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Deva, located in the historical region of Transylvania, Romania, is situated on the left bank of the river Mureș. It is the capital of Hunedoara County.
The amazing Hompot Accommodation with ‘private pool’ was a last minute booking. I went for the ‘budget single room’ option and it was perfectly sized for a solo stay. With its own toilet and shower in one half, and microwave, desk and chair in the other, it had everything you needed for a comfortable stay. I was arriving rather late but this proved no problem, they were happy to wait for me to let me in the gate.
My hosts, Olga and Andrei, were diamonds and treated me like a queen. I spent many hours sitting on the deck talking with Olga about anything and everything. I've never felt so at home in a budget stay, to the point I even had homemade blueberry pastries shared with me. It was a hard goodbye leaving here, I felt like I was saying goodbye to family.
I had planned to go to Corvin Castle, but I woke up to a thunderstorm and torrential rain. I already felt drained from relentless travelling, I was often staying only one night before moving on, so I stopped to rest. I ended up having the place to myself and was directed to the heated pool in the yard – Andrei had made it the perfect temperature especially for me after hearing the weather had changed my plans!
The following day, I walked into Deva, and marvelled at the historic buildings through the Old Centre. I stopped only in a convenience store for snacks as I wanted to make the most of my day.
In the distance, The Fortress of Deva appeared as I walked through the town. Meandering around the various plant equipment as the streets were dug up and repaired, I was aiming for this place looming in the distance. Before I could scale the peak to see the Fortress, I reached Magna Curia Palace.
A stunning pink Baroque-style building, said to be the oldest preserved in Deva, legend says there is a tunnel connecting this building to Corvin Castle. I spent a few hours perusing the artifacts and admiring works of art in the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization before heading to "Cetate" Municipal Park Deva.
Once I had toured Municipal Park, I made my way to the staircase leading to the Fortress. It may not be a mountain by some people’s measurements, but it certainly worked the legs! It's not an easy walk, some of the winding paths further up proved slippery after the rainfall and I did succumb to the uneven flooring at one point - much to the amusement of a passing gentleman (he did offer to help me back up as he stifled his laughter). There is also a lift, but it was closed when I visited in July 2022.
Views at the top were breathtaking, my pictures have barely captured the essence of the place. The air was fresh, the wind strong, and the Fortress with its imposing silhouette, made the 13th century site seem all the more impressive. Half of it was closed for restoration, however the builders noticed my curiosity and invited me up to see the rest of it. Sometimes it pays to be nosey but polite.
Aside from a handful of people, I had the luxury of this place to myself, so I savoured it. Still in awe of this relic, I sat to eat my picnic whilst casting my gaze back to the fortress. It truly feels like a step back in time walking the length of the walls. Watch out for vipers here though – I spotted one next to the wooden steps.
I walked in to the lovely Bord13, half-caked in mud having just hiked back down, and asked for the best table. Obligingly, I was walked to my seat with huge glass panes offering views of the fortress. The stylish dark décor throughout contrasts with the bright green velvet chairs. The textures and design result in a moody, modern venue that I really enjoyed dining in.
First-class service throughout, my drinks never ran out and I was consistently greeted with a smile. I had challenged myself to only speak Romanian in this town and successfully ordered myself an amazing duck dish. This will be a restaurant I revisit.
Another restaurant I came across was Grizzly. Pretty good burger and less than a 5-minute walk from the train station. This was a great find for some quick, filling food.
I’d say Deva is a great little place, even if just passing through for a day or two, you can find plenty of interesting sights. I know I still have much to see on my return.
I travelled here using only Interrail and a lot of walking, but I had no issues with either. The train station was undergoing refurbishment but, once I followed the makeshift fence along, the new entrance was easy enough to find.