sat at a terrace for a little while, and talked about the experience we had in the past days. We liked it a lot and it made us want to have a road-trip in the entire country next time!

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