Monday, 15 February 2016

Post January pay day skincare stock up

I had a pay day skincare stock up last week courtesy of ebay, Amazon (just registered for six months of free student Amazon which means 5% off all orders, access to amazon prime and next day delivery) and Latest in Beauty. Very happy with my selection.

I rarely wear make up these days so it's all about having nice skincare and bathing items. Particular favourites are Trilogy, Weleda and Kneipp. I was lucky to chance upon someone selling a large selection of Weleda samples for 99p - off setting the expense of the pricey Trilogy items!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Romanian Travel Guide 2014, part two

Welcome back to part two of my Romanian Travel Guide. Find part one here

Part two is definitely the most exciting of the two parts as I'm thinking about food!

Eating in Romania was definitely an experience with some real highs and lows. Starting the trip in Bucharest meant that we had access to all types of cuisine, in fact we started our first day in the capital with sushi - not exactly classic Romanian! However when we got the chance we opted to try some of the real cuisine.
When we left Bucharest and headed into Transylvania we started to experience more local food. Above is a Romanian meatball soup. The meatballs were in a clear broth which was slightly spiced. Although we ordered the soup as a starter it ended up being a meal in itself, especially with all that bread! A highlight - wish I could find/make soup as tasty as home!

But with all highlights come the low lights - check out this platter:
On first inspection you would be forgiven for thinking - 'what's the problem?' However let me tell you a secret; that plate contains both cubes of smoked fat and shredded tripe! It also contained a dirty tomato (could have done with a wash - still at least it looked organic) and four pieces of dried out pie. The cheese was okay-ish, though a couple of the pieces were extremely salty so hard to eat. Not my greatest food experience but still, it was definitely an experience...

Another low light:
Lamb, polenta and gherkin should be a winner right? What that picture doesn't tell you is what the texture of the lamb was like. Seriously tough, seriously gristly, seriously grim. Lucky for me I like polenta and gherkins or I would have spent the rest of the afternoon very hungry.

However my boyfriend fared better with his meal:
Romanian hunter's stew with polenta; much tastier and filling, the meat was pork and it nice and tender. The sauce was also flavoursome, plus there's an egg on top for that extra bit of protein! 

Sadly we didn't get pictures of all our meals, after a few very stodgy and heavy meals we moved back to lighter foods to ensure they didn't have to roll us back onto the flight! Food in Romania is interesting and sometimes very tasty however it's also better suited to the depths of winter when you are craving heavy, filling meals. Not ideal for Summer when you are trying to keep cool.

One final very exciting point to make:
Yes that is cheap booze that returned home with us! Alcohol is ridiculously cheap in Romania, bottles of wine could be bought for a £1 and spirits cost pence. We've been working through the bottle of plum brandy pictured recently...

Transylvania and driving: 

After our first couple of days in Bucharest we hired a car and drove into Transylvania. Along with the car hire we also paid extra for a sat nav. This saved us having to download expensive updates to our own sat nav for the Romanian road maps. Despite the fact that the guide books warned against driving in Romania we actually found it without too much incident (well there was a slight issue with a speeding warning but that's another story...)

There is one main motorway across Romania. Once you get off the main motorway roads are patchy (see picture above); however they are also quiet, shared with horses and carts and mostly feature stunning scenery so are really quite interesting to drive along.

We had a list of destinations for each day as part of our itinerary however we kept it loose enough that if we spotted an interesting village or landmark we could stop to take a look.

Places we visited in Transylvania included: Brasov, Sighisoara and Sibiu:

On our return journey back to Bucharest we also drove on the Transfăgărășan road, an amazing folly of a road which cuts through the Carpathian mountains. It's known as one of the best drives in the world and has featured on Top Gear here. We were absolutely terrified on the way up as the road wasn't officially open and the weather conditions were bad - thick fog with limited visibility. However we kept going and despite the conditions we made it to the summit just as the fog cleared. We were rewarded with brilliant sunshine on the return journey and had a sunny picnic overlooking a lake.
Not for the faint hearted but very exciting and a holiday highlight for me! After we finished on the Transfăgărășan we sadly had to make our way back to Bucharest and towards the end of the holiday. I loved Romania and would go back soon. I'd recommend it if you would like a (fairly) cheap holiday, that's a bit different, with stunning scenery! 

Let me know if you have been or would like to go? It would be interesting to know other people's thoughts.

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