Timișoara, Romania

Romania doesn’t fit in with the its neighbors in some ways. It’s part of the EU, it uses the Latin alphabet, and its language is similar to Italian. Timișoara specifically reminded me of Austria, if only because of its opera house:

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The one thing that stood out to me about the city, as acknowledged by the hostel owner, is that it is largely under construction.

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Will be beautiful in a few years.

That could be because of its relatively recent accession to the European Union, which has funded many of the construction projects.

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Also note how the “completion” date has been taped over quite a few times.

Power lines in Timișoara are almost entirely overground. I wouldn’t normally be someone to note that but it’s hard to miss when, by the looks of it, every new development gets its own power line.

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Maybe it’s modern art?

Other parts of the city have murals/graffiti to cover uglier facades, which actually works out to look quite nice.

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They’ve also come up with a great concept of having bakeries with huge glass fronts and a sales window so you can buy fresh pastries right there!

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Some pumpkin-filled goodness right here.

They also confused me by having street bands that were playing for no audience and had no money-collecting receptacle out.

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Still added to the atmosphere quite nicely.

I also appreciated the irony in that the department of construction at the local university had a sadly crumbling staircase leading to the entrance.

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On a darker note, my visit to the country came just about two weeks after a devastating nightclub fire killed more than 60 concert-goers in Bucharest, the capital. It was soon after blamed on government corruption, which allowed the nightclub to operate without proper fire safety measures in place. This quickly sparked protests around the country, including in Timișoara.

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Sign reads corruption kills.

A group also put together a metal concert benefiting the victims’ families and survivors.

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This time with fire measures (including a fire engine in the background) in place.

Leaving the country I got another viewing of antique trains, except as usual these trains are actually still in service.

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Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to ride it…

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