Suceava is a very small city in the north east of Romania, not far from the Ukraine border. We did Airbnb here, staying three nights with a really lovely old lady. Well oldish, I guess. She must have been in her 60’s. Anyway, she had the huge family home to herself because the kids had moved out and her husband works in Greece six months of the year. She seemed really lonely and spent her days looking after her gorgeous 10 month old granddaughter.
Our host wanted to cook for us all the time, but we felt bad about letting her and she did it anyway a couple of times. So we got some really amazing traditional Romanian food!
We came up to this city because it was the best place to base ourselves to explore the area which is known for the painted churches. Plus there was a fortress. Although we only ended up visiting one church, it was the best one and really well preserved. It was crazy to see the detail and colour that was used and how the weather elements haven’t destroyed it too much.
Speaking of weather, on our first day in this city, it was 20 degrees lower than it had been for the rest of our trip, with a lovely 13 degrees and plenty of rain. We went from summer to winter overnight. Which was actually refreshing not to have to walk around sweating in the heat all day.
It was a long drive day down south to Brasov because we avoided the main highway and drove through the mountains and through a massive gorge. The views were amazing and it was crazy to drive so close to the mountains. Often the road was extremely narrow, changing into a single lane at some points.
We stayed with an Airbnb host again (who also cooked a Romanian dish for us), who lived in a huge house and we had the whole top floor to ourselves. Our host was super friendly and had a super sweet golden retriever, so I was happy.
We spent a couple of days in the old town of Brasov, which was so pretty and surrounded by the mountains. One the first day, we got four seasons in one day, so it was just like being at home!
We also used Brasov as a base to explore the surrounding areas, visiting Dracula’s castle at Bran and a couple more fortified churches. Dracula’s castle was not as great as we expected. It looks amazing from the distance and from the outside and is of course nice on the inside, but there was also a HUGE amount of tourists going through! We had to wait in line for about half an hour just to buy tickets and then of course they didn’t restrict the number of people allowed to enter at one time, so it was not so pleasant being squished in with a million other people inside, particularly with narrow hallways and door ways.
From Brasov we arrived back into Bucharest to stay with out friend and another lady, Sue (from Geelong, but living in the U.S.) had actually arrived here a couple of days earlier. We all met on our tour through South America so it is like a mini reunion!