It was a rainy ride from Bucharest to Brasov in the afternoon. Fortunately it cleared up for our evening ‘Guided Brasov’ free walking tour! I’m continually amazed with these free walking tours, and the wonderful guides that do them! Our guide, Andre was so fun to talk to, and I really loved the stories he told about some famous figures in Romanian history. Again, if there’s a free tour in a city you may be visiting, I’m fairly sure it will be better than any paid one with a bored (and boring) guide.
On top of the ‘Black Church’ Andre pointed out a statue of a little boy on the roof. The story goes that this little boy was so good at building, that the guy in charge got jealous and threw him off the roof. The boy’s friends made this statue of him before building was complete.
I also got a kick out of hearing a little bit about Elena Ceaușescu, the wife of the infamous Romanian dictator Nikolae. Apparently, she wanted the world to think highly of her, despite having very little education. So, she basically stole some physicists’ PhD work and passed it off as her own. When she was invited around the world to give talks on “her work” she would go, and speak in Romanian, about gibberish, bringing the real physicist along to “translate.” Since he knew what the project was actually about, he would be able to talk about it in great detail wowing scientists all over the world, yet they never knew it was really his work and not Elena Ceaușescu’s.
We made our way to a tower overlooking the town at the end of our tour. It had such a beautiful view of the old town.
I especially loved the orange tiled roofs and how you can see the many, many courtyards from above. I asked if many people live in the old town in Brasov, but Andre informed us that these houses are usually passed down through generations and it’s exceptionally expensive to not only purchase a house if you would want to, but to afford the bills (namely the heating) once you moved in. Most people live in the communist style block apartments on the edges of the city.