Slimnic, Astra open air museum and Cisnădioara

Slimnic

After the Lazy Sunday it was time to get back in action. Wake up early to get the first bus from Sibiu to Slimnic. A small town 20 km north of Sibiu and is best known for the fortified church on a hill in the middle of the village.

Buses from Sibiu train station in the direction of Medias will stop in Slimnic. I planned to take the earliest bus at 7 a.m. but at the station I was told the first bus would only be at 11am. I decided to try to hitchhike instead. I found a good spot to stop cars going towards Medias.

https://goo.gl/maps/CLNnCSb8yzj (google street view even shows people trying to get a ride here 😀 )

My driver drove through the village and I became unsure if he knew I actually wanted to get out here. By the time that I explained to him I wanted to visit the fortified church here in Slimnic we were already at the end of the town. However, from here I got immediately a nice view over the rooftops and with the church in the background.

Slimnic Fortified church in Transylvania in Romania
View from the main road in Slimnic on the village with the fortified church peeping out of the green hill.

I made my way back to the center where a small road goes up to the church. It’s a very steep but short climb to enter the fortified church but you  can also keep walking the road up the hill and eventually even hike up through a field and get a wonderful view on the church and the surrounding.

Slimnic - Transylvania - Romania
View on Slimnic fortified church from the hill behind the church.

I descended back to the walls of the church to see if I could get inside. On the left side of the church is a small door where you can enter the fortified walls. Unfortuneatly, it was only half past eight and it was written the doors only open at 10.am. Price is 3 LEI for adults.

A pitty I couldn’t enter the walls but I also meant I would defititely have plenty of time left today to visit the Astra Open Air Musem.

Astra open air museum

The Astra open air museum is located south of Sibiu. I hitchhiked back to the train station of Sibiu from where I took take the bus 13 in front (left) of the train station of Sibiu. A ticket can be bought for just 2LEI (single) at the machine next to the bus stop.

The final bus stop of bus 13 is at the entrance of the museum. So don’t be tempted to get of the bus at the Zoo which is just before the Astra Open Air Museum.

If you plan to visit the open air museum, definitely check the opening times. I visited on Monday May 28th and the houses of the park (except for the restaurant) were still closed. I didn’t verify if it was because of visiting a Monday or because the park was still running in low season mode.

The big lake in the middle of Astra Open Air Museam near Sibiu. On the shore of the lake are replicas of authentic wind mills and other authentic buildings in Transylvania in Romania.
The big lake in the middle of Astra Open Air Museam near Sibiu. On the shore of the lake are replicas of authentic wind mills and other authentic buildings.

Wooden windmill in Astra open air museum near Sibiu.

It was a nice park but since the interior of the houses was closed, it felt a little too quiet for me.  Still a nice place to visit if you are staying a few days around Sibiu.

Cisnădioara

Nearby the Astra open air museum are two other transylvanian villages worth visiting. Cisnădioara and Cisnădie.  They can be easily visited together with the astra open air museum since they are situated on a circular route leaving from Sibiu.

View on the town Cisnădioara from the path climbing up the hill with the fortified church. Transylvania, Romania.
View on the town Cisnădioara from the path climbing up the hill with the fortified church.
The fortified church of Cisnădioara stands on a hill with fortified walls in the village Cisnădioara near Sibiu. Transylvania, Romania.
The fortified church of Cisnădioara stands on a hill with fortified walls in the village Cisnădioara near Sibiu.
View from the fortified church on the town surrounded with green scenery. Transylvania, Romania.
View from the fortified church on the town surrounded with green scenery.
On this photo you can see the small hill on which to fortified church is built. Transylvania, Romania.
On this photo you can see the small hill on which to fortified church is built.

I had no own transport and was a little short in time so I didn’t visit the second town Cisnădie. Instead I hitchiked back the same route along the open air museum back to Sibiu.

 

Sibiu, once again

I thought I still have some time before I move to Hunedoara, so I spend two more hours in Sibiu. I bought a souvenir for Lada, and tried two cafes on the main square.

A nice coffee bar Luz Caffé. English speaking staff, wifi, original lighting and good coffee 🙂 Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/m9bzLJubMUs (Piața Mare 11)

Another interesting cafe is Mustache Caffee. They have a lot of hot drinks to choose from. Seems to be famous for it’s hot chocolates but also for lemonades. Google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/U8D2UuoZsiF2 (Piața Mare 16)

Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania.
Main square in Sibiu
Clock tower in Sibiu.

Sibiu is definitely a great base for a trip to Transylvania offering great daytrips in the surrounding region. Also the historical center of Sibiu is definitely worth a visit. But for me, it became time to move on. For tonight I had arranged another couch through couchsurfing in Huneadoara.

Hunedoara

To get from Sibiu to Huneadoara, you’re best option is a bus to Deva and change at the bus station for a local bus to Hunedoara.

Always assure you know where the bus will leave and if the scheduled time is still correct.

I planned to take a bus from Erick Trans at 3 pm to Deva (should only take 1 hour) but couldn’t find the bus anywhere and nobody could help me. A taxi driver finally made some calls and found  another bus at 4 pm operated by Trans Polosam for 25 LEI. However, this bus doesn’t leave from the bus stop near the train station. It leaves from the fuel station Petrom near the Select hotel. (West side of the town at the roundabout just before the river. See excact location on google maps: https://goo.gl/maps/gGF5FGbbwHq )

There are probably also buses leaving to Deva operated by Transmixt. It’s easier to find them since they are leaving from the train station but the schedule of these buses didn’t match my travel schedule.

Trees were planted on every available square meter in Hunedoara to fight the air pollution. Fortunately, the factory is gone but the trees remain.
Architecture in Hunedoara might not be everyone’s style, but you can’t deny the green atmosphere of this town.

I understand Hunedoara once looked more as a big factory but during my recent visit I could barely see any remains of this famous factory. They destroyed every single building of it. What’s left of it would in Belgium, where I live, be seen as industrial heritage and would be protected. I believe that within a year, all of it will be gone.

The air used to be heavily polluted. Therefor they had planted trees on every square meter that was not build upon yet. Fortunately the polluted air is now history but the trees could aren’t. They make Huneadoara a green city.

The park in Hunedoara
A great place for a drink in Hunedoara is Cafe D’Art and it’s on Mihai Viteazu street nr.43.

While my guidebook said it was “Romania’s least attractive town”, Hunedoara turned out to be a one of my favorite places in Transylvania. A quiet, calm city center, a stunning castle and a magnificent surrounding.

See my next post in the journal to see the surrounding area of Hunedoara.