Cities / Towns Visited: 70
Countries Visited: 19
Steps Taken Today: 8,303
Steps Taken Around the World: 2,351,670
We finally had a less eventful day on the books, and so treated ourselves to an alarmless morning. A slow wake up, and we eventually managed to summon the motivation to stumble out into the world once more. With the old city wall literally just down the street, it was hardly an arduous walk to reach our stomping ground for the day. We spent a lazy morning admiring the countless historic buildings which make up this small but stunning city. Old clock towers, soaring spired churches, cobbled steps winding down through brick arches, brightly coloured buildings lining the edge of the huge paved town square, and a flower covered bridge very unfavourably named ‘The Bridge of Lies ‘.
We had planned to visit the town’s old pharmacy museum, as I find the history of pharmaceutical science, and its progression into modern medicine, truly fascinating. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be, and it happened to be closed when we arrived. Apparently no amount of planning allows for random timetabling changes.
Disappointed, but determined not to waste the whole day moping about it, we headed over to the clock adorned council tower, paid the modest admission, and made the climb to the top, pausing on one of the floors to admire a small display of bright and cheery flower paintings by a local artist. Another floor held the beautiful clock mechanism which unceasingly keeps time for this little corner of the world. As we reached the top we were instantly glad that we had made the trek up. From the large arched windows we had a near uninterrupted view over the entirety of the red brick roofed old town. From amongst them sprung up the other towers, and spread out below us sat the town square, almost unchanged for the last 500 years.
Once we finally pulled ourselves away and made our way back down to the 21st century, we discovered the day was getting on, and we were pretty hungry. Amongst our plethora of planning we had stumbled upon the name of the oldest Romanian restaurant in town, and with no better ideas as to where to eat we headed down the Stairs Passage and turned to find it tucked just beneath; Butoiul De Aur, ‘The Golden Barrel’. Heading in we found ourselves to be the only ones, hardly surprising considering the fact it was a Monday, and had our pick of tables. We passed a happy hour or so eating a rather good steak with vegetables, and a couple of, very un-Romanian, New Zealand ciders in a restaurant which has stood here since 1542.
We had explored, we had eaten, and now we wanted nothing more than to lounge around in our unnecessarily large apartment and simply enjoy the fact we were here on the other side of the world; that we had worked hard enough to not have to work this year; that after sacrificing time together for four years, we are able to make up for it all now; every Christmas we’ve never spent together, every birthday worked where we saw each other for nought but a passing moment. Sometimes I think I forget how much we didn’t do so that we could do this, all the things we didn’t buy, all the dates we didn’t go on, all the gifts we didn’t give. We made many sacrifices in our life together, but we never sacrificed our feelings, and I’m very proud of that. We downgraded dinner and a movie out, for home cooked meals and old horror movies bundled up in a pillow fort on our lounge room floor; we swapped fancy hotel getaways on tropical islands, for one weekend of camping a year a few hours from home when we could co-ordinate the time. We swapped material things for memories; we swapped dollars for dreams; we swapped luxury for love; and you know what, I’d do it all over again because we’re exactly where we need to be.