The price-performance ratio of the accommodations in Romania are fantastic. We slept partly in apartments for less than 25 euros per night. Our second day started with a delicious breakfast near the St. Michaels Church in Cluj. After visiting the city’s most famous buildings in the previous evening, we decided to explore a relaxed and popular tourist attraction: the Alexandru Borza Garden – a huge botanical garden.
The St. Michaels Church
The orthodox cathedral
The national theater
The garden was founded in 1920 and is divided into various areas. These include a Japanese and a Roman garden as well as an area specialized in ornamental plants. On an area of 14 hectares overall, you can check out plants from all over the world. They are also cultivated in six greenhouses and a visit to the integrated botanical museum is also worthwhile.
The entrance fee is 5 Romanian Lei (about 1 euro). We spend about three hours visiting, as the weather was simply perfect. Afterwards we drove from Cluj to Turda, where something very special was waiting for us: an amusement park built into an old salt mine.
After a 45 minutes drive we arrived in Turda and parked in front of the attraction. After paying the 30 Lei entrance fee (approx. 6,50 Euros) we walked about 1,5 – 2 km in a tunnel into the old salt mine. Along this tunnel you can reach the amusement park via several accesses. There is an elevator, but at peak times you have to wait a long time. That´s why we chose to walked down the first 13 floors. The view of the salt-covered walls and the beautiful illumination of the old mine justified this decision.
Salt in the walls
The view from tunnel level into the mine
Downstairs you have the possibility to ride a Ferris wheel, play miniature golf, billiards, badminton or table tennis. The mine also has a small stage, where concerts are held regularly. In any case, in this huge room the park seems very small and the glittering walls are an attraction on their own. After we had checked out the first floor, we walked down to the next. The height difference is also about 13 floors.
Downstairs is a room with a wooden island, floating on salt water. You can rent a boat and paddle through the water, but we decided not to and spent our time enjoying the illumination and the salty air. Incidentally, I photographed the room from the amusement park level and used it as the featured image. After about three hours we got cold by the constant but low temperature and walked back up to the upper level.
There, we checked out the other rooms. One is a lounge and you can relax while watching TV and in the other there is an ancient machine for salt production exhibited. Afterwards we walked back through the tunnel to our car. A good idea for a possible visit is to take something to drink as you can’t buy anything inside.
The salty taste in your mouth stays for a few more hours and you will definitely notice, that the air is benefiting your respiratory tract! I think the mine was one of the most beautiful attractions we visited in Romania.
After we left Turda, we drove two hours to our accommodation for the night (and Draculas birth place): Sighisoara .