We woke up relatively early. Vangelis brought coffee from the reception and we sat on the benches outside our room in order to discuss the program of the day. At 10.30pm we left for Humedoara’s castle. Its name is "Castel Carvinilor" and it is a real ornament to the city. To enter we passed above a ditch with running water through a wooden bridge. Today the ditch is not an obstacle for the intruders but a place for relaxations of the locals. The castle is impressive! It is the spookiest, one of the well preserved and one of the best architecturally of Romania. The ticket price costs 6RON per person. The interior is fantastic too. We visited many of its rooms where exhibitions of furniture and arms take place. The big well of the castle was manufactured by two Turkish captives that they were promised freedom when works would be completed. Once again they were killed when they finished, after 15 years of effort.
We left the castle around 1mm and moved towards Deva (14km). Then we followed the way Deva – Sebes – Sibiu (112km) via national streets E68 and E81. Their quality is very good in comparison with what that we met up to today. After Sebes the landscape is impressive up to Saliste. Ten to fifteen kilometres outside Sibiu the road network is getting better and better, proof of approaching a cultural, political, and economical centre.
At 2.30mm we entered the cultural capital of Europe 2007. Following the plates for "centru" we passed the walls of Sibiu and parked our motorbikes behind the central square. The Piata Mare (Big Square) is really impressive! It is surrounded by beautiful buildings. In the centre a modern fountain was for the moment a pleasant game to children. Little below I saw a tap with running water... I went directly there, while Vangelis directed himself in the nearest cafeteria. I also phoned Ploumisti because we lost her while entering the city. After a while there she comes riding her motorcycle on the square! We relaxed for some hour before we had a small walk. We visited the neighbouring square Piata Mica (Small Square) that it is connected with the Piata Mare via the central tower. I consider Piata Mica as more impressive and vivid since it is full of cafeterias.
Bridge "Pod Minciunilor" (the bridge of lies) is also found in this square. “There are tree versions for the origin of its name” told us the nice polite and sweet employee of the central tower which we visited immediately afterwards.
- In the past, men in love were going to that particular bridge and were declaring their love in public. Because however in certain cases they betrayed their loved ones the bridge was named as "Bridge of lies".
- During medieval, witches would tell the future. When their predictions were not verified, they were accused of lying and they were thrown from the bridge.
- In the past vendors would eavesdrop discussions of passer-by’s. Thus many stories were propagated most of which were inaccurate. So those who wanted to propagate a calumny or a gossip they were going to that bridge.
Apart the bridge, the likable employee gave us information on all the basic sights of Sibiu. She was very sociable and pleased to know we were coming from Greece. Together we had a long and very interesting conversation on Romanian culture.
We paid 1RON per ticket and went up on the top (roughly 100 steps) enjoying the amazing view of city where many German people live. In fact the mayor of the city is German.
Our next stop would be square Piata Heute, where the imposing church of Evangelists is found. There is also found the grave of Vlad Tepes’ son. Ploumisti and I paid a 4Ron ticket each in order to visit the interior of the church, but also to attend an organ concert.
We thought we had enough time to climb on the top of the church tower, with an extra ticket of 3Ron per person but unfortunately we returned five minutes late, so the gate for the concert was closed. At least we had enjoyed the impressive view of the city.
We went therefore to find Vangelis who was waiting us in a fast food restaurant in Piata Mica. The polite employee of the central tower had proposed the place as cheap and good for a snack. At 6mm we left Sibiu following the national street E81 for Bucuresti and Fagaras. The street quality was fine but after the node for Fagaras the national street E68 was awful.
It was henceforth 8mm when we reached the node of the Transfagarasan road. We turned right and entered searching unsuccessfully for lodging. Everything was full! So we were forced to return back on the street for Fagaras. Moreover we wanted to find a gas station because there is none along the Transfagarasan road (for roughly 100km)
It was then that we met a GSXR 1000 (K5). The pilot and co pilot greeted us waiting before a red lantern because of reasons of works. Further below I stopped and Ploumisti singed them to stop. They did not speak English that is why I undertook action. I asked them where we could find both fuels and somewhere to spend the night and they proposed us to follow them to a nearby petrol station. They also told us that lodging we could find in Fagaras but according to them it would be a more expensive solution to their own, not much tourist, hometown Victoria.
We finally decided to follow them. It would be a clean suicide to ride up to Fagaras stopping at each lantern when Victoria was nearest and the guys would talk to the owner of the hotel for private parking! So after a while we arrived outside the Hotel Central 2**.
A tree clean and nice bedroom cost 160 RON. We gave appointment with them, for food and drinks, as a sign of gratitude on their interest but mainly to known us better, and settled in. After forty minutes we were found all together outside of the hotel: Raul rider of a Kawasaki ZX-900, Ionica rider of a Suzuki GSXR-1000 and Mirabella. They guided us to a beautiful restaurant, the best of the region, named "Paradis". We insisted we had dinner all together, but they denied politely giving us a new appointment at the terrace behind that building. We ate somehow fast, because we didn’t want them to wait for long, and went there. It was a big pleasant surprise that all the youth of Victoria was to be revealed before our eyes! Young people were chatting listening to music and having drinks. We sat around the table of our fellows and started a conversation on their life in the city, their problems, their motorcycles and the travels they were dreaming to do once their finances would allow so. Roughly 6.000 inhabitants have remained in the city while 4.000 have left abroad due to unemployment. Only a chemical industry is operating nowadays giving work to a percentage of the work-force. Unfortunately there were no other investments for political and economical reasons in the region. Raul, Ionica and Mirabella were very likeable and hospitable.
At 1.30pm we returned back to the hotel. Before I sleep, dizzy from a homemade liquor Ionica offered us, I was thinking that this company is one of the best of our travel… we will always remember that day up to the single details! I wish them "Drum uscat" that means "Dry route", as local motorcyclists wish...