Nah, I didn’t get married in Romania but my friend did and I made the spontaneous trip of a lifetime down there to attend the wedding.
At the beginning of the year, I had two countries designated on my travel bucket list this year.
I haven’t gone to either of those countries and have instead made two spontaneous trips to other places. The first was the Maldives in July and a few weeks ago, Romania.
My friend invited me to her wedding in Focsani. Initially, I was reluctant to go because I hadn’t planned for it.
Additionally, I was busy with pursuing clients but I figured, “Ok, what are the chances that you’ll ever go to another wedding in Romania?” I decided to give in to the spontaneous urge and just do it!
The planning was super rushed. It took me less than two weeks to get myself all set with a dress, flight tickets, accommodation, etc before I headed out to Bucharest.
I wasn’t ready for the biting cold (I never am) but I had my super thick, super heavy, keep-out-all-demons-of-the-cold, specifically for European weather jacket with me.
I reunited with an old colleague in Bucharest my first day and was introduced to the wonder that is Visinata, then headed out to Focsani for the wedding on the second day.
Focsani is located in Vrancea county, a wine-producing area (Can I get a hallelujah?) about 3 hours away from Bucharest. It’s a small town with a population of around 74, 000.
For some reason, I felt at home as soon as we arrived. We changed and headed out to a pre-wedding dinner with the bride and groom at her family home where I was reacquainted with more
Visinata and enjoyed the delights of a traditional Romanian feast followed by loads of conversation, shisha, and dancing.
The wedding took place the next day at a resort in the area. We were treated to a lovely drink stepped with blackberries on arrival followed by loads of picture taking around the area and at the photo wall.
The bride and groom arrived shortly afterwards and after some more pictures, we proceeded into the hall for the reception, which lasted well past midnight (and I thought my country folk had wedding partying on lockdown)!
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We enjoyed the delights of a traditional Romanian band and dancing, an intensive 6 or so course menu and gigantic amounts of homemade wine.
Whatever wine I consumed was quickly evaporated via the very energetic traditional Romanian dance known as hora.
We dragged our tired and hungover carcasses back to Bucharest the next day where I had about 36 hours before my flight home.
I stayed at a charming all-inclusive private apartment I found for a steal on Airbnb.com and spent the time I had left walking around and exploring the city with one of my new friends.
Due to poor planning (
wedding hangover), I never made it down to Bran to visit Dracula’s castle 🙁
Best Pizza on Earth in Bucharest
I did manage to locate the best-damned pizza on the planet in downtown Bucharest at Latin Kebab & Pizza. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything quite that delicious!!!
I didn’t care for being followed around by security personnel every time I entered a store (Ok, this pissed me off significantly) but I’ve decided to focus on the positives of the trip – I discovered a new country, I had a hell of a time at the wedding, I made some new friends and I ticked another one off my travel bucket list.
As of this writing, it looks like I’m about to head on another spontaneous trip to Montreux, Switzerland, and Jordan soon :).
I try to get to at least one new country every year and two if my finances can manage it. I usually use Airbnb for my accommodation needs while traveling.
They have some really great deals with lots of customizable and convenient options. Have a look at their range of accommodation HERE.
7 Reasons to Visit Romania
Romania is not a country you’d immediately look at when thinking of a vacation but I recommend changing that train of thought because it is a gorgeous and fun place to visit.
Below are my top 10 reasons why should visit Romania:
1. Medieval Sites
Romania has some amazing medieval sites such as Sighisoara, wooden churches of Maramures, and painted monasteries of Bucovina, which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
2. Transylvanian Villages
Transylvanian villages like Viscri have well-preserved homes and local traditions that are charming. If you like to get away from all the noise of modern life, you will love visiting these villages.
3. Vibrant Capital City
Bucharest of course. This is the beautiful capital of Romania with its own rich history and an active nightlife. The city is full of art, culture and so much more.
4. Mountain Trekking
If you love trekking, the Bucegi Mountains are a sight to behold. Located in Central Romania, you can take a cable car to the height where the Sphinx is located.
5. Beautiful Castles
Castles, castles, and more castles. Dracula’s castle in Bran and Peles Castle are just a few of the lovely castles. If you’re staying in the capital, you can easily visit these castles via day tours.
I got a lot of bang for my buck in Romania. I had a very nice lunch in a great restaurant in Bucharest for around $15 and the pizza in the pictures above was only a few dollars.
The guesthouse I stayed in during the wedding was less than $30/night and it was a fantastic guesthouse.
I really can’t say enough about how budget-friendly Romania is. I spent 4 times what I did in Romania in Italy last year and I was in both places for the same amount of time.
7. Free Internet
Free wifi everywhere. Seriously. I was stunned by this. Even in some random corner of a village, I was able to locate wifi.
There were no hoops to jump through to connect either such as filling in my details or connecting through a social network.
In all the countries I’ve visited, Romania remains the best country for free wifi.
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