Top Places in Romania

Top  Places in Romania

TRANSFAGARASAN HIGHWAY
TRANSFAGARASAN HIGHWAY
Sarmizegetusa
Sarmizegetusa
Sibiu
Sibiu
Peles Castle
Peles Castle

I explore recommends

We made a top of 10 places to visit in Romania.  This is not an official top, but it is rather our recommendation starting from our subjective point of view. Our preferences is not necessarily in this order and we excluded Bran Castle – a main attraction in Romania- as everybody knows about “Dracula Castle” and there are plenty of information all over the internet. Actually,  the castle is not quite connected with Vlad the Impaller, the one who inspired the novel fictional character. In fact, Bran Castle is more connected to the Royal family who had this castle starting with 1920.

  • Sarmizegetusa Regia – it is the cradle of Romania, the ancient land of Romanian ancestors, Dacians. If you want to see the true roots of Romanians this is the place one should visit.

Sarmizegetusa Regia was the capital of Dacia, the place where military, religious and political decisions were taken. The fortress was built on Orastie Mountains at an altitude of  1.200 m, as measure of defensive strategy against  invaders. If the fortress walls are massive, the temple area is impressive and enigmatic.  The “Andesite Sun” is a proof that locals were familiar with geometry and astronomy, the large circle in the sanctuary area makes one consider a resemblance with Stone Hedge constructed in timber posts.

  • Maramures and Sapanta Peri

Maramures is the core of Romanian traditions and Romanism. The rural side, unveils its beauty and people with their customs for centuries are an integral part of this amazing beauty.

Sapanta – Merry Cemetery is widely known for its funeral monuments with naïve paintings and the charades describing the life of the person buried there. Sapanta-Peri Monastery is the highest wooden monastery placed in a beautiful landscape.

  • Sfinx.

I might be subjective about as I have plenty of memories connected with the Sfinx, memories about beautiful people met in an amazing setting.  There are stories about energies surrounding the Sfinx. I cannot measure those, but I can confirm the monumental feeling you have being there.

The Sfinx ( read like Sphinx) in Carpathians, a rock monument watching over Bucegi mountains,  is a reason of controversy. While natural science researchers say is natural monument created by erosion, spiritual people consider this monument as made by evolved people, like Marchausi ones, being an energetic place used for developed creatures.

The fact is the Sfinx, situated at 2216 m altitude, resembles with the Sphinx of Giza and has similar size. It is 8 m long and 12 m height, the Sfinx mysteriously watches over the Bucegi mountains.

  • Sighisoara.

This is a place where I always come back with pleasure. It does not matter if it is hot like staying in bread oven or freezing that I shiver in my own boots, Sighisoara gives that feeling of belonging. Sighisoara seems universal and timeless.

This beautiful citadel situated in Mures county, aside Tarnava Mare River,  brings back the colorful life of medieval times. It is one of the few inhabited citadels in Europe and also the place where Vlad the Impaller was born. Vlad the Impaller is the 15-th century Wallachian ruler who inspired Bram Stocker character of Dracula, even if fiction has little to do with the real figure.

The citadel used to be inhabited by merchants and the aspect of the narrow streets send you back in centuries and really imagine how this beautiful citadel once looked like. The Clock Tower watching over the town leaves you under impression the time stood still over Sighisoara.

Other places to visit in Sighisoara? You don’t get bored here, I insure you: there are still 8 other towers  to see ( excluding the Clock tower), all of them after merchant names: Goldsmiths’, Tins’ tower, Rope makers’ tower… Then  one cannot miss The New School places majestically on the top of a 400 m hill, edifice that can be reached by climbing 300 flights staircase, cover in wood ( this stairs were build in 1642).

There are more to say and to do in Sighisoara, but we will stop about here.

  • Sibiu

It is mainly know as former European capital in 2007. What people know less about this amazing city is that Top Forbes considered it in top 10 most idyllic places to live in or the fact that Samuel von Brukenthal was initiator of complex development and erudition in that part of Transylvania.

Besides the two beautiful Squares sending you back to Medieval times, the Lier bridge  or Catholic Church, the former capital of Transylvania offers a grandiose scenery to Fagaras mountains. Astra- Dumbrava Village Museum  is a proof of Romanian rural development and uniqueness.

  • Huniadi Castle

I would start with the feeling the castle left over my senses. It was as if I was seeing a fairy tale movie and I was expecting Prince charming to appear on the bridge. Actually, numerous prince charming and princesses, dressed in medieval clothes animate the Castle, so my expectations or any other tourist’s aren’t futile.

