Adventures in the marvellous Mini of doom!

Dave Smart


Day 19:
Cluj-Napoca to Brasov

I wandered around Cluj in the morning, a really pretty little town, and scribbled a few more notes about the preceding days travels whilst sitting on the main square listening to some chill out music being piped from the café.

I decided Brasov would be the next stop and, once I set off it wasn’t long before I got stuck in a huge traffic jam in a town called Turda of all places. This lasted for about 90 mins and was very frustrating. A moment of light relief was when I spotted a military truck full of guys with beach balls filling the cab, looked like they were having a blast.

I set off for Brasov and was driving on some fabulously twisty roads with great straights too, much of the area seemed very alpine, but without the steepness and incessant hairpins. The locals really don’t seem to like being overtaken and, if the guy in the Skoda didn’t want me to get past, he shouldn’t have left a Mini sized gap up the inside of that hairpin. It seems he harboured a grudge too as, about 30 mins later in a small village, he forced his way back in front of me in the face of oncoming traffic.

I stopped in a really nice town for a late lunch and got pounced on by a parking attendant to buy a parking ticket.  Thinking there was over an hour to go till the end of the restriction, I dutifully paid up, only to find there was only 5 mins of restrictions left. I guess he was smiling to himself…

As I ate a very late lunch, The Flying Pickets were being played in the café and reminded me of a time at school when we nearly got thrown off the bus one night on the way to St Andrews for singing it – don’t think the bus driver was impressed with our lack of vocal talents.

I eventually arrived in Brasov very late as I hadn’t reset the time zone on my GPS! I couldn’t find a hostel and headed out of town where I found a rather faceless but very plush hotel and, after a little negotiation, settled down for the night.

Keith Adams

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