My original plan had been to go back to Bucharest then take the train to Istanbul. But I quickly changed my mind when I took a better look at the large map of Romania on the kitchen wall. I was much closer to the Serbian border than I had thought, and there was a daily 25-hour train that ran from Belgrade to Istanbul.
Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out Of This Country
It was getting to Belgrade that was the problem. There were no direct trains from Timişoara, and no bus lines. For a few days, we thought that hitchhiking would be my best option, but the normal hitching stop for destinations southwest was far away, on the other side of the city.
A friend of Teo told us about a car hire service that went from the Timişoara airport to Belgrade. I frantically called the number on my day of departure, and later that day I was picked up at a grocery store by a Serbian man who took me across the border.
It was a rather abrupt and sudden end to my time in Romania. Belgrade was beautiful, but I kept expecting signs to be in Romanian, only to be surprised by Cyrillic. And with less than one day to explore the city, I could barely get the hang of saying “thank you” (“hvala”).