Initially it was a fortress  that John’s Corvinus father received from Sigismund, the king of Hungary.  It was John ( Ioan/ Iancu) who transformed the fortress into a beautiful castle in 1446. The drawbridge welcomes tourists today, but it is obvious the defense purposes for which it firstly was designed for. The double fortified walls also indicate turbulent history and requirement for supplementary protection measures.

In spite of all these, the Castle is charming. The combines style, mainly gothic with subtitle Renaissance add on, the colorful top and  stone carvings around adorned balconies or myriad windows bring a sense of gentleness on this massive building.   The towers, either circular or squared, survey over Zlasti river. Some of this towers were used as dungeons, most likely in one of these towers Vlad the Impaller was imprisoned.

  • Sinaia and Peles Castle– Named also “the Perl of Carpathians”,  Sinaia is a treasure itself. Placed like 120 km away from Bucharest, Sinaia offers to the tourist a beautiful view and loads of mountain sports activities, from hiking during summer to downhill skiing as winter sport.

If you get there, don’t you miss Peles Castle, a summer residence commissioned by Carol I st, one of the most beautiful Castles of Europe.

Visit also Franz Joseph and Saint Anne Cliffs for a beautiful view of Prahova Valley.

Also visit George Enescu Memorial house (Vila Luminis),  place where our great composer chose to create his unique pieces of art.

Just 10 km away, there is Busteni where you can take  trip to the Sfinx.

  • Horezu Pottery

Even if the Pottery of Horezu was included in UNESCO intangible heritage  last year, the traditional pottery is a Romanian heritage for generations of mastery. The regional painted cock is a landmark on every single piece of pottery and natural colors are  secrets kept within the community.

Pottery  is not the only attraction in this. Horezu is a small town placed close to Capataniimountains ( Translated as Skull Mountains). People enjoying caving can explore around 25 km away Polovragi and Pestera Muierii ( Women cave); just in the next commune tourist remains amazed in front of growing stones; the old boyar houses in Maldaresti give the tourist of contemplation and history, the monasteries around ( including Hurezi- UNESCO heritage) a reason for spiritual meditation.

Just a short drive away is also Buila – Vanturarita natural reservation a reason for trekking and admiring the beautiful nature of Oltenia.

  • Danube Delta

My fist encounter with Danube Delta it was during my teenage period. My child eyes opened widely at those beautiful sunsets when only a rare bird could only disturb the red sun. My eyes are still wide opened and my words are not enough when it comes to speak about Danube Delta ( UNESCO Heritage).

The wilderness around it, the countless number of species of birds, fish,  insects or plants; even the villages where modern times are far away, but most of it the amazing setting.

  • Transfagarasan – Named by the Jeremy Clarkson as “the most beautiful road in the world”, competing with Stelvio or other famous roads, Transfagarasan is modern time monument and, no doubt, one of the most enjoyable roads in the world to drive on

Also known as DN 7C , starting from Arefu in Wallachia  ending in Cartisoara, the road sums up 91 km, 830 bridges, 27 viaducts and there were used about 6500 tones of dynamite.

To be continued…

RHUBARB CELEBRATION IN TRANSYLVANIA

RHUBARB CELEBRATION IN TRANSYLVANIA

RHUBARB CELEBRATION IN SASCHIZ

(second edition)

Association promoting  Tarnavelor Valley invites you on September 7th, to Saschiz , 20 km away from Sighisoara in  Mures county for a day of joy, contests with prizes , food, drink and plenty of rhubarb. The event will take place  between 11.00 to 15.00 at the “Hanul Cetatii”, situated on European road E 60.

 

There are various  contests: find  the treasure of Saschiz Fortress,  compete (on line) for the  most original rhubarb meal recipe, compete for the best and good looking rhubarb pie or the most original painting or decorative object made ​​from rhubarb, or try your speed and stomach at rhubarb cake eating contest.

Vote the largest rhubarb plant cultivated by local farmers and take part  in  any other competition with prizes in money and objects. Taste and buy local products prepared from natural ingredients, following the recipe for hundreds of years, such as jams, juices, pickles, spices, teas, honey and others that have brought fame  to Tarnavelor Valley local producers, both in Romania and abroad. Come and enjoy a day full of fun, joy and surprises in Saschiz Rhubarb Celebration, in the heart of Transylvania!

The organizers invite you to check Rhubarb Festival program and sign up free for the festival and competitions in which you are interested via email. The email saschizrubarbarfestival@gmail.com

Saschiz fortress

You’re welcome in Saschiz on September 7, 2013, between 11.00-15.00, inside the  Hanul Cetatii(Inn Castle), strada Principala No. 157 ( E 60).

Main sponsors: Mures County, Tarnavelor Valley Association,  Pension Cartref, Hanul Cetatii, Pivnita bunicii-Transylvania Food Company.

