I was fortunate enough to spend a week in the Transylvania region of Romania during July of 2019. It’s important to note that many who reside in this region typically identify as Hungarian instead of Romanian - typically, these individuals are known as Székely (pronounced SAI-KEY) and are typically native to the eastern Transylvanian region. How fitting that I was in Budapest right before (though I wasn’t aware of this interesting tidbit of information!)
This was likely why there was a direct overnight train from Budapest to the town in which I volunteered, known as Micurea-Ciuc (pronounced MEER-KURA-CHOOK) in Romania, or Csíkszereda (CHICK-SEREDA) in Hungarian.
budapest, hungary -> Miercurea-ciuc, romania
Because there was a direct train to Micurea-Ciuc from Budapest, I ended up taking the overnight train there. Though I own private compartment (highly recommended, otherwise there are two more beds that can be converted above the one pictured here!), the ride was still a bumpy one and sleep escaped me for that night 😥
The train itself, however, I thought was cleverly designed (the table converts into a washing basin 😮) and I got to watch the gentle hills of the Romanian countryside roll by on my way. Next time, however, I’d probably just take the 2 hour plane from Budapest to Bucarest (different places), and a car….
Whatever fears I harbored about venturing so far into a relatively tourist-scarce area of Europe as a solo traveler, were quickly dispelled by the beauty of Micurea-Ciuc. Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness, development, and picturesque architecture found within this small city. From the spotless train station waiting room:
...to the town’s main plaza…
…to it’s main thoroughfares in the center of town…
to the churches…
to the history museums…
to the schools…
…to the other buildings…everything was so picturesque.
Bográcsgulyás - Hungarian kettle goulash
Tárkonyos pityókaleves sertés húskockákkal, pirított baconszalonnával
Sour potato soup (better than it sounds!)
Mandulás bundában sült camembert áfonyamártással
Fried camembert covered with almond, served with blueberry-sauce
Tejföles- gombás csirkeragú serpenyőben
Chicken-ragout with sour-cream and mushrooms
Transylvanian stuffed cabbage