First impressions of our new second home | Cluj-Napoca | Romania
I'm sitting alone in a nice, casual bistro in the old town next to our apartment, sipping a fresh squeezed lemon juice and going through the pictures I've taken in the past days. It's almost 9 p.m. on a Tuesday evening.
There are couples enjoying of the local wines and dining. Music isn't too loud. The terraces on the front of the bistro are packed with people. It's dark outside, so the tables are lightened with cozy candles. In past days I've done things that I haven't done for years, stared people in the cafeterias and wandered around the streets without destination. In this post I'm focused on the street views of Cluj-Napoca. Let's go!
Cluj-Napoca is an unofficial capital of Transylvania
with it's ~410 000 habitats, of which prominent amount are students, coming to study medicine and technology from all over the world. The universities in Cluj-Napoca are extremely old and have an OK reputation. Also the price latter is competitive. Because of the amounts of highly educated, intelligent people in technology and medicine, Cluj-Napoca is also a 'tech hub' of Romania - could be said that incredibly competitive 'tech hub' worldwide. Unfortunately, professionals in Romania don't earn as much as they should, but there is a high potential for start-ups - especially in a software. Thanks to the professionals in medicine, in Cluj-Napoca you can find a specialist for every body part from dentists to the neuro-scientists and surgeons.
Cluj has an incredibly beautiful architecture
which shows the eras in the history of Romania. You'll see small (or a bigger) details everywhere you look at. As everywhere, old city is well-kept, tidy and beautiful. Outside of the old town the architecture is different (thank you Russians) but nothing - even the 'poorest' parts of Cluj-Napoca looks worse than the 'poorest' areas of Helsinki, Finland - which has seemingly better social security system than Romania has - well, Finland HAS a social security system and the citizens should stop complaining about it. Also, Finnish government should stop cutting the social security benefits from the less fortunate. When I paid my taxes to Finland, I wanted to pay them for securing the healthcare, education, roof and meals for those whom can't afford. But I don't want to ruin this post with politics (OK I already did, so could be that I cannot stop myself from continuing with this topic...)
Coming to which: Cluj-Napoca's restaurant scene is mind-blowing!
There are restaurants after restaurants, representing various kitchens, cafeterias after cafeterias packed with various coffee blends - just how you like it. If you are picky with the ingredients, most of the stuff is fresh and local growth, lots of options for vegans and vegetarians. But this place is also a meat and cheese lover's heaven on earth! Romanian kitchen is a blessing. And, ironically, during the week I've spent here, I've had the best Italian food I've ever had in Italy - and trust me, I've eaten a lot of different stuff during my tens of visits in Rome and around Italy. Also, there are amazing French restaurants in Cluj-Napoca. I'm not lying if I say, that our dinners for two, including quality wines, have cost every time 20-50€. Talking about good quality wine... HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT ROMANIAN WINES? Amazing roses, reds and whites... ohh my!!! I'm going to give you the best restaurant tips for Cluj-Napoca in a upcoming month.
Interested in beauty?
Romanians know how to do it. From hairstylists to beauty treatments and plastic surgery. I'm about to write my reviews of the treatments I'll be going through from tip to toe. So far I've experienced micro-blading, hair makeover, facials and lash extensions. No pictures about those in this post, let's look at the local market place instead:
Please keep on mind and respect, that Romanians are mainly truly religious.
There aren't religions pushed in a sense that atheists could not breath. Myself I have visited multiple churches here in Cluj-Napoca for the first time in over ten years and it has felt good. There are a lot of energies inside of those religious buildings. This might not make sense for many, but praying or going to church doesn't have to be related to religions. It's a way of meditating and getting closer to your inner self and the powers around us. There are a lot of worrying things happening in the era we are living. Getting closer to the powers and energies we can't really explain, gives relief for some. Those energies and powers I feel inside of the religious buildings in Cluj-Napoca, make me cry - but at the same time it feels purifying with all it's cliches.