It was a blazing hot Saturday morning in Timisoara, Romania, a place we found ourselves in en route to Greece.
As we drove through the city I stuck my head out the window and just took it all in, including unfortunately some bugs. I took in all the sights, the sounds, the smells and the taste of the air. It was also brutally hot and I wanted to find a good park with some shade to run around in as the heat burned through the windows of our car, Helen of Brighton. Nevertheless I was excited to explore the city, it was the first time these paws had ever set foot on Romanian soil. It was also the first time I pooped in Romania. We parked our car in the parking lot of a random gym and community centre, but some of the parking lots had great street art overlooking them.
Just a few minutes away from where we parked our car stood the famed opera house and the giant and impressively unique Timisoara Orthodox Cathedral.
The smell of tourists permeated throughout the air as we walked toward the opera house. The city had a peculiar charm to it. The buildings reminded me a bit of southern Italy, but many of structures seemed to be broken down or decaying, like old chewed up bones. Nevertheless, I found every inch of the city a fascinating wonder. I was overwhelmed with the amount of scents in the city. Every scent told a story.
As I was trotting along and sniffing the corners of the buildings, I glanced up to see Danny snapping photos of every building and even some of the bits of the sidewalk.
We took a stroll through the Orthodox Cathedral gardens which were located adjacent to the main building. It was glorious and the bright sun shone all of its rays on the vast green and red landscape. Around the park, dogs and their humans walked about and there were old men reading their newspapers sat on benches and muttering things to themselves.
We approached some memorial statues and took a minute to read about Romanian history, most of the statues were World War II and Austrian Empire era. Afterward we made our way back to the main square to take a look at the opera house. On the way back we took a detour and got a bit lost. At one point I began to slow down my usual pace of walking like I have a rocket strapped to my back. The heat began to get to me and I was looking for some shade. We found some relief from the heat in Victorei plaza. Danny brought out a 2 liter bottle of water and with my collapsible travel bowl I finished half of the bottle in a couple of minutes. We then sat at a coffee shop and took in the atmosphere and the energy of the city. After some time we wandered around a bit more and circled back to the main square. We also talked to a couple of beautiful Romanian women who took our picture by the opera house. I told them I was Rocky the Traveller and that maybe they’d seen me before in their dreams.
We rolled on toward our dreams in Greece, driving through the Romanian countryside and stopping whenever we would see something eye catching. I saw a few stray dogs around the villages in Romania, not too far off from Timisoara and Danny stopped to throw some food at a few of them.
We moved onward, accidentally stopping at the Siberian border and taking a break at the most dilapidated duty free station I’d ever seen. We trudged on seeing a few more gorgeous buildings on the way to Bulgaria. See you near the border next time!