I slept in a little late after drinking and partying past 03:00 last night and did not wake up until 11:00. I then showered, got ready, ate breakfast (coffee, cereal, milk, bread, and an Easter egg – today is Easter Sunday for Orthodox Christians (us normal people celebrated Easter last Sunday)). I then received some great advice on what there is to see and do in Brasov from the receptionist for the day before heading out to see what would sites would be open today. I first walked to the Brasov Citadel, which dates back to 1524 AD (of course, like most old buildings, it has been heavily renovated and rebuilt with additions through the ages); the citadel is actually in the process of being renovated now and was therefore closed to visitors. So, I walked around the fortified structure and had some great views of Brasov and the surrounding countryside. Next, I walked down the hill that the citadel rests on and through Brasov’s Central Park (right next to the new Town Hall – the old Town Hall is in Council Square) to the Art Museum on the other side of Eroilor Boulevard. Of course, this being Easter, this and all other museums were closed. Then, I walked Republica Street and to the Council Square to see the festivities; there were a number of vendors selling treats, food, clothes, and other items, as well as a man in a Easter Bunny costume; the area was lively, but it was not the big event that I had expected to see (it was a rather low-key celebration for a moderately-sized town). I then continued on in a southwesterly direction to St. Nicholas Church, which is a Romanian Orthodox church that was established in 1292 AD and rebuilt in stone in the early sixteenth-century AD. I walked around and inside the church before exiting the compound and walking back to the center of Brasov. I then spent some time walking up and down Republica Street, trying to find a restaurant to eat lunch at that suited my tastes and was actually open (many businesses are closed on Easter Sunday and the following Monday here). I tried a couple places, but one ended up being completely closed and the other’s kitchen was closed (you can easily get booze on Easter, but not food). I then settled for a fast and cheap source of food: McDonald’s. After drinking iced tea and eating French fries and a classic cheeseburger with some caramelized onions, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes, I walked back to the hostel, through the beating sun (this day, as well as yesterday, were very sunny and hot – I could feel the DNA mutating in the back of my neck). I reached the hostel and then relaxed for some time, reading a bit of history (specifically, the story of the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 AD – this would make a great film). Eventually, I had a beer and hung out in the kitchen. I ended up talking to the three Dutch guys at the hostel and we decided to get dinner together. After 20:00, we walked to a nearby shawarma place and we each had medium-sized chicken shawarma wraps. Then, we walked to the Irish Pub on Republica Street where the one Dutch guy and I drank at last night. We sat in the underground, smoke-filled, loud room and had a couple of beers before deciding we needed a change in venue. We ended up choosing a club/bar named “Temple” that was east of the hostel (in the newer part of Brasov). So, we walked back to the hostel, changed into slightly nicer clothing (for me, this meant changing my shoes), and then walked to “Temple.” We found the place alright and walked inside (which was thick with cigarette smoke). We ended up being disappointed to see it was less of a club and completely a bar. We stood next to the bar, waiting for a table to become unoccupied and had a round of beers. We then made our way to a deserted table and had some more beers. Finally, after talking for a long time and drinking, we left the bar after 02:00 and made our way back to the hostel. I bought some more beer and a snack of crème-filled cookies at the small twenty-four hour convenience store near the hostel (where I had bought the wine from last night) and the Dutch guys bought cigarettes. We then returned to the hostel, drank some more beer, talked together and with a Swiss man and a Polish man, before we all decided to go to sleep at 04:00.
It is worth noting that the Dutch guys explained to me that it is cheaper for them to fly (using a budget airline, i.e. Ryanair) to Romania for the weekend and drink, party, and go clubbing here than to stay in the Netherlands (or any of Western Europe for that matter) and do the same there. With that sort of financial reasoning, I’m surprised the streets aren’t covered with Western Europeans.