Poiana Brașov, the place you will think of, twice before, if you want to go there again

Last weekend, for two days, I had a special guest. Her name is Mitch and she came from the Philippines from the country’s capital, Manila, in Romania, based in Brașov.

Our enthusiasm was great when we found out that he was coming, we really wanted to show him a lot of things, places, as many tourist attractions and views that would take his breath away, to see that Romania is beautiful, that Brasov is beautiful. Unfortunately, at the end of the day we were only struck by a deep disappointment. Specifically, Mitch traveled from the Philippines, from 9,498 km (by plane) and about 22,000 km if we calculated on a road by car, so as not to see anything.

Why? Because Brașov, although it is in the top of the most visited cities in Romania, offers almost nothing … nothing good.

At least 11 nice places that you can’t see for various reasons

We started on Saturday morning with a well-developed plan, with a list of places we wanted to take it, but we only hit the queues, congestion, fighting on the missing parking spaces in the city, nerves, horns, places closed historical sites, tourist attractions ruined by the new generations who have no idea how to take care of the few places that could still attract tourists.

Our list contained the following places:

1. To climb the Tâmpa by cable car

2. Zoo

3. The fortress of Brașov

4. The White Tower

5. The Black Tower

6. Council Square

7. The Black Church

8. New Lake

9. Oktoberfest

10. The first Romanian school

11. Sforii Street

12. Dinner (somewhere, anywhere)

I had 10 things to check with her and a burning desire to make her a beautiful day not to be forgotten. Said and done … but I think only the last part, because surely he will not be able to forget that the whole list was limited to many city tours and prayers for a parking space.

Public toilet, expensive objective in Brașov

Well, the first stop would be under Tâmpa, for the cable car ride. Of course, for the view and the experience, you can also climb on foot, on a lot of marked routes, but because time was pressing on us, we wanted to go by cable car. The first problem I had … parking spaces. Nowhere, on any street in the center, and there are many, I could not find any place. After about three or four rounds, we were lucky to find a place, but at a great distance from the ticket office. I parked, paid for the parking for an hour and took a walk. Arriving at the ticket office, the second problem arose: a long queue. With the list in hand and the plan well done at home, we decided by mutual agreement that there is no point in wasting four hours a day sitting in line for a cable car that we probably won’t even get to catch because of the short schedule after which it works.

So we turned to the car, passing the most scandalous situation: the public toilet under Tâmpa, a lucrative business anyway. No, stay and explain now to the tourists from the Philippines that we in Romania have to give money to defecate. And not so much, but 2 lei! 2 lei to go through some turnstiles to enter the toilet.

Well, I went to the car, which already had paid parking for an hour, and headed to the Zoo. Once there, I paid for another parking lot, although the other one had not expired, but the place was part of another area of ​​the city, where the price / parking is different.

To provide exact details, the city center is part of Zone 0, ie the price / hour is 3 lei, while in zone 1 the price / hour is 2 lei, and in zone 2 the price is 1.50 lei.

Oktoberfest, saving the holidays

The experience at the Zoo was the first pleasant experience I gave Mitch, even if the place is slightly neglected and sad. For an hour and a half he left with most of the photos, with relaxation, with walking in the open air without crowding with anyone.

The third stop was at Oktoberfest, the great luck that Mitch and I had and the great salvation of the visit to Brașov. With a strict and real entrance, given the rules imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the verification of vaccination certificates or rapid testing in the specially arranged tent, we completely ignored the queues for beer and food and went straight to the park entertainment arranged for the event.

If other big cities have amusement parks for the biggest ones as well, with whistling cars, archery, prize games, trampolines or other spinning machines, Brașov has this only twice a year: at Oktoberfest and Christmas, then when in a tiny parking lot next to a market there are 3-4 such games.

