Perls of Transylvania. Sibiu

Saturday morning and I am walking on the streets of Sibiu  desperately looking for a place where I can buy a cup of coffee. Maybe you wonder why on earth would I do that on a Saturday morning? Well, the answer is very simple. Although I was staying in a beautiful villa 30 km from Sibiu, when I woke up in the morning and went straight to the coffee machine, because I was in desperate need for my dose of caffeine,  I realized that coffee machine is much smarter than I was expecting and I had no clue how to make it work. Somehow I lost myself between buttons sequence and the coffee machine went berserk releasing steam through every crack.  Deprived of my morning coffee, I decided that since I have to leave the villa so early I might as well go to Sibiu and see how is returning to life on a Saturday morning.

Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

I left the idyllic surroundings of Salistea village and went to Sibiu. Bought my coffee in the first coffee shop, I found open and with shaking hands I took my first sip…It was divine!!!!

Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

I do not think the coffee was better than  other coffees I had before, I can say I had better. I think it was the taste of Autumn morning on the streets of Sibiu which added the extra flavour to my coffee. I was waking up gradually, sip by sip, step by step on the streets of Sibiu and I felt like a little girl waking up in the fairy tale she was reading about before she went to bed. It was not my first time in Sibiu, but it was the first time I was seeing it like this, in a totally new light.

Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The streets were empty at that hour and I felt like having a private tour in a city which just like me, was gradually waking up…. on a sunny Autumn Morning…

Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Transylvania is now number one on top regions to visit in 2016 according to Lonely Planet. It is luscious green with rolling hills. Transylvania  still keeps the charm of a region forgotten by changes and by the passing time. I am saying still because the first signs of the massive tourism are showing its voracious appetite and soon will most likely become like any other region, an outdoor gift shop for tourists. From all the places which are making from Transylvania a must visit region I choose to talk about Sibiu and there is a reason for that.

Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

First time when I visited Sibiu it was 15 years ago. I remember like it was yesterday the strong feelings I had about the city. I  like the Transylvanian cities, I love the narrow streets and Saxon influence in architecture. The moment I stepped on the streets of Sibiu I felt like travelling in a country which was not Romania although the languages people were speaking on the streets was Romanian. Back then I never been out of the country, it was more difficult, we need a visa to be able to travel in Europe. For me being in Sibiu, it was like travelling to another country, something that I was dreaming and wanted so badly to do. I found in Sibiu a substitute, walking on those streets I could imagine being on the streets of some European city because Sibiu had all the attributes. No wonder it was chosen in 2007 as the cultural capital of Europe.

Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

In December 2007, I was back to Sibiu celebrating in Piata Sfatului the beginning of a new year and of a new era for me. There were no more visas for Romanians, we were free to travel all over Europe without a visa. So my travelling season begin.The more I travelled outside my country the less I was visiting Romania. I was not needing a substitute anymore. I passed through Sibiu few times since then but never spend enough time to remember, because I forgot,  what I liked about it in the first place.

Piata Mica, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Piata Mica, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Two weeks ago I went to Sibiu in a team building. We were staying in a villa in Salistea 30 km from Sibiu surrounded by orchards painted by the Autumn`s colours. In the morning, a thin mist was lingering close to he ground leaving behind strands of grass covered with frost. The morning light passing through the yellow leafs make the trees look like being made of gold, There was so much peacefulness I could have stayed there the entire life only to watch the seasons changing the nature around me and use the words to depict the entire atmosphere…Again inspired by the idyllic view, I went in the garden picked some frosty hydrangeas and rudbeckia along with some honeysuckle and spirea and made a bouquet, an Autumn bouquet, a bouquet concentrating the colours of Autumn on the hills around Sibiu.

Autumn Bouquet, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Autumn Bouquet, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Leaving the idyllic garden went back to Sibiu. This time, I was walking on its street remembering the things  I loved when I came to Sibiu for the firs time.

Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

I think Autumn is the best season to visit Sibiu the red city, was named like this because all the buildings were built with red bricks, with Gothic style churches and Saxon influences in architecture looks like being gilded under the Autumn light and the tree`s yellow leafs are giving a golden aura to the streets.

Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The presence of part of the old defensive wall is bringing a sweet old times perfume. Walking close to the walls I was expecting to see mademoiselle with crinolines and knights wearing heavy armours.

Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The old is integrated with the new and Autumn is bringing her contribution with some more golden hue adorning the old defensive walls.

The Fortifications Wall, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
The Fortifications Wall, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The first mention of Sibiu was in 1191 and this makes me think about how many invasions these walls must off witnessed to. This being one of the surviving towers out of 39 which were part of fortification wall defending the city.

The Tower, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
The Tower, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Sibiu was founded by Saxons and together with Brasov was one of the wealthiest cities in Transylvania. In Sibiu were 19 guilds ruling the city, their importance and wealth can be seen in the surviving building in the old city.

The Council Tower, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
The Council Tower, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The Council Tower is the best place to have a panoramic view of the old part of the city.

The Council Tower, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
The Council Tower, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The windows are opening towards a city which from up there still seems to be lost somewhere in the 15th century.

The Council Tower, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
The Council Tower, Sibiu, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Rays of lights are breaking the darkness through the narrow windows in the tower bringing light in the hidden corners.

Liars Bridge, Sibiu. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Liars Bridge, Sibiu. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Few steps from the tower the road is going towards  the lower town under the liars bridge. Sibiu uses to be divided in two, a more wealthy upper town and a poorer lower town.

Liars Bridge, Sibiu. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Liars Bridge, Sibiu. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The legend says that if anyone says a lie on liars bridge the bridge is starting to shake. I guess that bridge is the right place to ask your significant one some important questions you really ned to find an answer to.

It was a weekend spent at Autumn`s bosom. I had Autumn with me when I was wandering the streets of Sibiu chasing down some lost memories, well, those memories were not lost only forgotten.  It was a good feeling to take some dusty memories, shake them a little bit and make them shine in the Autumn light adding to old memories some new one…