Suceava, Romania (24th – 25th of January 2006)

Wednesday 24th of January 2006

So I was back in Suceava around 3.00pm and tried the bus station for a bus to Chernivtsi in the Ukraine. There was only one piece of information on the whole of the world wide web and it said there were three buses a day. I went to the bus station and all they did was nearly clear me from the place. No luck what so ever. I did not know what to do as I had not planned to stay here at all. There is no bus service within the city .. just these maxi taxis that ply the city… They serve different routes and cost 10,000 lei which is pretty good value.

I had the guidebook “Lets go: Eastern Europe” which had little to no information on the town, no maps, no transport, no accomodaion etc. I had the address of the Class Hotel which I had picked up in the hostel in Sighoroara. After asking about a half a dozen people where the street was with no luck I had to get a taxi. I hadnt slept since 2 days back. I had walked around Hura for a full day in bitter cold with a 12kg backpack and I was wanted to see a bed.

I was horrified to find out that my destintion (the location of the hostel) was near the railway station where I had just come from. I could have taken a maxi-taxi back up for 10,000 lei. As the taxi meter ran up to 90,000 lei (about 5 minutes beyound the train station in the middle of no where) we reached the hostel. A lady came out and roared back for the taxi not to leave. She said to the taxi driver who had perfect English that the hostel would be closed until march. Feck….

What a fecking day. No sleep on the overnight train, 5km walk from Hura into town, bitter cold, no bus to Chernivtsi, having to take my first taxi during my trip (against my unwritten rules) and now this. No place to stay in the middle of nowhere in the cold and it was getting dark. The lady at the so called hostel told the taxi driver her sister owned a Bed and Breakfast but it would cost 500,000 lei. I had little choice. What else could I do. I would have to pay for another taxi ride there.

So I get back in the taxi, and I am pissd off. He has good english so we chat. We is self emplyed taxi driver and likes to travel. He learned his English off the television. About 20 minutes later we get to the Bed and Breakfast. I ask him how much expecting the worse and he says “no charge”. I cant believe it – a taxi driver not charging. She knows I am a student, have had a tough day and as he is self employed, its his choice. I thank him.

I walk into the Leaganul Bucovinei Bed and Breakfast Suceava

Leaganul Bucovinei is a 3 star Bed & Breakfast in Suceava, Bukovina. It is situated in the green, residential area at the exit of Suceava (towards Bucharest). The rooms are fully fitted at modern standards, with en-suite bathroom. The coziness and silence of the area, the proximity to the town (5 minutes walk) as well as the excellent positioning towards access routes are our key success factors to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

What can I say. I am showed a room by a very greasy, very shifty looking character. He says it costs 800,000 lei. I look shocked and say I went to the hostel, spend 200,000 lei on taxis (I lied, sorry) and now he wants 800,000 lei after the day I had. He recognises I am pissed off and he shows me a smaller room for 700,000 lei. I haggle him down to 600,000 lei but he wants me to pay him right then and now, with my backpack on. I pratically kick him out of the room. I am exhausted and as soon as I lie down, I fall asleep.

I went down to the fecker around 8.00pm and paid him. He also demands my passport which he keeps to my dislike. I have to eat and order soup, bread and chicken. After a terrible meal, he comes out with the bill. He has charged me twice for bread and has doubled the price of the chicken meal (as stated in the menu). He said it was heavier than advertised on the menu. This was a packet of frozen out of the packet grilled chicken with undercooked chips. Lousy chicken at that. I demand the menu and checked it off against the bill. I paid him for what I ordered and nothing more and no tip. He just laughts and smiles. What an absolute prick. I dont hate many people, but at that moment I hate this guy with a vengeance.

I go up, have a shower and go to sleep. I want to leave this town first light tomorrow.

Thursday 25th of January 2006
I was up around 9.00am and took a maxi taxi into town. I went to the train station with my little map of Romnania and the ukraine with a few sentenses written underneath the page saying I wanted transport (bus – autobus or train – trenul) to Chernivtsi / Cernivci in the Republica Ucraina. I had no idea what she was saying (like yesterday). She was shaking her head and pointing out the door. No help. I pleaded with all and sundry without help. Blank stares.

