The Wifi Does Not Work
23 apr. 2022
Cluj and the surroundings through the eyes of a tourist from Holland. Thank you for this blog.
Arrival in Cluj-Napoca
We flew from Amsterdam to Cluj-Napoca three weeks ago. Getting from the airport to the Airbnb has never gone smoother. I booked an Uber and in less than 5 minutes we were out of the arrival hall and on our way to the city center. That’s my first tip for Romania, use Uber or Bolt instead of taxi’s. There is a bus from the airport, but we’d had to have to wait for two hours according to their website.
After checking-in into the Airbnb, we walked over to an ATM for some cash. Next tip: avoid Euronet ATM’s at all cost! Google which bank has the lowest or no fees for your card, in my case that was ING using Revolut. The whole ‘Cash is still king’ didn’t really apply to the cities, as I was able to pay by card basically anywhere. Still, I like to keep some cash on hand.
The first evening, we dined on some exquisite international cuisine, meaning we went to McDonald’s. It seems very popular, so if you have a refined palate like me, prepare to wait in line for quite some time.
For our first day I had booked a day trip to the Turda Salt Mine, Turda Gorge and Rimetea Village on TripAdvisor. For day trips, I make sure to read all the reviews and to check if there’s any advantage to booking a tour. For example: in Bucharest you can book day trips to a few castles, the advantage is transportation and in most cases a guide, but you still need to pay entrance for each castle on arrival. If I had a rental, I would drive to these places myself, save quite some money and be able to leave whenever I want to instead of waiting for the other tourists.
In this case, driving there myself wouldn’t have been the experience that our guide Tudor from Curly Guide Tours gave us.
First we went to the Turda Salt Mine, where Tudor guided us around and told us some of the history of this place. It’s a tourist attraction but also used for ‘halotherapy’, alternative medicine using the salty air to heal. Whatever you believe, breathing down in the mine felt like going to a spa, which is nice in itself.
Then we went for a canyon hike, where we were accompanied by four wonderful dogs who hiked along from start to finish. Tudor provided us with crampons and trekking poles, which were much appreciated as elevation and me aren’t the best buddies.
To finish, we visited Rimetea in the Apuseni Mountains of Transylvania. After the long hike, drinking some fresh water from the pump in the center of the village was very refreshing (of course we also had water with us during the hike, hydration is important).
I plan to visit Romania again in the future (by car), and I am a 100% going to book with Curly Guide Tours again, this was truly the best experience I could have wished for on our first day in Romania.