Cluj-Napoca: Transylvania Calling

Posted by in Culture, Travel

Religion under construction and the botanic gardens (different locations).


Somewhere in the midst of my wanderlust came my first visit to Romania. It’s one of those times I have to omit the capital as Bucharest lies deep in the south east and so on my geographic path toward Moldova I journey via an inexorably slow train to the heart of Transylvania.

Getting off it proves equally painstaking as my bag jars in the narrow carriage door making me tense as there are people behind me waiting to alight and those on the platform waiting to board. Finally everything falls, clumsily, into place.

Architecture and bank notes, how did that happen?


Those expecting any sign of Dracula though will be sorely disappointed or at least there was nothing of note pointing to a room full of red and a dodgy old guy with incisors waiting to chew on my neck. What it did offer was a Botanic Garden, some nice pastel buildings, apple strudels, a clutch of churches and a bureau de change with an unwillingness to change Chinese money into Romanian Lei.

I’d first heard of Cluj as an upcoming city for arts and hence a potential place to live but alas it is one of those places that reminds me of Exeter. Not that there’s anything especially wrong with Exeter but I wasn’t getting a ‘connection’ there in the way I did in Shenzhen for example and so it was with Cluj.


My final act in ‘Cluj’ is to depart which means having the right change for the city bus down the hill to the train station. Beyond which I’m on foot for the jaunt across the bridge to the bus station. Ahead of me are some smiling youths and that’s because the bag they were carrying has spewed its load of melon across the pavement directly in my path.

They hang around for a few giggles as I pass skilfully navigating a way through the deep pink flesh and black pips onward to another destination tucked away in the far corner of eastern Europe and you can read about that here.


Thanks for reading here. Should anyone be interested in my work; principally writing, photography, and teaching, please contact me for a FREE Overview PDF. Meanwhile, stay tuned with Kulture Kiosk via The Atlas or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where you can see some of my photos from around the world. Playlist and credits follow…

Transylvanian Express – Steve Hackett
Train of Thought – A-ha
Change – Tears for Fears

Photos: me 😉