After our arrival in Targu Mures, we walked for about an hour with heavy backpacks in order to find the bus station. Arriving at the bus station, Jurjen and I found out that we missed the last bus in the direction of Moldova. There was no option for us but to spend the night in Targu Mures. With the Lonely Planet city map of Targu Mures, we walked for about half an hour more to find out that the cheapest hotel in the city, 'hotel Sport', turned into some kind of hospital a couple of months ago and that the hotel simply doesn't exist anymore. A lady from the next door bowling hall described it as: hotel Sport... finito! So unfortunately, there were no cheap accommodation possibilities left. We decided to spend the night in a three-star hotel right next to the bus station, as we had the intention to leave boring Targu Mures as soon as possible. We ended up paying 22 euro each for the room, which is expensive with my budget, but ok for just one night. And the hotel was really nice with good beds and a nice hot shower. During the evening, we bought some food in an XL Kaufland supermarket, which was a couple of minutes walking from our hotel. Later that night, we enjoyed our nice hotel room and watched a bit of Romanian television before sleeping. Next morning we woke up at 6 am, took a quick shower and had breakfast in the hotel. Our minibus towards the Carpathian mountains left at 07.30am, which we catched luckily. The ride was really nice, we traveled through the mountains and we passed several small villages. It was clearly visible that we were driving in a poor part of Romania, as the way of living there is still quite primitive. The scenery was amazing, with beautiful valleys, distant mountains and sleepy towns. Around noon, the driver stopped somewhere halfway in a village next to a mountain lake. We ate something and continued our journey further east, through a hilly area towards Romania's second largest city: Iasi (pronounce as 'Yash').
The Moldovan capital really is a strange place. In a way, the city is nice because of its laid back atmosphere and cozy parks. But on the other hand, Chişinău doens't have any sights and isn't a touristic destination at all. Almost all buildings in Chişinău are uninspiring concrete monsters dating from the Soviet period. The city doesn't really have a cozy centre like other European cities have and because we visited Moldova in february, the city and its inhabitants looked rather grim.
However, staying in Moldova was a nice experience for a couple of reasons . First of all, we found a very cheap hotel and discovered that food and other expenses are quite cheap compared to Romania. The hotel were we stayed is a huge concrete Soviet building with unhelpful staff and dusty furniture, dating from the 1950s. But because of its low price and good location, we enjoyed staying there. The second thing which I liked about Moldova was the ability to practise my Russian. Lots of Moldovans speak Russian and Chişinău has quite a large Russian population. Studying Russian for over half a year already, it was a nice opportunity for me to practise. And although touristic sites in Chişinău are very rare, we did saw some nice churches and interesting buildings. Also the simple street plan made it easy to orientate around the city.