We caught the bus over to the Brasov train station. Our train for 75 minutes late (apparently a common problem coming through the Bucegi mountains). While we waited we met a British man named Simon. He was moving on after 6 years fo training teachers in Romania. We chatted with him for over an hour about Romania and travelling in general. He offered to meet us at the McDonalds in Bucharest after the train ride to show us how to catch the airport bus, saving us the hassle of dealing with the taxi cabs and their questionable drivers.
The three hour train ride started with a Romanian debate match between the other riders in our cabin about the rights of others to take up luggage space. We arrived in Bucharest and met up with Siman who graciously waited nearly 40 minutes with us to find the right bus and then he flagged it down for us when the driver drove right past us. You meet some very thoughtful people when travelling sometimes.
We caught the bus to the Otopeni airport adn prepared for a long night of waiting around. We headed over to the non-stop cafe to find something to eat only to find that half stale sandwiches from much earlier in the day and Coke were all that remained. Since we were ravenous we gladly took 2 of each.
We moved about the cafe for a few hours, moving whenever they wanted to wash the floor where we sat, and we watched the 2 hour ordeal of washing the floors of the whole airport, which includes moving all available seating. The cafe attendant told us there was no place we could sit for the night and then promptly fell asleep on a couch in the cafe.
We wandered over to find the relocated chairs from the previous floor washing incident and sat down next an 18 year old California native named Tristan.
We learned that Tristan had been visiting family in Romania and then spent a month volunteering at a rural Romanian orphanage and home for the developmentally disabled. His hosts had dropped him off for what they though was a midnight flight that did not in fact leave until noon the next day. He arrived broke and covered in paint from painting fences to keep the sheep in at the orphanage site. We chatted, showed each other pictures and played cards for hours until it was time to check in. After a brief chat we decided to leave Tristan our last 40 Lei, which in reality in about $14 but it would buy him some food and water for the rest of his 8 hour stay at the airport and was more valuable to him than it would be after paying the exchange fees to exchange it into dollars for us. Jana left him with two of the books she had finished reading since he had another 17 hours of flights after his final 8 hours in the waiting room. We wished each other luck and headed to our first flight.
We landed in Frankfurt with a three hour layover. Being exhausted we attempted to drape ourselves over the very uncomfortable airport furiture and take a nap. After that we grabbed a croissant and some water and checked in for our final flight home, a nine hour trek to DC.
After a super long flight of mostly military personal ang some seriously improved airline food we made it safely home where we were picked up by Mumma Mason.
Check back soon- Over the next week or so we will be adding some of the 800+ photos and videos that we took.
Thanks so much to everyone who followed our trip through this blog and left us messages by email and on the message board. The trip was amazing but even the best travellers get homesick and your messages were the first thing we looked for at a new internet cafe or hostel. Since we mostly got messages when we woke up it gave us a great start to each day, thinking of big plans we could embark on and tell you all at the end of the day. We had a great time, saw some amazing places and did some great things, we met some amazing people along the way. It is great to be home..now if only we could shake the 7 hour time difference.