Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sighisoara, Romania

The Clock Tower

ProEtnica Dignitaries

The Shoemaker's Tower

Our 75 euro a night Hotel Room

View from our Attic Room

Sighisoara marked uncharted territory for us. We were headed there without any hotel reservations. Being the eternal optimist, I was certain that we would find accommodations. I mean, how crowded could a town without an airport be?

Dan, on the other hand, is a planner with a capital PLANNER. He likes reservations, confirmation numbers and directions, preferably the more detailed the better. (All things considered, it’s amazing that we have stayed together this long!)

The guide book (which I have many an issue with) listed several hotels, none of which had more than 3 stars (see my issue?). We decided we wanted to stay in the upper, more historic part of town, whose claim to fame is that it is the only occupied medieval Citadel in the world. Oh, it’s also the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, aka Dracula, which I think is probably more of a tourist draw. Either way, we paid the 10 lei (approximately $3.00 USD) to gain access to the upper part of town.

The first thing we saw when we topped the hill into town was a huge stage being set up with a banner advertising ProEtnic Festival 2006. Things were not looking good for the optimist. We were then turned away by three hotels. Things looking worse. Apparently, we had arrived on opening night of a huge, international festival that was scheduled to last 10 days and the place had been sold out for months. Things looking bad, very bad.

Dismayed that we would not be staying in the Citadel, we decided to look around since we had already paid the entrance fee and had a primo parking space. As we were walking around the town, we saw this quaint little hotel not listed in the guide book (see my issue?), located underneath the Shoemaker's Tower, one of the nine historic Towers still remaining from the Middle Ages.

For grins, we went in to see if, by any chance, one of their ten rooms was available for the night. The attendant replied, “yes, but it is 75 euro for only one night,” in a voice that suggested she didn’t think there was a chance in hell that anyone would pay that amount. In unison, Dan and I said, “we’ll take it.” I gathered from the look on the lady’s face that we had probably just made her month, if not year.

Surprisingly, the hotel was fairly modern – for something built in the 15th century. We had a small en suite bathroom. We had a portable fan. We had a TV. We had nothing else. I imagined that this must be what camping is like. Dan informed me that I could not call it camping, since we had running water and a toilet. So, we’ll call it a two-star and leave it at that.

The rooms were absolutely spotless, the décor rustic, and the proprietor very, very nice. In fact, other than the drunk tuba player that serenaded us into the wee hours of the night, we had a very pleasant stay in this hotel.

Dan and I had to laugh when we read the hotel's "regulations", copied below verbatim - including all punctuation. (I imagine this is what it must be like to listen to me speak French!)

The Regulation of “Home Epoch”

Dear guests, we, the family, if you want, hostess, we advised, to put at hand for you this architecturel jewel, but the family tradition ask imperative, to respect the coat of arms, from “HOME EPOCH” This emblem doesn’t allow, not even through ricochet, to make exceptions from the rule, to try, to driblate someone, so that, even and stealthily, we must recognize that only, after long hesitations we firm, to honour us with your presence dear guests, because “HOME EPOCH” suffer of fear diagnosis, the current usualy illness, whorn have all the neats Palaces to don’t be maim in them splendidment. Just so this is, in end, the quintessences, to get on well for don’t fall down, one or other in the other one trap. You don’t destroy, because will cost much, to much, but not even us to be loserd. What we beging you, don’t do it.

The furniture displacement (armchairs, chairs, table, bed).
Smokeing (on hall you have at hand chairs, tables and ash-trays).
The shoes cleaning with towels, bathroom carpet.
Staineing the carpet (with wine, blood, paints, etc.)
To stop up the WC of the tank with under-wears or absorbments.
To take care of walls and all is in the room.
Copyright 2006 by Cindy Lane except excerpt from Casa Epoch. All rights reserved.


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