April 3, 2016: Dinner out in Reghin

Sunday in Baita.  Even having gone to bed very early last night, we were all feeling pretty tired today as well.  Dominica got up around nine but was back asleep by ten and slept for a few hours on the couch in the living room.

This morning is church, of course, and the church is directly across the street from our house so from the front parlour we have quite the view of everything going on.  Town got very busy with many cars coming into town and parking along the road and lots of people attending mass.

This is our third time since we started our journey just over a year ago, that we are living next door to the church in the village.  So we are getting used to this.

We took it pretty easy today.  The girls mostly played around the house.  Luciana and I did some racing on Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing.

In the afternoon the girls wanted to go for a walk so we got our shoes on and took a stroll down the main street to the south this time to see more of town.  The whole town was out.  Apparently the thing to do is to sit out on a bench in front of your home so that you are visible from the road and everyone can talk to everyone else.  Tons of people were visiting with neighbours in front of their homes.  Everyone wanted to talk to us, of course, but speaking only English and no one in town only speaking Romanian makes that very hard.  This is going to be rather a challenge in the coming months.

This evening we decided to go to Reghin and eat out at a restaurant.  We wanted to go to the big Kaufland grocery store but we did not get moving quickly enough to consider doing that and we had no idea if they would be open today or not, anyway, being that it was a Sunday.

Around eight we set off for Reghin, it is just under twenty kilometres away but it takes a while as the roads are very slow between here and there, especially the roads through out village and the ones along its road as you have to creep through the town.  The roads here are loaded with dogs, people, horses and more.

We had decided to just try our luck driving down the main drag to see what we could find.  We stopped at one spot loaded with banks because I wanted to hit the ATM and get some cash.  Being able to only take out around one hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars at a time is a bit cumbersome, but at least you do not tend to go through cash very quickly when in Romania so that makes things a little easier.  I was able to get 500 RON this time which was $127 USD, a little better than what I was able to get when at the airport on Friday which was only 400 RON, which came out to $108 USD.

Luciana was feeling a little sick from the drive so we decided to just set out on foot to explore the immediate part of the city and see what food options might exist.  There was a sign for a hotel up the street about one hundred metres so we decided that that sounded the most promising.

The hike up the hill was a bit much, it was steeper than we had realized and I think that they were being a bit conservative with the use of one hundred metres, it was closer to double that.  We were warm by the time that we came around a corner to see the hotel.

We went inside and it was deafening loud.  It was like a family birthday party with loud music, balloons, kids running around.  There was no way that we could have spoken to anyone there to order food and we could not tell if this was a real hotel and restaurant or if it had been shut down and was now just a home.  It was very confusing.  They had a lot of banners and stuff promoting this as a hotel, but they sure were not ready for any guests to arrive for rooms or for food.  So we quickly turned around and left.

Across the street was a pensiune called the Casablanca.  I peeked in the windows and they had a couple eating at a nicely set table so we decided to risk it and walked in.  It was very empty but the waitress came and she spoke a few words of English.  I asked about dinner and she said yes so we sat down.  It was very warm there, especially after our walk up the hill.

They had one menu in English that we had to share.  We were very surprised to find that they had real vegetarian options on the menu such as a vegetarian schnitzle and pasta with veggie meat substitute.  This is awesome.

Luciana at the Casablanca

I went for the full vegetarian tray which included a salad, fried cheese wheels (the standard European competition for the American mozzarella stick that I first had in Germany in 2012), fried mushrooms and vegetarian schnitzel.  It was huge and it was delicious.  Dominica went for the veggie pasta which was also really big and very good.  Luciana had eaten as we left the house so just got some pom frite.  Liesl loves soup and Romania is soup country and they had a hearty vegetable soup that she really wanted and ended up loving as well.  It was a really great dinner.

Liesl Loves Soup

The bill came and the entire meal, which left us with enough food to take home for a full meal tomorrow, came out to fifty five RON or, more or less, fifteen dollars after tax and tip!  Incredible.  We are definitely outside of the tourist area now, this is the real price in Romania.  And this is a hotel, not some local restaurant.  I can only imagine how cheap some things much be.  Reghin is a tiny city of thirty three thousand well off of the tourist trail, but it is big enough to have hotels.

We got back home before ten thirty and the girls wanted to play a hidden object game about ancient Greece called Odysseus so we set that up and put in a little less than an hour.  Dominica was asleep before the first scene of the game was over and Luciana was clearly pretty tired.  I was getting sleepy so we cut it short and got everyone off to bed.