Well well, had yet another awesome weekend! It unfurled as follows:
Friday: Artmania festival in Sibiu, with gigs by Agua de Annique, Tiamat and Lacrimosa. I was sneaky enough to get through with my camera, but not clever enough to take the spare batteries with me, so these 2 pics are pretty much all I have to show for it. See the look on my face? Now that's pure bliss!
Saturday: on to the city of Alba Iulia and its beautiful fortress. What do you know, there were friggin' ponies in the moat! I had a good giggle to myself, hehe.
This is actually three fortresses in one (Roman, medieval and Austro-Hungarian). It has been almost completely restored, and they've done a great job at that. All the statues have noses and arms again, the guides, waitresses and other helpful staff are all dressed accordingly, and the main building is due to become a five star hotel in a couple of years (almost worth considering marrying again just to be able to spend my honeymoon in a medieval castle, haha). I might have a separate post with pics from around the fortresses (joinery included).
This was the guy selling tickets. He was so completely motionless at first, that I stood there for a while wondering if he was real, until he blinked. Once we established he was human, he was a lot of fun to talk to and had no problem having his picture taken with the ladies.
The room of the knights templar.
Out on the field with cannons. The cannons are still there and functional, and are fired at lunchtime every Sunday.
See that? That's pure bliss again :D
Sneaky escape tunnel, now used mostly for Australian elderly gentlemen to photograph (yes, there was an Aussie couple visiting the fortress as well).
After thoroughly exploring the fortress, on to the other main attraction of this city: Lazar icecream! It's made with all natural ingredients (real cream, real honey, real chunks of fruit). Eating seven balls of different flavours? Pure bliss! :D
Then on to another chunk of history (or so we thought). We set out to find some Dacian ruins on a cliff close to the city (Piatra Craivii). We had 2 maps and instructions from the villagers, how hard could it be? Obviously harder than we thought, as we just could not find the right bloody path. Luckily (or so we thought), we met a shepherd who was happy to give us detailed instructions on how to get there. Unfortunately, due to a dialect barrier, we had no idea what he was telling us (obviously the word that means "celery" to us was a totally different thing to him, as he repeatedly instructed us to walk through it). To cut a long story short, we walked until sunset and ended up on quite the wrong peak. See the cliff in the pic? That's where we should have been. Daymn!
And this is the disappointed walk back. We decided it was all a conspiracy of the locals; they must have thought we were Romans and sent us on all the wrong paths.
However, I was quickly comforted by my friend's lovely cats,
and by a few triumphal games of backgammon:
Sunday: We had decided to resume the search for the ruins on the cliff, but my companions' resolve weakened overnight, so instead of Dacian ruins we ended up at the more easily accessible but also more spectacular "Roman baths". Now don't imagine a leisurely comfortable edifice of the kind lazy Romans would have indulged in. I suspect (or, should I say, like to imagine) the place carries this name simply because Romans were (mis)lead here in order to be drowned. :>
It is truly breathtaking: a deep pool carved into the rock by a waterfall, and in its turn feeding a stream that goes all the way down to the village. But wait, there's more!
Once you pluck up the courage to sink into the awfully cold water and swim across the pool, a precariously anchored ladder awaits to take you to the top of the waterfall.
Ta-da!! And once you make it to the top, there's another pool, fed by another, smaller waterfall. If you muster all your spiderman abilities you can climb up to the top of this second waterfall (no ladder this time), and see...surprise!...yet another pool fed by a waterfall. And it ends here, as the last waterfall comes over a very high very smooth wall of rock, quite impossible to climb even with the proper gear. I wish I could have climbed up there with my camera, but I guess some things are just for seeing, not for keeping.
How pretty is that! And how cold was I! I was almost as blue as my towel, hehe. But it was sure worth it!
One last bit of nice scenery:
And a bit of fun. The opening of the waterfall was so narrow you could simply sit in it and stop the water with your bottom. This is my friend filming and instructing her husband to hold or release the waterfall. I dont know why, but I found it extremely giggle-worthy :D
And, in the latest news: I'm a student again! In other words...pure bliss! :D