Suceava, Romania

Taken on the 25th of January 2006

In the past few years Suceava started to evolve more rapidly, but even so it remains a small, dreary city. Tourists can visit the Museum of History, Hanul Domnesc, Cetatea de Scaun (fortress), Muzeul Satului, the Planetarium, the Museum of Natural Science and, in the vicinity of the city, a few monasteries, lakes, woods and the floral reservation of Bosanci. The Saint George’s Church of Suceava is one of the seven Painted churches of northern Moldavia included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

There are also a few hotels, restaurants, pubs and bars in the city (mostly in the center area), but in Suceava there is no

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Suceava, Romania

Taken on the 25th of January 2006

The city is located in the north-eastern Romania with a population of about 100,000. The name is of Hungarian origin, being derived from Szucsvar which means “Town on the skin-workers”, this etymology being given in Dimitrie Cantemir’s Descriptio Moldaviae. The city of Suceava was the capital of the first centralized stat of Moldavia (between 1359 and 1565) under the rule of Bogdan I, Petru Musat and Stefan cel Mare. At the end of World War I Suceava became part of Greater Romania along with the rest of Bukovina.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

I headed to a few travel agencies without success (they tried to be helpful) until I went to the Agencie de Voyages. The lady in there said the VOG 19 train from bucharest to Moscow via Kiev passd the station around 13.37pm. I thanked her and headed straight to the station with a maxitaxi number 1 costing 10,000 lei. I asked the information person there (no English) about it. She saw the Vog 19 and said it passed between 13.19 and 13.34. After alot of misunderstandings, you have to wave down the train or it stops for a few minutes. It has no definite time of arrival and you can not buy a ticket until you board the train. It was all very stressful. I waited at that station in the cold from noon until 2.00pm. There was no bloody Russian made train with international amrkings passing. I went back and forth to the information desk. He was getting nowhere and I was fed up. i waited there until 4.00pm. Feck, arse. I was a little mad. From further investigation after this trip was completed, the train does not pass every day…..

Bucuresti Nord 07.27 – Suceava Nord 15.01 – Chernovcy 02.05 – L’viv 11.50 R382 Bulgaria Express (the direct wagon departs Bucharest on Tue, Fri and Sun) What the hell.

I walked to the maxi taxi (10,000 lei) number 1 and went to te bus station, wanting to take any bus in any direction but hopefully Budapest that every evening. I did not care that I didnt want to go back there and my flight was out of Poland – Krakow. I tried a few international bus offices and all they had was Germany, austria, Italy (i was VERY tempted). All the buses to Cluj on the way to budapest (and where there are buses running all night to budapest) had finished and I just wanted to get back to Budapest (and change my flight home from Krakow to Budapest). I wanted to save a nights accommodation and take the 10pm bus to budapest and then catch a train to Budapest or Krakow from there – which would have cost an arm and a leg. Bummer, feck it all.

I decided to walk down town and get my first bite to eat all day. I had my backback on all day as well. It was now about 5.00pm and I passed Hotel Suceava on the main street. I decided to head in and check about buses to Budapest and there is a travel agency in there as well. There was a guy in there called Stefan who spoke perfect english because he had studied engineering in England. He calmed me down and sat me down. He ran the bus and train stations for me. Spoke to them and said there was without a doubt a bus from the bus station at 1pm every day. You could not buy this ticket in the bus station but from the bus driver from noon on. He reassured me and we chatted. He spoke up for Suceava and recommended a few places to stay. Thank god I met this guy, or I would be walked back to Ireland.

I had the brochure from a Bed and Breakfast called Villa Alice given to me by Stevan from the travel agency within the hotel. it was slightly more expensive than the Bed and Breakfast I had stayed in last night, but I wasnt going back to that place. Too far away and he was a greasy unlikeable man that owned it. I got pretty lost in trying to find Villa Alice. i was walking for about 40 minutes. I finally asked a lady on the street. Again, she spoke French but no English, but she was very kind. She walked me the 10 minutes to the accommodation door. Very kind of her and we had a nice conversation about the places I had been.

When I entered, the guy said he had no single rooms for 699,000 left but after telling him I would simply go to the Hotel Suceava for the same price, suddedly a room became avaialble. Bullshitter!

The room was small, but I was tired and cold from a day doing nothing- sitting at the bloody train station, walking around with my backpack all day long. I had a shower and cut my hair, my nails and watched some romanian folk music on the TV.

I let around 9.00pm to find some place to eat. I finally found (only a few places here) a small street with 4/5 fast food’ish type places. I walked in and ordered basically was 1/2 a chicken, salad, chips and bread for 145,000 lei. Two nice girls (sisters) worked there and we spoke a while.

I walked a few minutes to a cosmo modern bar called “gang” which the travel agncy guy had recommended. Very nice, very civilized. Probably too civilized for a guy like me who likes his spit and sawdust bars. I had a pretty early night.