Seeing as how the story never ends, one early April Saturday, or rather sometime late Friday, ye olde spirit of mountaineering woke up in yours truly and sent him slightly to the north, in the valley of Prahova, in a very small town called Sinaia1. At this point the reader might (or might not) wonder why this one and not the other one: leaving aside the fact that Sinaia's not quite the backwater shithole that Azuga is, it's also slightly closer, i.e. just a one hour and a half train ride from the shithole that yours truly was running away from. So there I am, at 8 sorta waking up while still on the train, and at 8:30 in the train station, where2:
Ya know! Anyway, moving on:
I insisted on going back to the platform to take a shot of these fucking liars who kept on polluting my eyes with their shitty ads, moreso that the ads kept on going from the train station all the way to the place in question. Now, dear owners of Ramayana Cafe -- if you're reading this, then:
Remember, remember, the 19th of September
When we went where "non-stop" was exposed;
For a mug of your amber and perchance a warm ember,
Yet alas, your bodega was closed.
Pictured above: a mountain with the sunlight still behind it. Below it, the entrance to Hotel Caraiman, facing Sinaia's central park. To the left there was a dude who was taking his beagle for a walk, ye ol' hound barking in a very hoarse voice.
Above, a shot of Peleș, followed by photos taken from the terrace of Restaurant Regal. We didn't visit the castle -- not this time. It was crowded, like the last time we went there, and after previous experiences of being literally given a hasty run through the castle chambers, we passed. Instead, we went to the Pelișor -- "the little Peleș", if you will -- where we got to see and appreciate the stuff of kings and queens at our own pace, without pretend-guides reciting their little chant. Below, the reader can admire a photo of the house in question.
Above, a waterfall and... stuff. What, even horse is artist! Anyway, moving on:
This was my first shot of the mountains for the day -- just look at the beauty of that snow! I'd wanted to take an earlier shot from a nice spot near Pelișor, but a gendarme came to tell me access was forbidden, because... I don't know, it's not like his masters are stealing money from my bag to pay his welfare or something. Anyway, this was also how we found out that access to castle Foișor is forbidden to us plebs. Gotta stop bein' a pleb, I guess.
On the way back downtown, we stumbled upon:
For the record, in Romanian, "peleu" is yet another way to say "pulă", i.e. cock. Now take a look at this one:
I wonder where they keep the other 89 pieces.
Did you know that Sinaia was the first town in ye olde Romanian kingdom to get electric public lighting? Meanwhile, in the park, a pretty lame statuette near a tree:
Meanwhile, outside the park, a sign:
which must have some meaning, if only we saw into its full depth... Meanwhile! very near the train station:
which translates word by word to: maximum quickness, 60 km per hour -- or is it perhaps: maximum hotness, 60k on the Scoville scale? E greu de intuit ce a vrut să zică autorul.
We then went to the Știrbey Castle, nowadays known as the Sinaia Museum, which, leaving aside the very rude orcs selling tickets at the entrance, was actually pretty cool! Although it can still use some work, this one has none of the contextless crap I've seen in Sibiu, giving one a few basic references to use when they're interested in learning about the town's history.
Besides, the rude orcs allowed me to take as many photos as I liked, which didn't do much for me, except that "temporary exhibition" they had where they filled four walls with documents dating back to the earliest XXth century, e.g.:
Luați imediate măsuri ca toate firmele și insignele nemțești să fie date jos sau șterse în caz când au fost sau scrise direct pe case sau magazii. Atrageți atențiunea populațiunei și comercianților asupra dispozițiunilor cum trebuie să fie arnjat triculorul, de oare ce au constat că modul cum sunt așezate culorile la diferite steaguri este neregulat așezate.
Culorile vor fi astfel: albastru la lemn, galben la mijloc și roșu în afară fâlfâind.
Toată corespondența se va lucra numai pe stil vechi.
Orele de cancelarie se ficsează de la 8-12 a.m. și 3-7 p.m. În celele lalte ore cum și în tot timpul nopții va trebui să se găsească în cancelaria plășii și primăriilor sau companiei de jandarmi câte un om de serviciu.
Ne veți reporta numele funcționarului care absentează de la serviciu și contra cărora vom lua severe măsuri.
Despre executarea dispozițiunilor din prezentul ordin ne veți raporta.
There's more where that came from, who knows, maybe some day I'll post all the photos. Meanwhile, our Sinaia trip comes to an end. Stay tuned for more!