Gordon:  While we are waiting for our bikes and gear to arrive we have taken a sidetrip to the town of Sibiu, which is perhaps 200 kms south of Cluj.  We came by BlaBlaCar, which is a rideshare app popular in Romania.  A BlaBlaCar ride is faster and cheaper than the bus, and affords the opportunity to have some social interaction with locals.  We had a lot of fun on our trip, as well as gaining some insights into the protests currently underway in Romania.

Sibiu was the largest of the seven Saxon cities in medieval Transylvania.  (The Saxon name for Transylvania translates as “Seven Cities”.)  Many of the towns in Transylvania have three different names, reflecting the three different ethnic groups (Romanian, Hungarian and Saxon) that have coexisted here for 800 years.  As a result, Sibiu is also known as Hermannstadt and Nagyszeben.
Sibiu was the European Capital of Culture in 2007, and continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Romania.  It is a well-preserved late-medieval city, with a charming streetscape.  A number of the towers and sections of the defensive walls still exist, as well as well as street after street of 14th to 18th century buildings.  A notable feature of the buildings are the “eyelid windows” that ventilate the attics.  It feels as though many eyes are watching you as you walk along the streets, which may not have been far from the truth under Ceausescu.  Despite some rainy weather, we are having a lovely time in Sibiu.
We have learned that our baggage has been delivered to our hostel in Cluj.  We will return there tomorrow, hopefully early enough to get in a short day of riding.

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