Outside the shopping complex east of Piata M. Viteazul there is a special parking space for taxis. I stood there for a while watching the infernalic circulation of cars. Most of them didn't stand still more than just a few minutes. There were only taxis belonging to registred companies which you could call by phone, but you could of course also just ask the driver for a ride.
Romania has a long tradition of beer brewing. The process was introduced by the Transylvanian Saxons (German colonists) some centuries ago. You still find many beers with German names, e.g. Bergenbier or Golden Brau.
I tried Romania's "King of Beers" Ursus, which has been brewed since 1878 in Cluj-Napoca. The brewery is nowadays owned by South African Breweries as a part of SABMiller.
Another beer I drank was Ciuc. It is brewed in Miercurea-Ciuc and at present the brewery belongs to Heineken Romania.
I liked both beers, maybe with slight advantages for the Ursus beer.
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Romanian currency: Leu (RON)
Although Romania joined the European Union (EU) on the 1st of January 2007, they don't have the Euro as currency.
Romania is planning to join the Eurozone in 2014.
Since the 1st of July 2005 the official Romanian currency is the Leu (Plural: Lei), which is divided into 100 Bani. The ISO code for Lei is RON (Romanian New Lei).
Before this date the curreny was also called Leu, but had four more 0, which means 1 new Lei equals 10.000 old Lei. The ISO code for the old Lei was ROL (Romanian Lei).
You can get your Romanian money with a credit or debit card from cash points or just by exchanging your local money at one of the bureaux de change.
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In the morning you will see people walking in the street with 'covrigi' (pretzels) on a string. They are cheap and delicious. I recommend the ones you can buy in Regele Ferdinand street, next to the Tosca shoe shop. You can buy one for as little as 5 bani (5000 old lei) .
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It is remarkable Cluj's region...
It is remarkable Cluj's region comprehends areas in which people still keep their original Hungarian language and habits without being bothered or questioned. Some 300 km SW of Cluj, there are couple of large districts (judets) where the Hungarian population is still a strong mayority (Covasna and Harghita).
All around this area, the population of Hungarian origin is very large in number and some excessive demonstration of nationalism occasionally result in some stress (though far from being a matter of concern). As an example, you will find Cluj streets and park benches adorned with the blue-yellow-red Romanian flag colours: this is just a way of the actual Mayor of Cluj to demonstrate he belongs to the Nationalist party.... It is a fact the border between Hungary and Romania is not a 'natural' one, but it had to be drafted on the paper, because it crosses a flat land with no significant rivers or mountains range to divide one nation from the other. The division was based upon the principle of recognition of the ethnic majority and it must be admitted it gave good results. It ids to be understood, the Kingdom of Transilvania, and Hungary had been ruling the same area during centuries, the Aubsburg Empire had also this whole area under its control and Romania itself has a very complicated history as a national state. The three main components of Romania as it is now (Moldavia, Valahia and Transilvania) had been divided and unified at least three times before reaching the present stability.
A special thank to my friend Lucas, alias valah for his precious suggestions on this issue: multumesc frumos!
Just outside the shopping complex close to Piata Mihai Viteazul there is a local market where people sell their own produce. There is also a special area for them selling flowers.
Typical Transilvanian doughnuts
They are very delicious, made by cheese and served with cream and blueberry jam. Just great addition to the dinner or could be for breakfast.
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