Wow! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Sibiu but let me tell you, it is an amazing city that will blow you away with how nice and charming it is. The renovations that have taken place since 2007 are just phenomenal and it is easily one of Romania’s most beautiful cities.
Not only did I have a chance to meet a lot of wonderful people from Romania and other countries (including my first Serbians!) as part of the film project but I also landed right in the middle of this year’s medieval festival.
I really don’t want to say one bad word about Sibiu’s medieval festival as it featured a lot of nice bands playing music, craftsmen showing off their skills, people in costumes of all sorts, street theater and some exhibitions of medieval weaponry and dance. However, if you remember my post about the medieval festival in Sighisoara that I attended last year, that one was far more elaborate and “authentic”, with far more exhibitions and demonstrations.
Nonetheless, Sighisoara is a medieval town and so it is only fair that their medieval festival would be the best one in the country. Sibiu on the other hand maintains its lovely Saxon charm all year round and my visit this weekend was no exception.
If you’ve never been to Sibiu or have barely even heard of it, I highly recommend a visit. Nearly everything is picture perfect, from the uniformly yellow cabs (for easy identification) to the winding medieval side streets to the best museum in the entire country (in my humble opinion). Unlike a lot of other Romanian cities (as I’ve written about before), Sibiu has all of their stray dogs tagged with markers in their ears so everyone knows they’ve been sterilized and inspected. Quite nice and frankly awesome to see the humanity being shown towards these least of creatures.
Sibiu also maintains a functional and informative website in three languages (link goes to English version) and downloadable brochures in another four languages, including Hungarian, something which the mayor of Unicorn City’s web team has yet to master :))
I spent part of two days filming and photographing in Sibiu, which if you’re a fan of my Facebook page (see right sidebar), you can see in detail. I met a lot of very interesting and warm people and had an absolutely delightful time. Needless to say, you’ll have to wait until the film is edited and put together to see all of the cool things I filmed and “meet” the people I spoke to.
But what to show you now? I debated it for a while but then chose the clip you can see below. The next time anyone you know ever complains there is “nothing nice” in Romania, show them this seven-minute video. For those in the know, I started at one end of Nicolae Balcescu Street and ended up in Piata Mare (Big Square) in the heart of town, where the medieval festival was ongoing.
I think I count something like four or five ice cream vendors, an untold number of outdoor restaurants and cafes (Rom: terase) and innumerable people strolling about, from babies in carriages to young adults to elderly couples to a guy in a wheelchair, all of them enjoying a picture-perfect summer day. And the entire passage is a pedestrian zone, which means there are no cars, no dangerous motor traffic, no stink of exhaust and no noise.
It’s absolutely phenomenal. Enjoy!
PS – if you’re interested in seeing even more clips than what I post on Facebook or this blog, as well as see the videos I post before anyone else, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!