Halloween at House of Dracula

Halloween at House of Dracula

 

Romania  is mostly known as country of Dracula, even if it does not deserve this name. This time, we are proposing a Halloween Party at “House of Dracula ”  4 * hotel placed in Poiana Brasov. The curiosity of this hotel is that it looks like a proper castle, at the same time offering comfort conditions in a magnificent place: Poiana Brasov in a vampire like athmosphere.

 

Bran Castle is less than 40 minutes drive away and you have the chance for Halloween in Transylvania!

 

Rates: 82 euro/ person

period November 1st – November 3rd 2013

 

Rate includes:

2 nights accommodation based on double sharing

2 Breakfasts

1 Halloween Dinner

 

Does not include:

flights to and from Bucharest ( just ask us !)

transfers to and from Airport- hotel ( available upon request)

Insurances

Meals not mentioned

Souvenirs/ Tips

 

 

Notes:

Apartment supplement 10% on

Children:

0-4 yrs old – 100% sharing parents bed

4-7 yrs old – 30% reduction from adult’s rate

7-12 yrs old – 50% off from  adult’s rate

 

Also, do not hesitate to contact us for optional trips in Bran, Sighisoara or  tour of UNESCO Heritage in Transylvania.

Want to?  Drop us a line !

 

For estimative of flights, rent a car or transfer visit : http://iexploreromania.com/booking-online-2/  or just tell us your story and we will be glad to help.

 

 

 

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George Enescu Festival in September

George Enescu Festival in September

Quality music, important artists, good time  and… Romania. All these represent “George Enescu Festival”.

Held the entire month of September , George Enescu Festival  was first time organized in 1958 in memoriam of the great composer and violinist  and took place every three years till 1979. After Revolution the concert series took place every 2 years  . About .

 

The preparations for this year have already started and list of concerts is impressive and the names of the artists  are at the level of the event.

Program here .

 

On 26 the of September, George Enescu Festival brings to the Main Hall of Palace on one of the biggest Russian pianists of the moment equally loved by the Romanian audience: Boris Berezovsky. He will perform beside the Russian National Orchestra under the baton of Romanian Horia Andreescu.

 

Another surprise and important guest is the complex American actor John Malkovich who will interpret  Unerweger in a combination of theater play  and live reading along with sopranos Laura Aikin şi Kirsten Blaze.

 

Source:  http://festivalenescu.ro/festival-2013/program-piața-festivalului

Roger Waters in Bucharest in a monumental show

Roger Waters in Bucharest in a monumental show

 

The famous “The Wall” will be played live in Bucharest. The fans of Pink Floyd will enjoy a spectacular show on  28 th August in super – production  in Constitutiei Square!

“Considered to be a real masterpiece, THE WALL is the perfect combination between live music, impressive projections, amazing visual effects and over the top scenery, all reunited in a gigantic construction, conceived under the shape of the famous wall. The show retells the story of Pink, the main character of the album, the entire setting taking advantage nowadays of the new technology, and thus giving to the fans not only a concert, but a multi-dimensional fabulous production of which the entire international media speaks highly.”

source and poster : Emagic

Rates: from 150 euro/ person ( double room sharing)

 

Includes :

 

  • 2 nights Accommodation in 4* hotel in Bucharest
  • Breakfast
  • ticket to Gazon 2

 

Does not include :

  • Flights to and from Bucharest ( available upon request)
  • Transfers  to and from airport ( available upon request)
  • Insurances
  • Meals not included
  • Souvenirs
  • Tips

 

poster-concert-piata-constitutiei-bucuresti-roger-waters-28-august-2013

 

History and Spirituality in Dacian Fortress – Orastie Mountains.

History and  Spirituality in Dacian Fortress – Orastie Mountains.  Prislop Monastery. Urus Reservation. Densus Monastery

In the movie are images of spiritual and historic importance for Romanians, but also for humanity as part of history.

Prislop Monastery

Prislop is more a pilgrimage phenomena. Many pilgrims come here and pray to the Arsenie Boca grave for miracles. Some of them say that miracles really happen.

There are two from the 6 UNESCO heritage, Dacian fortresses:

Dacian Fortress at Grădiștea de Munte – Sarmizegetusa Regia, the capital of Dacian Kingdom – placed in Gradistea de Munte village, Hunedoara county.

The site is extended on 4,5 km lenght and it was formed of three main parts: fortification, sacred area şi civilian residence and est and west.

Dacian fortress in Costesti – Cetatuie – localizată în satul Costesti, comuna Orastioara de Sus, Hunedoara county.

Densus Monastery :
The oldest Romanian Church in service, it has an untypical appearance. Parts of the monastery are made from stones of Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana.

