The other aspect of Romania that has made it quite so special is not the day's cycling, but the night's sleeping. I've had two more spectacular residences in Romania, both accidental and unplanned, and both steeped in history. The first is here, the second will form the next post.
Whilst traversing Mures river valley, my host from the night before, Guglielmo (host in Arad) jokingly messaged me that I should pitch my tent in Corvin castle itself. A throwaway line, but a seed started to germinate. Corvin castle well could have been the inspiration for Hogwarts, the castle walls seem to grow out naturally from the rock stack it towers upon and a footbridge suspended on towering stone arches traverses the moat cum river valley. After visiting the castle, I was peering down into this valley, when a hand tappe my shoulder. The castle's tourist officer up a conversation with me, he not so cannily worked out that I was planning to camp down there. Rather than putting me off, he was all for the novel idea, it's city land and outside of his domain after all, he even called in his team of security guards to brief them.
And so as dusk shifted gear into twilight, I snuck into the enclosure, crept behind one of the arches and pitched my tent - now a crisp routine - and hid it for later. Whilst working, I heard adolescent shrieks and roars from the viewing gallery, I'd been warned of teenage partying in the moat and was wary of vandalism. On arrival, a hundred or so adolescents were milling around, watched over by a dozen policemen. The omens were worrying all round, that is besides the knowing grin and wink from the one remaining security guard.
On return from a dinner in the town, I feared for my tent given all of the above, and I couldn't see it from afar, the grave shadows thrown by the castle hid all like a great black collar enshrouding the castle's macabre face. Thankfully the tent was untouched, and I spent a night gazing up at the stars and the castle turrets, bats zipping overhead.
Densus Church - religious buildings on the site for the last 1700 years, Eastern Europe's oldest church.
Tsarmigetusa Citadel Roman Ruins