hidden europe 1

Will the real Maria please stand up?

by Nicky Gardner


bed & breakfast with a difference in the Romanian city of Brasov

Most visitors to Transylvania in Romania end up one time or another in the old mediaeval town of Brasov, and it is a fine place to while away a day or two, with its old streets, imposing citadel and rather free spirited atmosphere. Not unlike the Prague of the early 1990s. Lonely Planet (LP) is as good on Brasov as on most other places around Europe, except in one hapless paragraph, where the consequences of inclusion somehow escaped the normally ever vigilant LP editors. The guidebook (Romania & Moldova, 3rd edition, July 2004) alerts travellers to the excellent apartment and bed and breakfast service provided by one Brasov couple, Maria and Grig Bolea. Maria, it seems, is most distinguished by her talkativeness, but the couple undeniably have for years provided travellers to Brasov with secure and cheap accommodation, Maria in particular having the knack of producing empty beds even when everywhere else in town is fully booked.

Grig and Maria were undoubtedly delighted with the LP plug, and so too, it now transpires, was every other householder, honest or otherwise, who wanted to sell a bed or two in Brasov.

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