Tag Archives: salt mine

My Birthday, Moj Rodjendan, Ziua Mea

Standard

So this post is a TAD late, considering my birthday was two weeks ago but I have been fairly busy so blame it on that if you like. My birthday tale starts on the eve of said day, November 4th. I had quite the PCRO moment when my mom and I were in the middle of baking what ended up being over 100 brownies, 50 cookies, and 50 other random food…things, my propane tank went out. It was around 1pm on a Sunday so all the normal places I would have gone to to get a new tank were closed. After about half an hour of calling around, I finally found a place that was open and a friend of mine to drive me to said place since a full tank weighs about 50lbs.

The actual day of was fun. I received lots of kisses, flowers, chocolates, and “la multi ani”s from my students and I treated them to the plethora of cookies that I had made the day prior. That night my mom, Mary, and I went out for a birthday dinner at one of the restaurants in town.

That week didn’t really entail anything else that exciting. My mom and I hung out in town and in school until Friday. Friday morning we caught the 5:30 am bus to Cluj to meet up with Meg, Megan, Nick, and Kevin to see my mom off and celebrate my birthday with my friends. The weather was pretty dreary and rainy so we didn’t get to do everything we had wanted. I had an interview with the International School in Cluj which went pretty well and that will hopefully be an option after Peace Corps. We spent the day hanging around the city center, going to the craft market and relaxing in a cafe over some vin fiert, hot chocolate and cheese plates. After the entire gang had arrived, we headed to dinner where my mom got to know some of my favorite volunteers.

Saturday morning, after seeing my mom off at the airport, the 5 of us headed out to the salt mine in Turda. If you recall from a post around this time last year, the cit of Turda, which is about 20km outside of Cluj, houses an enormous old salt mine that has been resurrected as a tourist attraction. We spent a few hours there walking around, riding the Ferris Wheel, and rowing the boats.

After getting back to Cluj, Nick told us of a microbrewery in the center that serves liter sized beers so naturally we headed there. The beer was great but what we didn’t know is that they make an amazing burger as well. As mentioned in many previous posts, beef is very hard to come by in this country, especially good quality beef, so when we bit into those burgers it was like heaven! We spent quite a time there enjoying each others’ company and finishing up our gigantic but very delicious beers.

After heading back to the hostel, we got ready, and headed to one of the many college bars in the center. To say the night was fun is an understatement. I even ended up getting to see Ioana, one of my very good friends and ex- students that is now at university in Cluj.

I’m so happy that I got to celebrate my birthday weekend with such an amazing group of people and I could not have asked for a better time. Oh, I forgot to mention, I was talked into wearing a hot pink tutu the night we went out since I was the birthday girl. It was absolutely ridiculous and all thanks to the one and only Megan.

P.S. I ended up getting ICED 4 times that weekend. For those of you who don’t know what that is, you did not attend a college in the states in the recent past. For those of you that do, this is how it happened.

1. Nick saying “LOOK! Some one shit in the plant!”…..ice

2. Found it in my purse at 10am after a shower…ice

3. Found it in Megan’s boot…ice

4. It was in the back pocket of a random traveler that was staying in our hostel…ice

Enjoy the pictures:

Advertisements

Slow Week

Standard

After the hustle and bustle that started with counterpart conference, I am more than thrilled to say that this week was quite mundane and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Getting back into the language groove after site visits was fairly difficult for the group as a whole. At least one person in my class was “off” every day and we just felt defeated most of the time. Friday we had a practice LPI exam which we were told mimics very closely what we will see in our exams in a week. I felt I did alright but definitely not nearly up to my potential. I find it difficult that our language skill can be measured in a 20 minute conversation discussing and comparing our families and our cities and then having us ask some questions to the interviewer, but oh well. We find out tomorrow how we fared and that will help me gauge how much I need to study this upcoming week.

 

There isn’t really much to update all of you on. There was a music festival in town this weekend so my nights were spent in the center then followed by nachos at the Celt ( it’s the little piece of America that we all crave every weekend). My host family took me to the salt mines in Prahova County today and that was definitely a new experience. I didn’t really know what to expect but when we got down there, my business loving side was blown away. The county has created quite the money make with this salted underground cavern. On top of paying an entry of 14lei per person, there is a snack bar, gift shop area, a few scooter type rides, a section of twin beds that can be rented out, ping pong tables, and pool tables all that cost money. I would have never expected to see either of the latter 200 meters below ground but they are there and they seem to be cash cows.

 

The story behind this mine is that it was used between 1943-1970 before the “new” mine was built close by. The total excavated space occupies about 3 million meters cubed and has a depth of 208 meters which the dinky little elevator spans in 90 seconds. The mine temperature is a constant 12 degrees Celsius year around.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.