Tourist attractions difficult to visit

I also had the First Romanian School on the list, a place where even if you don’t find, unfortunately, almost never queues, you can’t find parking spaces, which is why even if you want to get there, you can’t, having nowhere to leave your car. Some time ago, Vasile Oltean, the director of the First Romanian School, sadly revealed to me that tourists no longer get there because the buses are no longer allowed to go up in the city, because the authorities force the buses to stop at the entrance to the city, and access to the top, in the old center, is problematic.

The same thing happens with the Black Tower, another place that is quite difficult to reach.

The Black Church, another place with a deep historical load, is just as difficult to visit because of the queues you hit and obviously, being also in the center, due to the lack of parking spaces.

The same can be said about Sforii Street, the narrowest street in Romania, a tourist attraction dirty with indifference. Although it was renovated three years ago due to scribbles, drawings and obscene words, they immediately reappeared on the walls.

We left the historical places later in the evening, so that we could capture the landscape both during the day and at night and so that we could capture the city from above in all its splendor.

Belvedere and Turnul Alb, both on the road to Poiana Brașov, are the only places where you don’t have to pay for parking or crowding … too much. Two of the places where, if you didn’t know what was below, you would say that Brașov is a perfect city, the ideal place where you don’t see the deep absence of parking spaces at such a big wave of inhabitants and tourists.

Brașov Fortress, the disappointment of Brașov in which each tourist creates his own story

Last but not least, I arrived at Brașov Fortress, a disappointment of the city, the place that I like the most, but which saddens me with every walk I take there.

In 1773, the Habsburg emperor Joseph II ordered the restoration of the fortress, the form restored then being the one preserved today.

Nine years after this restoration, the fortress was offered to the city to be bought, but because no one wanted to buy it, it functioned for a time as a prison for Turkish and French prisoners. During the plague epidemic, a special section was set up for those with such symptoms.

Yes, the story is long and beautiful, but you can only find it on a Google search because if you get there and expect to be able to visit something, as is the case with all cities, it is not so.

The fortress, which a few years ago functioned as a restaurant and gathered a lot of tourists and locals, has been gradually degrading for more than six years, in a fight between Brașov City Hall and Aro Palace that reached the High Court of Cassation and Justice .

Now, inside the fortress, there are only six-year-old weeds, since it was abandoned, and outside it, although it is surrounded by the view of Tâmpa and all parts of the city, they are not very visible due to the increased vegetation. . In addition, each side of the fortress contains warning messages: “Attention, plaster falls”, and the drawings on the walls and obscene words are not missing.

So, in the absence of an exact story that no one can offer to tourists, everyone creates their own story when they arrive at the fortress. As was the example of Mitch, who quickly associated the beauty of the towers with Rapunzel’s story.

Brașov, a city almost dead for the young people who live here every day, but also for tourists

Finally, I will mention the fact that the fight on a table at the restaurants in the center is a real adventure, so instead of taking Mitch to eat something traditional Romanian, we ended up eating at an Italian one …

As I said at the beginning, Brasov is one of the most visited cities and even if the joy of the authorities is great that the economy works, the visit leaves a bitter taste that boils down to a few key details: queues, congestion, indifference, lack of parking spaces, lack local and traditional restaurants, lack of places to have fun, lack of places to visit, high prices. And this is the opinion strictly for a tourist, if you think about the young people who stay permanently in Brașov, the situation is much sadder.

And if you are going to say that we could have found other options to travel to all the above points, by taxi or bus, I will say here that you have no chance, both in terms of time and in terms of costs.

And in conclusion, this is how Mitch came to come from the Philippines to have fun at the Oktoberfest in Brasov, to relax at the Zoo and to take photos just in front of the walls.

Mitch’s reaction after the experience in Brasov

Asking Mitch for a sincere reaction to her experience in Brasov, she told us that she had heard that the British visit the place from time to time.

“Brasov seems to have a lot to offer with history, culture and food. I admire the picturesque view of the mountains and the city. It certainly has its own charm and beauty.

However, I noticed that there is not enough parking space in the central area to visit tourist sites and vandalism in some units. Besides. I love everything, “Mitch told DC NEWS.

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