We spent the majority of the day traveling from Bucharest to Sibiu where will spend the majority of our time in Romania. All 22 cadets and Command Sgt. Maj. Taylor crammed onto a small bus and spent the next few hours getting to know one another better. We enjoyed discussing the different universities that we have all come from and comparing our military experiences thus far. During our travel to Sibiu we stopped at the Cozia monastery, which was built in 1386 on the Old River, which runs from Transylvania to the Danube River. The Romanians were celebrating Pentecost today, so the monastery was buzzing with people. The monastery was a beautiful stone building surrounded by a rose garden unlike any I have ever seen. The rose bushes each held dozens of roses in every color. The inside of the monastery was painted from wall to ceiling with different religious scenes.
After spending about 25 minutes exploring the monastery we hit the road again, and a short time later stopped for lunch at a small restaurant on the Old River. Lt. Col. Popa, a Romanian officer at the Land Forces Academy, suggested we try a traditional Romanian meal consisting of different grilled meats served over potato slices. Trying the new foods is always an enjoyable experience and I think everyone loved the food.
Food seems to be a large focus of all of the American cadets here. We are constantly wanting to try new foods, and look forward to each meal. For dinner we met with Lt. Col. Popa and a few of the Romanian cadets. We walked to the town square in Sibiu and had pizza at a small restaurant there. Our first interactions with the cadets was a little awkward but by the time dinner was over we had talked about, what seemed like, every topic on the planet. The Romanian cadets were very interested in learning about how the culture is different in the U.S., and what our lives were like.
Our first day in Sibiu was a great experience and really has us looking forward to meeting the rest of the cadets in a few day.