Vurpar, Romania
Vurpar Street
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The Trip to Vurpar
We were almost all asleep by the time we arrived in Sibiu. Only the driving of the bus driver, who confided in us that he, too, needed glasses, kept a few of us awake. Romanian driving is a bit different than what we expect in the States.

The trip north went past great expanses of the parched Wallachian plain. Romania was suffering its worst drought in years. Sunflowers were wilted and stunted. Corn, which should have been seven feet tall, was brown and knee high. Only small, family plots showed promise of the high yields that should be the norm in agriculturally rich Romania.

We drove through dozens of towns and villages, passed horse carts and oxen, waved at children and farmers.

As we moved north we climbed off the flat Kansian plains of Wallachia and entered the foothills of the Carpathians heading toward one of the two primary passes into Transilvania. The Olt River cuts a deep gorge among the 7,000-foot peaks and charming cafes dotted the bank along the road. The scenery

Statue Sibiu

rapidly became spectacular. Steep mountains, rapid rivers, fog-shrouded peaks and stately old resort towns lined the road north.

Sibiu was a different matter. Although we got in after dark, Hotel Continental is a western-style, nicely furnished hotel worthy of almost any business traveler. Check in was very quick. Some of us set out for a late walk into the center of town in search of a beer and good sights. It was obvious that Transilvania is better off than the south of the country. Buildings looked better maintained, people looked healthier, just about everything had a sharper look. In the morning, after a good breakfast, we got in the bus and people remarked about the contrast. In fact, Sibiu looks more like a prosperous town in the west than its cousin communities to the south.

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