On Saturday, I had the opportunity to travel to Cluj with my host parents to visit and celebrate my host sister, Oana’s, birthday! Cluj is a larger, more modern city about a two and a half car ride away from Sighisoara. The city is filled with numerous universities, including Oana’s school for fashion and design. It was exciting to visit the city and to see Oana’s apartment flat. My host family gave me small tour of the downtown area before we went out to eat for lunch at an elegant cafe. I ordered a traditional Romanian meal of a sweet basil soup for a starter, then mamaliga (polenta) with small pieces of chicken in a creamy sauce for my main course. My host parents are surprised at how much I actually do like mamaliga, because apparently the majority of their other American host students find it too boring and plain. I think it does have a simple taste, but I enjoy it, and I plan on making it on a regular basis when I get back to the States. My host mom has already given me the recipe (as well as many other Romanian dishes that I am excited to try to prepare for my American family).

Part of my short tour of downtown Cluj was to visit the church in the main square
Part of my tour of downtown Cluj was to visit the church in the main square of the city

After enjoying each other’s company at the cafe for two and half hours, we toured the city some more and walked through the central park (which actually reminded me a bit of the pine grove back on Hope’s campus because the park was surrounded by university buildings and student apartments). We stopped at a vendor, where our host dad bought us roasted chestnuts to share. They were delicious, and for me, a unique snack.

a fountain
The sky was a bit gray, but it was a nice day to walk in the park.


The town square in Cluj
The town square in Cluj! If you look closely enough, you can see the beginning stages of people building an outdoor ice rink that is open for the public during the winter months. This, according to Oana, is a popular destination for the college students.

We concluded our afternoon in Cluj with having coffee and cake at Oana’s apartment flat for her birthday! It was a fun afternoon, and I was glad to have some extra bonding time with my host family. They are great. =)

Have a lovely day!!

Marga =)

Leave a comment