My experience in the charming town of Sibiu, Romania.
The best love is unexpected love.
When something new just appears out of nowhere and snatches up your heart, there is simply no greater joy.
That is why I love traveling to unexpected destinations.
Popular tourist cities are so well-known that however stunning they may be, some of the magic is lost when you already know what to expect.
Finally seeing a famous landmark that you’ve seen countless times in photographs does not have the same heart-stopping thrill that discovering something new does.
It’s those unexpected encounters with the unknown that truly make me love traveling.
I experienced this unexpected love when I visited the small city of Sibiu, Romania.
I had come to Romania to explore Transylvania and visit some famous castles, but I didn’t do much research beforehand.
So I was pleasantly surprised to find myself completely infatuated with the modest charm and captivating architecture of Sibiu.
Winter is the off-season for visiting Transylvania, so when I arrived in February the towns were almost silent from the lack of tourists and the hibernation of locals.
But this actually gave me a more intimate experience with the welcoming city streets.
Sibiu consists of winding streets that trail up and down the hilly land, so it’s pretty easy to get lost.
Even when I lost my way, the unique shapes and patterns of the architecture entertained me until I regained my sense of direction. Every different color of paint clung to the buildings, from faded pastels to vibrant stripes.
This kaleidoscopic range of color made even the most deserted alleyways look beautiful.
Sometimes I saw magnificent buildings with ornate balconies and elaborate iron gates and intricate door handles.
Sometimes I saw dilapidated homes with broken windows and rusty old fences and peeling paint revealing the jumbled mess of bricks underneath.
Sibiu is humble yet majestic at the same time. The enormous government buildings and decorated churches are just as stunning as the weathered houses with stray cats running across the roofs.
A highlight of Sibiu is the Main Square, which is huge and has lots of tunnels leading off into smaller squares filled with cozy cafes and shops.
I never tired of meandering through the various squares, browsing through the traditional crafts in the stores, and melting into the relaxed energy of the city.
A month ago I had never heard of Sibiu, and now I am constantly dreaming about this gorgeous town and the enjoyable days I spent there. I knew nothing about Sibiu beforehand so my expectations were relatively low, but I was absolutely blown away by this Transylvanian city.
Though the famous castles of Romania were incredible, it was the small, seemingly insignificant town of Sibiu that truly stole my heart.
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If you’re traveling to Romania, visit iVisa.com to find out if you need a visa.
To read about more of my travels around Eastern Europe, check out these articles: