It all began with an argument about how long it really takes to drive to Sibiu, Romania. Expats (most definitely Americans) aside from Romanians, have mastered the art driving everywhere. By “everywhere”, we mean EVERYWHERE. We the Americans, likely pioneered the concept of “Drive-through” restaurants; we certainly made a big deal about drive-in movie cinemas, we quite possibly even pioneered the idea of the “great American Road Trip”. So, of course, our response to the statement at hand; “It takes a long time to get to Sibiu, five or six hours maybe” was the following:
Don’t know why we said that, I mean, we hadn’t actually ‘timed it’ driving straight there; we never actually knew that it could be done in less than five or six hours (the roads could really be bad enough that a slow-down of galactic proportions would be inevitable) but nonetheless, a challenge it was.
We sat down over a cup of coffee and began planning. We planned that we’d take the drive to Sibiu, take some photos, talk about the area a bit for those who have yet to see it, call it a vacation, and head back home. By the time we were on our third cafe latte we were anxiously awaiting what had now turned in to a “road trip”, rental car (to save the wear and tear) and all. Two American Expats and a Romanian take on the Country? Not really. We’re just gonna rent a car and drive about for a while.
After coming to the realisation that we’re going to need a rental car with unlimited miles, we began our “research”. By “research” we don’t actually mean research. We looked online at the cheapest rental cars we thought would have enough of an “engine” to get us up a hill. Aside from going to Sibiu, we figured we would hop over to the Transfagarasan highway and test are over-insured rental car handling skills. Booking online seemed to be the way to go, as, after our quick “walk-ins” at EuropaCar and the Phoenecia Hotel (yeah they have cars for rent there) we knew that a non face-to-face interaction would benefit us more from the “cost” standpoint.
After all was said and done, we booked online for the first available car they had at Dollar Rental, actually out of the Otopeini Airport. Their rates were not bad at 55 Euros a day for a Chevy Aveo, the sedan that is slightly larger than the Chevy Spark. We opted for the Aveo because we figured the larger engine would be working less to move us along, and as a result we may get better fuel economy. We did alright. The car came pre-scratched (there’s a tip for you all who rent cars) so we didn’t have to worry much that we’d be screwing up a flawless paint job if we randomly bumped in to things (we at Bucharest Expat Never Drive Under the Influence by the way… we don’t want to spill our beers).
So we had our car, and we had our typical “lack of patients”, so, instead of waiting for the proper moment to begin our unknown voyage, we just threw some crap in duffel bags and headed on our way. Here’s the “order of operations” for our trip. Please keep in mind that we only planned our trip at the spur of the moment. If we wanted to go somewhere else, we went. If we wanted to stay where we were at, we stayed. It worked just about like that. We tried to stick to a pretty reasonable budget, so anyone of you can repeat what we did without costing yourself an arm and a leg.
Along our trip we stayed in lodges, we stayed in castles. We ate at amazing restaurants and saw some interesting shops. We had many amusing experiences and captured many great photos. We got bored in Transylvania and paid the price. In our upcoming articles in this Road Trip Series you’ll find out why.
Starting Point and Ending point is, of course, Bucharest, Romania.
Sibiu Via Pitesti
Hunedoara Via Alba Iulia
Back To Sibiu Via Medias
The Fagaras Mountains and the Transfagarasan Highway
Curtea de Arges
And Back to Bucharest again, through Pitesti.
Part II of this article, On The Road To Sibiu, Romania, will be coming out shortly. We hope you’ll enjoy the multi-part series about our Romanian Road Trip. Keep Reading!