Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bran and Brasov

Bran and Brasov

Our last full day in Romania was spent driving and sightseeing. We woke up early (too early for hot water, so no shower for me, yuck!) and packed up the cars and headed towards Brasov. We stopped a lot along the way to see the sights, it was one of the most beautiful drive's in Europe so I'm told. It was majestic. We drove over mountains and saw some of the most beautiful countryside. The houses built on the sides of hills, tall mountains with whole little towns nestled into the valleys, shepherds watching their flocks of sheep along the sides of the road, and occasionally having to swerve to miss a couple of cows making their way around town.

We stopped at a roadside stand (they are everywhere there) and the guy was so nice, he showed us around, he had deer and peacocks and other strange animals in his pen in the back of his house. He took us to his storage cellar and it was so nice, and organized! He had tons of cheeses lined up, and herbs hanging upside down, it was very rustic and very charming. He even let me use his toilet so I felt obligated to buy something from him. I bought something pink in a jar that he called "sherbet" but I knew it wasn't the same thing we call "sherbet" (we cracked it open to try it that night at Ana's and I left it there for her to enjoy! blech)

Then we stopped at another stand to get breakfast and this little old lady was happily giving us samples of what I thought was her beef jerky and sheep cheese. We bought several links of sausage and a chunk of cheese and ate on the road. It was actually BEAR sausage and BUFFALO cheese! That was so awesome! We were eating bear for breakfast. I can now actually say I was so hungry I ate the hind end of a running grizzly bear :)

After a few more scenery stops, and a quick run up a hill, we arrived in Bran. This is home of Dracula's castle. Or, Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler. I hit the market and bought presents for the family. I got the kids a wooden carved flute, Regan a set of nesting dolls, a scarf for myself, and a cool coffee mug for Riley that's clear and has Vlad Tepes and the castle on it. We got this circle bread too that is roasted on this stick and rolled in nuts and caramel and just melts in your mouth it was so good.

We kept going to Brasov, which is a ski resort town, and so quaint, exactly what I pictured most of Europe to look like. Cobble stone streets, a plaza with pigeons and musicians. It was picturesque. We ate a quick lunch at McDonald's and then walked around the town. Kevin and I were competing for how many pictures we could take it seemed! We finally made it down to the end of the main road and took a tour of the Black Church, one of the more famous churches in Europe. It was beautiful inside. We weren't supposed to take pictures, but we took a couple secretly anyway. I couldn't help it, it was very nice inside!

Bought a few more gifts in Brasov, and then headed back to the car for the long ride back to Bucharest. We made it in just in time for a meeting with some local area pastors. They had a ton of questions about our church, and ministry, and it was a good several hours spent with them helping them with their questions. I slipped out for a bit and logged online to chat with David and the kids, a week without email access and cell service, we were missing each other big time!

We went back to Ana's for our last night, and it was a little like coming home. We had really fallen in love with Ana and it was so good to see her, and everyone at Campus Crusades! We had her give us her presentation and talked about what she needs to be in ministry full time now. I just love her and plan on supporting her in her ministry. She took very good care of us! She also gave us all presents for our kids, and made our last night in Bucharest the best.

We got up bright and early (well, not bright, it was still dark at 6am) and headed to the airport. It was much easier going home, we combined a lot of suitcases so I only had 2 to deal with instead of 4. But the flight home seemed so much longer. We were trying to stay awake so we would be on the right schedule when we got home, but it didn't work very well. David picked us up at the airport in Houston at 9pm and we still had to drive back to Austin, drop off the church van, and drive to Pam and Dave's to get the kids! It was a very late night, but I was up bright and early at 5am, ready to go!

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