The event that marked the beginning of this summer was the small holiday we spent in Sibiu, one of the most beautiful and visited cities in Romania. I don't say that, Forbes says it, in 2008: "Europe's 8th-most idyllic place to live"!
It was a very pleasant trip. The fear that I will soon forget the beautiful days spent there makes me write and tell now, while it is still clear and fresh in my head, about the places I visited.
Once again, I start from the square! The center of the center is the square. In Sibiu there are two, the Big Square and the Small Square, next to each other.
The end of the day found us in the square. People are strolling around and enjoying the last rays of sunshine. It's not crowded yet, we have chosen this period especially for the holiday. After mid-June several festivals start, including the famous International Theatre Festival and a lot of tourists will come.
Until the hordes arrive, residents but especially tourists like us enjoy the space and freedom to enjoy.
As I said, the two squares are close to each other. Here is one of the crossings from the Big Square to the Small Square. It's a route we often take.
Sibiu is also called "The City with Eyes". All the old houses have small windows on the roof, which look like eyes.
Upper Town and Lower Town. Our hotel is at the bottom, so we looked for a staircase... not knowing it would take us very close to a temptation. Other than food and drink.
My wife discovered a small shop of handmade objects with Transylvanian specific. My wife, born in Transylvania, has an endless nostalgia for everything from there. The shop was there, right where the stairs end but there was a problem. It was closed, rightly so though, given the late hour of the night.
The shop is called "Flowers of Transylvania"!
With difficulty I unglued my wife from the shop window, we looked around and then a well-deserved rest at the hotel, this was the first day that added to the fatigue of the road to Sibiu.
Nervousness meant that the next day we were much too early outside the shop. I forgot that the hours of these small shops are adapted (somewhat) to the habits of tourists and they wake up later when they are on holiday. So, the shop still closed!
My wife, slightly disappointed but with hope intact that she would eventually make it into the store, stuck to the window again.
Daylight helps us see more clearly what is on offer. My wife loves these silhouettes of houses in Sibiu, with eyes, shutters and old doors, especially for them she now cries at the door and window.
I like old items better and I say now that I like the window frame better!
I also helped her explore the inside of the store, managing to take a photo full of strange reflections...
You can see that if you stick your forehead to the window.
We are already in our second day in Sibiu and we are already used to the atmosphere here, the customs and we know where to walk. We are waiting for the shop to open, so we are waiting for the walk. We stay in the area to see the place in daylight. There's a small market here too, I don't know how many more there are. It's also the beginning of the Lower Town.
I have to say again that I like everything old and a little decrepit, I think because of how I feel right now. The houses here have courtyards, discreet and little seen courtyards. As curious as I am, I've shied away from going into these yards and photographing, so I'm only showing the little I've seen.
I was most impressed by a building on a side street. Here, in Sibiu, almost all the houses have the sign of historical monument.
When I read the text on that historical monument sign I was super excited. That building is an old people's home, run by the church and later the town hall, built before 1290!
I am impressed by the age of this city and its buildings that have withstood these many hundreds of years. I am impressed by the degree of civilization. I think that another historical region of Romania, namely Moldavia, was founded in 1359, that is almost a hundred years since this asylum existed in Sibiu!
I was suddenly snatched from my thoughts about the history of the country by the appearance of the lady who runs the shop.
Finally the door is open!
I got permission to photograph inside, so I can show what can be bought. Almost all the items are painted wood.
Here is actually a designer shop, because a lady painter painted all the items. The artist's name is Oana Cerbu and you can find out more about her HERE, you can even order her works online, she sells a lot abroad.
We find here from small decorative objects for the house to furniture painted in the old Transylvanian style, with German influences here but also Hungarian (I think so but I don't know if it is correct, I mean the Hungarian influence).
I spent a long time in the shop. We made friends with the lady who runs this wonderful little place, talked a lot, especially since I learned that she was born very close to where my wife was born.
Then my wife had to see everything, choose what to buy for us and to give to a few friends and, of course, try not to upset the budget too much.
During this time, after seeing the exhibits much quicker than my wife, I also had time to see the world on the other side of the window, with lots of cute happenings, the window being right at the top of the stairs leading to the Upper Town. Like the real adventure of carrying a little girl up the stairs when she wanted the exact opposite!
My wife behaved similarly to this beautiful little blonde girl, I barely managed to extract her from the store, but I did with the promise of the morning coffee that was now threatening to happen at noon.
From this side the staircase ascends to the Upper Town. I like people a lot, to look at them and try to understand them only from their image, without any other information about their life. Here, in Sibiu, I have seen many interesting people. A monk is always a strange and mysterious person.
I hope you don't think I'm a man without manners and care! My wife, just like our niece Ilinca, always wants to carry the purchases she likes. As exhausting as it is. I can't object.
Obviously, I kept my promise. Especially since I wanted coffee even more than she did. I didn't confess this to her but, just as obviously, she knew this. She knows me a little, we've only been married for 45 years.
A very tasty and quiet coffee in the Goldsmith Square. I will tell about it in a future post dedicated to this pleasant short holiday.
I consider it my obligation to show what my wife bought in the gift shop. That is, to show what's left over after she's shared the catch with her friends. Only the houses, ceramics are bought long ago.
They will remind us of this trip and encourage us to do it again, maybe even this fall.
I wrote this post thinking about @dswigle's #MarketFriday challenge. Now, at the end, rereading and trying to correct mistakes, I saw that it is a travel post, in the same way as a shopping post, so I decided to use Pinmapple, because it helps me to pinpoint on the map the location of the city and place I have told about. I hope I chose well. I always have difficulty choosing because many communities have overlapping themes and interests.
A flower always, #alwaysaflower. Of course, also from Sibiu!!