Today we were headed towards Satu Mare near the Hungarian and Ukrainian border. Our first stop was at a Roman ruin near the town of Morigrad called Porolissum. It was however very difficult to get to Porolissum. After a couple kilometers of hilly dirt roads we arrived at the Roman ruin where we were greeted by a man holding an ax and wearing a white hat. He started to speak in Romanian about the type of buildings that once stood at Porolissum. All the sudden he got inside our guide’s car and we headed over a couple of dirt roads until we reached a clearing with a gate. We opened the gate to find ruins of a small coliseum. We walked into the center of the coliseum only to find the echoing of our voices – this apparently was by design. The coliseum had two gates on each side where animals and political dissidents would enter the stage presumably to do battle – the guy told us they even found a skull of a tiger. We thanked this guy and left to our next destination, the Transylvanian Holocaust museum, which was a synagogue that was converted into a museum by an American businessman.
When we arrived at the museum it was closed due to renovations so we decided to have some lunch at a local Italian restaurant. The restaurant appeared to be in a converted barn and smelt of cigarette smoke. I ordered a margarita pizza and my brother ordered spicy salami pizza. We both enjoyed our pizzas but couldn’t ignore how warm it was starting to get outside. We entered our guide’s car again and the temperature read 32 degrees Celsius; remember that’s with humidity.
Our guide decided to make an impromptu stop at the home of a famous Romanian politician Corneliu Coposu. Coposu was a political figure who was imprisoned many years during communism and eventually formed his own party (Christian-Democratic National Peasants’ Party) after the fall of communism in Romania in 1989. The home was now what looked like a school with a small room for an exhibit for Coposu.
We arrived at our hotel the Poesis in Satu Mare, a beautiful Victorian hotel. Tomorrow we are off to Sighet – east of Satu Mare.