Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck
It is not often that I like something that Pete doesn’t.
It is more often the other way around. He likes a diversity of food I don’t (but c’mon – spiders and iguana?), and I am much more selective in the music that fills my iPod, whereas he is proud of his Belinda Carlisle and Tears for Fears collection. And if I am being completely honest, our reported joint displeasure of anyplace usually starts with me.
I sometimes wish that I had his affinity for love of all and could shed my discerning ways. He is, easily, the most joyful person I’ve ever known.
Until we got to Sibiu.
To be clear, and this should be of no surprise, Pete never hates anything. But it took me less than one day to declare my submission to Sibiu’s charms and he was totally “Meh”. It’s not often that Pete is Meh.
At first, I couldn’t really explain my love. It isn’t as picturesque as Sighisoara or Brasov – both of which glow like the set of a Hollywood fairytale. But in that way the city felt more real, more livable. It’s incredibly relaxed and I instantly felt so comfortable. Pete’s purview, on the other hand, was a little different. He complained repeatedly about the difficulty in taking photos – there always seemed to be something in the way, like the stage set up in the middle of Piata Mare almost the entire time we were there. Shadows fell the wrong way, frequent rain impeded.
But then, on our second last day, he burst into our apartment after a solo photo walk and was absolutely beaming with love for the city. Why the sudden change of heart?
It’s because it was a challenge and it pushed him as a photographer.
He had to dig a little harder, find patience, and explore what is tucked away. Sibiu is not laid out as obviously as other towns, the proper angles weren’t as apparent.
And in that he found new appreciation.
Sibiu actually has two squares in it’s historic middle, known appropriately as “big” and “small”. This is where the action happens, where big events are held and tourists are found strolling.
The real beauty, however, is in the tiny streets and stairwells surrounding. They lead to secluded corners, the odd ornate church, and the usual appeal that can be found in colorful urban decay.
where we stayed
Another Airbnb win with this apartment – just a couple of minutes from the main squares, recently refurbished and with very accommodating hosts (who brought us some missing kitchen items ASAP), we were very happy for our ten days in Sibiu. (It was only supposed to be a week but we extended – again – we enjoyed it there so much.)
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