Danube Delta

Danube  Delta is second in size in Europe after the Volga delta, with approximately 4180 km2, and but if we consider Razim – Sinoe and Danube estuary, this area extends to approximately 5500 km2 . Delta belongs in a proportion of 82% of Romania, the rest being located in Ukraine.   Delta area is divided into three types of areas: 20 strictly protected areas, with a total area of ​​506 km2 buffer zone with an area of ​​2233 km2 and economic zones with a total area of ​​3060 km2.

Delta Dunarii

Danube Delta is an exotic destination where you have the chance to observe  over 1830 species of trees and plants, over 2440 species of insects, 91 species of mollusks, 11 species of reptiles, 10 species of amphibians, 320 species of birds and 44 mammal species, many of them being unique species and natural monuments. Do not forget that live in its waters for 133 species of fish, which are an important source of food for birds and aquatic mammals and an important scientific and economic resource. Here you have the opportunity to meet together all plant species-lake of Europe, reflected in multiple living environments: submerged floating vegetation, riparian vegetation that forms the edge of a flooded ponds and lakes, grassy meadows of marine areas, vegetation areas and areas with salty water temporarily. You’ll see a land that is the most important resting place for migratory birds traveling between the tropical and the arctic, five of the most important roads pass through here. Many of these birds will surely accompany your walks along the boat. Besides migratory species, nest here and a large number of rare species as summer guests, as others guests for the winter, hatch in northern Europe and come to spend the winter in the Delta.

Fixed vegetation areas covers 43% forests (both the natural and planted),  agricultural land covers about 4%, pastures occupy about 6%. Delta lakes, now reduced to a total of 479, is around 7.8% of the delta. From geographically point of view, Delta is the most humid part of Europe, the lowest and newer flat region, dominated mainly areas with low height in relation to the level 0 of the Black Sea, the greatest height being the marine areas in Letea Caraorman 13 m and 8 m from the level 0 to the Black Sea, a rate below 21% are in the negative share the remaining 79% being situated above sea level. The average altitude of the Danube Delta is 0.52 m Danube reached its Patlageanca (west of Tulcea) splits into two arms, arms chile North and Tulcea to south arm that then to Ceatalul Ismail splits in Sulina (west-east direction) and Sf Gheorghe (NW-SE direction). Danube arm length: 120 km Chilia, Sf Gheorghe 70 km and 64 km Sulina. Depth of water in the Danube Delta Chilia 39 m, 34 m on arm Tulcea, Sf Gheorghe 26 m and 18 m on Sulina. The greatest depth of the Delta, excluding Danube branches, located in Lake Belciug of 7 m, in other lakes depths not exceeding 3 m (Lake Razim).

The growing stones as unexplained phenomena

The growing stones as unexplained phenomena

( growing stones-living stones- troves= trovanti in Romanian)

 

I learned about growing stones long time ago, during my media days when  me and one my colleague played a prank on  politician. The colleague suggested me to ask about the rights of the troves in Romania.  Firstly I made clear in my mind what troves are, planning to see the trove museum soonest possible, than I popped-up the question. The answer was hilarious, but I am not going to tell you about this part.

I kept my word. During one of my travels in Romania, in Oltenia county,   I stopped at trove museum in Costesti and I wondered how I could I have missed the stones as I passed them several time before.  Placed by the main road, the growing stones museum is not a typical museum as one might think: with decent – styled building and a porter. The growing stone is natural place, more like natural reservation, where stones really grow as flowers on the field. And it is said, similar to flowers, the stones grow bigger as they got wet. True or not, some of them are really big!

 

The growing stones were spread all over the meadow and differed in shape and size. Actually, I was amazed; most of them were enormous and looked like abstract sculptures, having nothing to do with regular stones. The shapes  are various, rounded , elliptical, they capture your sight regardless whether they are tall as a person or tiny like a coffee bean.   The official explanation for their formation is that they are geological formation formed out of sand and cemented by layers of chalk, from the water on the hill aside the museum. People say various stories about those  stones: some of them SF  stories,  about  paranormal powers or energies or on the contrary with fairies and dragons, some say that you have to behave nicely with them, not to upset the stones.

There are also voices saying that these stones are of extra-terrestrial provenience, others consider them as huge tears of Divinity.     The fact is the live you speechless in their uniqueness. Or at least, I remained speechless considering whatever they were created them, there was  super-power name it nature, God, extraterrestrial creature.

During my voyage around that region of Oltenia de sub Munti ( Oltenia below Mountains)  I noticed in some courtyards that people over there decorated their courtyards with troves. I wonder: do they still grow when the environment  is changed?

As my pictures are pretty bad, I will illustrate you the trove museum by  somebody else’s movie, the credits  are on the movie.

Trove museum