Weather forecast of rain, lack of anything interesting in Arad, and needing a day off set today’s plan – a train to Timisoara. The train ran about an hour late, which I understand is “on time” in Romania. Two men helped get my train across the train in the way, despite my protestation the bike wouldn’t fit. I was wrong.
On the train I met Andrei, a student travelling to Timisoara to pack up his dorm for the summer before vacation in Austria.
The train delay undercut my attempt to avoid the rain. As the train pulled into the station the sky started to open up, but a mad dash to the hostel left me only slightly damp. Settled in, Raul at the hostel provided a map and 5-minute overview of the city, and I wandered out, heading for a museum on the Romanian Revolution.
The staff at the museum enthusiastically described the Romanian revolution in 1989 and the overthrow of communism. The museum? Not very interesting, but the revolution made me think. 1989 began the collapse of the Soviet Union. The USSR left Afghanistan. The Berlin Wall came down. The US invaded Panama. My first tour. None of those historical events even mattered to me back then.
After the museum, I visited the local market, and flailed around a bit, realizing I didn’t care what I saw next. Tired of touring city after city, I came back to the hostel and spent several hours finishing the book I’ve been carrying giving me a chance to step back and relax (and no longer carry the book!). Spent the remainder of the evening grocery shopping and hanging out with people at the hostel.
Tomorrow I head to Hungary. Made a slight mistake, in that Timisoara falls farther south than Arad. In planning my route for tomorrow, I started plotting my route east, and noticed I cross a border, and then another border; I’d enter Serbia. Serbia not really in my plan (both politically and from a cash conversion perspective). Northwest it is.