On to Brasov, where I will stay at the Place of Hope, a Unitarian church and pension. A nice room on the 2nd floor, stairs only but large windows
which open and quite comfortable, a small fridge outside the door in the hall for use. Finding our way to the Place of Hope, a stalled car driver asks for a
jump-start, Peter tries to oblige but the car will not turn-over and since we are blocking the street we had to move on. At major street intersections,
there is a lighted timer above the trafffic signal. It counts down seconds while the light is red, then counts down in green while the light
is green. No yellow light (an interesting idea!). It is mid/late afternoon by the time I get settled in, then we go to see a bit of the city.
The old town to the south, at the base of a mountain which has a cable car going up to the top, nestles against the mountain. The main business street
is pedestrian only, and there are people everywhere, it being about 7pm but still very light, altho occasionally trying to rain a bit. We walk the
full length of the street, ending alongside the Black Church but it is closed. Across the street I spot a pasty/café and have to stop for coffee and
pastry. Peter eats few if any sweets and declines to join me in my unhealthy culinary habits. We walk back the way we came, I just looking at the shops,
the people, and taking in the atmosphere. On the town square is an interesting building, an old Jewish synagogue, with high narrow doors, very ornate
façade several stories tall, I would refer to it as Jugendstil, which may be incorrect.
Then I turn the lead over to Peter, and off we go for his
tour of the city. We head east, toward the mountain and go up, to a semicircular path which skirts the old city from east to south to west and
follow it along. A light mist has begun but under the trees we stay mostly dry. We circle around, looking out over the city, to the west a couple
towers (one black, one white) on the mountainside. We walk by an oval track, with sand pits in the center (a school or city sport facility?) and
some lovers are sitting below in the covered stands. We descend slowly to a lower level, and pass by the white tower we saw from across the way.
I am too tired to climb the hill so we walk back into the city, and to the car.
Peter then has a surprise for me, says he has to visit someone
he wants me to meet; OK. We drive for several blocks, finally ending up on a street running along the side of the mountain, across the street
are tall apartment buildings. But on the mountain side are concrete stalls, perhaps 3 meters deep and 8 meters wide, spaced some distance apart
and in which are large covered dumpsters (if you face the dumpster you can open it by rotating the lid to the back); to my surprise this was being
done by a group of bears! They come out every night to scavenger from the dumpsters and are one of the city’s major attractions. We saw a mother bear
with three partially grown cubs, sitting on top of the stall wall, reaching over and rotating the cover off the dumpster so she could check out
the contents! Several taxis with tourists creep slowly by; occasionally a police car comes by (flash photos are not allowed but we tried anyhow).
Anyhow, now time for bed and I return to the pension. Peter has outfitted his Subaru for camping with all the necessary gear (pad, sleeping bag, etc.)
and elects to sleep in the car when away from home. He usually finds a park or other safe spot where he can park overnight; occasionally a police car
will come by and check him out. The next morning he had to take an injured nearby camper (cut his leg with an axe trying to chop firewood)
to an emergency room before picking me up.
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