Flight from Cologne, Germany to Craiova, Romania lasts about 2 hours 25 minutes. All that time I was wondering how it will be when the plane lands and how will look my first days in Romania. I don’t know whether my hands were sweaty from excitement and impatience to finally be there or from the stress to safely land.
To be honest I didn’t know much about Craiova. I haven’t done much research before my arrival. All I knew was that it’s the 6th biggest city in Romania and has population around 290 thousand people (which is similar to Katowice, Poland – 10th most populated city in Poland and the most populated city in Silesia, a region from which I come from). It was enough for me, I wanted a surprise, whether a good one or a bad one.
I looked out of the window before landing – there were a lot of green fields which made me calm. Already in Craiova I’ve seen a lot of green places as well – Nicolae Romanescu Park (it is the largest natural park in Eastern Europe), botanical garden but even in the city centre there’s a lot of nature.
It didn’t take me long to discover that this city has something for everyone – cosy cafeterias for coffee lovers, shopping centres for fashionistas, almost on every corner bakeries with tasty pastries for food lovers, quiet parks for nature lovers, theatre, opera, philharmonic and few museums for a shot of culture and at night crowded pubs and clubs for those who like to party.
What about the bad experience and disadvantages? Honestly, so far my experience here has been mostly good. If I really needed to say something against this place I would probably complain that not everyone speaks English or about some old buildings that could be renovated or old trams and buses but why should I concentrate on this? I try not to attach great importance to small shortcomings as I believe it’s much better to enjoy the good things. I also think that it’s the great people who I meet that make a special atmosphere of the place and give you good vibes.
I don’t regret not doing a research about Craiova earlier. I was very nicely surprise, both thanks to people who I’ve met here so far as well as the city itself. I can’t say that I’ve seen everything in Craiova and that my opinion about this place won’t change at all with the passing time and new experiences. What I can say is that so far I’m happy to be here and I have a good feeling about my stay here. A lot of green areas and parks, many cafeterias and pubs in the city centre and friendly people – it all makes Craiova a place where I’m happy to be. And I still have 11 months to discover this city so I believe the best is yet to come!
Author: Joanna Grams