Timisoara, Romania

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On the recommendation of both Raul and Astrid, we decided to come to Timisoara, a city renowned for its history and architecture. There is only one route available and we tried it for a short distance, on a shoulder less than a foot wide, with cars, trucks and buses thundering past at high speed. After travelling less than 10km out of Arad we turned back and went to catch the train instead. This was a good idea.

The train left on time, travelled fast and we were here by 1pm. There was no place for the bikes so we just piled them in and hoped for the best. The ticket man said we had to pay extra but he did us a special ‘unofficial’ deal.

It has been quite warm and we have spent most of the day in a shady outdoor cafe doing some planning and checking the election results. Timisoara is famous for the role played by people here in initiating the 1989 revolution that ended Ceaucescu’s regime. An earlier claim to fame for the town is as the birthplace of Johnny Weissmuller (the Olympic swimming champion and actor who played Tarzan for uneducated readers).

The past glories of the town are evident but there’s a lot of urban decay and bad 1970s housing. Today has been a big day for weddings with bridal parties everywhere and car convoys roaring around town blowing their horns.

Timisoaran evening skyline

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