Saturday, June 23, 2012

Travel tips. Cash for the Road. Complex Astoria. Dog Precautions; Eating


1.  Take some cash.

Do not assume that there will be ATM's immediately outside the main city where you land.  Use the airport rather than wait.  For more speed, take some cash in the local currency with you, despite the cost of doing that in the US, just in case.  Heading north toward Snagov, we were suddenly beyond urbanity, and there was no immediately visible place and no banks outside Bucharest for
ATM's that we could see.

Cash was vital.  The next largest town, Brasov, of course had ATM's, but we needed our ready cash for eating and spending the first night.

We got to the Snagov area in late afternoon, got ourselves well lost among little, poverty-overwhelmed villages and dirt-rutted roads. When we found the Complex Astoria to spend the night, we found out why the signs were down. It was closed for the season.  They opened a room for us, and luckily we had cash to pay. No credit card option there.\

2.  Pocket your hands. Stray dogs.

Hand safety can be an issue for the careless, walking around.  Ask before being friendly with dogs, and if noone is around, pocket your hands.  There are homeless dogs everywhere, in packs, and by themselves.

Why? We understand that Ceaucescu would not let people take their pets when they were moved wholesale in Bucharest and elsewhere out of neighborhoods that were then razed for big government buildings and boulevards, into high rises.  This is a huge issue, not only for humane treatment of all living, but for public safety.  See   Puppies, show dogs, all were set loose. Thousands upon thousands are out there now.

These are often identifiable specific breeds, cockers covered in burrs, little doggies, even still.  New parliament buildings were needed.  Was that necessary, to forbid the pets, given the public health and other nuisance now?  By way of update, see

We were told to keep our hands in our pockets, so we did. The dogs trot along with you, just don't pet. Others not so friendly. We were told not to experiment.

3.  Food when there are no restaurants

Dinner when there is no dinner.  Magazin Mixt.
Magazin Mixt means convenience store. At Lake Snagov, we had a fine meal from a general deli (dried sausage, rolls, cheese), a kind of bodega, at a village. People and especially children came around to stare, but we felt welcome and safe.

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