Issuu on Google+

Voyage your travel starts here

Where to?

Danube Delta

DISCOVER A WORLDWIDE TREASURE EUROPE BEYOND THE USUAL

first issue - may 2013

Viscri

WHY PRINCE CHARLES IS I N LOVE WITH TRANSYLVANIA

Brașov

THE GREEN CAPITAL

Bucharest

THE BEST OF CITY LIFE

Wild Carpathia EXPLORE THE MOUNTAINS

FOOD

More:

• INSIDE OF ROYAL PROPERTIES • SOMEWHERE FOR THE WEEKEND • HUNGRY FOR ADVENTURE

FLAVOURS OF ROMANIA


CONTENTS

Castle Bran-Rucar // 2 Brasov // 4

Bucharest // 10

Carpathian Mountains // 12

Danube Delta // 30

Constanta // 17

Green House Cob // 9

Danube Basins // 28

Moldoveanu Peak // 36 Sighisoara // 48

Images in this issue, otherwise noted, are courtesy of Dragos B.


first issue - may 2013

Editor’s letter Welcome to the first issue of „Voyage. Where to?” magazine. The magazine seeks out unique travel experiences around the globe for travellers who want to explore and take holidays that cannot be found in brochures. Moreover, it also covers ‘tried and tasted’ food recipes – traditional and unique recipes from different countries, food news, and special selection of drinks. “Voyage.Where to?” gathers many images, because magazines are first and foremost a visual medium. Spectacular and unique pictures keep the readers interested and also give another dimension to the articles. The first issue of the magazine is focused on Romania, situated in the South-Eastern part of Central Europe. Discover this beautiful country; discover the authentic, natural, cultural and active Romania. Travel can be defined as recuperation and regeneration, compensation and social integration, escape, communication, a thing that broadens people’s mind. Travel is freedom and selfdetermination, self-realisation, and last but not least happiness. Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

And above all, thanks to you, our first readers, for making it all real.

There are as many beautiful stories as there are drops in the ocean. Begin a new story. Browsing these pages, I hope you are inspired to experience something new this year. You never know it might just change you forever.

I hope you enjoy “Voyage. Where to? “ Soon, the first full-sized 40-page issue will be available online and via subscriptions@voyagewhereto.com. I would love to hear your suggestions and stories. E-mail me via alina.deca@hotmail.com

Many thanks to the people who helped build this new home.

Alina Deca Editor

1


Voyage where to?

Relishing the mystic extravagance of (

Castle Bran-Rucar

R

omania is a land of many remarkable monuments, but the stature of BranRucar is unprecedented and undeniably the most fascinating among all. This gorgeous castle is situated at a distance of 30km from Brasov city and can be spotted on Bartholomew road that passes through the old neighbourhood and links Brasov to Campulung Muscel, Romania’s first capital city.

foreign tourists because of its association with the mythical character of a blood thirsty vampire - Count Dracula.

November 19, 1377. Thus, Brasov city was conferred the privilege of housing a stone castle that still is a place of sheer machismo in terms of architectural excellence.

A HISTORY ENCOMPASSING 600

It was handed over to Transylvania during the reign of Iancu de Hunedoara in the latter half of 15th century while it was controlled by Szeklers Committee. It happened because Hunyadi lost the throne of Romania, which was claimed by Transylvania and this is when the connection between Vlad Tepes and the castle developed.

YEARS The mythical historical background surrounding this castle makes it even more charming and people come here from all around the world in search of Count Dracula.

Set in the backdrop of Bucegi Mountains, the castle itself is built on a rock and has been turned Bran Castle was established by into a four storey museum. It Hungarian King Louis I of Anjou is visited by a large number of by an act, which was declared on 2

Presently, Bran Castle is owned by the heir of Princess Ileana, Dominic of Habsburg.


first issue - may 2013

THE MYTH OF COUNT DRACULA

I

n Transylvania, Vlad the Impaler or Count Dracula’s legend serves as the main anecdote that infatuates people towards visiting this castle, and the strong association between both cannot be neglected. The myth originated in England, when the novel “Dracula” was published by an Irish writer Bram Stoker, in 1897. Although Dracula is purely a fictional character, however, in the story, this castle served as the place where Dracula lived which later created an array of myths, legends, and beliefs among people who started associating ghosts, vampires and evil forces to the place. From then on, Bran Castle became famous as Dracula’s Castle. The impact of Stoker’s fiction is still so intense that CNN listed it among the top ten medieval castles of the world. Even today, Romanian government, tourism operators, and Bran Castle’s administration propagate the story of Vlad the Impaler and publicize the castle as Dracula’s place of birth. The linkage is although very subtle, yet the intriguing impression that this massive structure creates is scary yet inviting. Furniture that belonged to Queen Marie, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria who became Romanian queen after rejecting England’s King George V and marrying the King of Romania, is exhibited here. This castle has been a frequent choice of top film makers and is an excellent place to visit in Transylvania.

3


Voyage where to?

Brasov , The Green Capital of Romania

4


first issue - may 2013

B

rașov is the capital of Brașov County, Romania with a population of 298,560 as per 2011 census statistics. It is the largest city in Brașov county although its populace has been constantly declining over the past two decades due to the exodus of Saxons and reduced industrial activity. It is a complete destination for tourists with plenty of cultural, recreational, and educational offerings.

It is located at the highest altitude in Romania due to the embedding of Postăvaru structure’s peak. Brașov depression is located at the Eastern side with an average altitude of 625m. Carpathian Mountain, Postăvarul Massif, Făgăraș Mountains and Bucegi Mountains are situated at the Southern and South-Eastern side of the city. The internal curvature of the city is bounded by the massive Postăvaru which enters through a spur (Tâmpa) and Big Stone at a distance of 161km from Bucharest. Brașov can be easily accessed by car, bus and train and is closer to Predeal, Sinaia, Fagaras and Sighisoara. Brașov happens to be the only city in the world that encloses a mountain peak, ie Postăvaru, and a natural reserve in the form of Tâmpa Mountain under its administrative territory.

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION Brașov can be termed as a powerhouse of infrastructure and this aspect is enhanced and encouraged by its geographical position. Municipality of Brasov is located at the centre of the country and covers an area of 267.32 km2.

5


Voyage where to?

SIGHTSEEING

TOURISM Brașov city enjoys maximum attention and attendance from visitors for being the centre of the country and the most important municipality within the county. It serves as a starting point for traveling anywhere in the country. From here, you can access the magnetic Black Sea, the city of monasteries Bucovina, the land of mythical heritage Maramures, the Carpathian Mountains, and the Dacian fortresses in Haţeg from here. For boosting tourism, the city government in Brașov implemented an extensive strategic process of renovation of ancient monuments and museums and the purpose has been accomplished effectively. Tâmpa Mountain (960m) provides the best view of the city, and can be easily reached by cable car or on foot.

Winter resort Poiana Brasov has been developed for the sake of promoting winter activities and sports within the city. It is 7 miles away from the city centre.

Museums • Brașov History Museum, located in Council House • Muresenilor House (site) • First Romanian School Museum, the Schei, (exhibiting the first ever book printed in Romanian language) • Museum Bârsa fortifications arranged in Weavers’ Bastion • Museum Citadel restaurant, located in the old fortress on guard (Castle Hill) • Points museum in the Black Tower, the White Tower and Graft Bastion • Museum of Art • Museum of Ethnography • Brasov Urban 6

Churches and temples • Black Church - Built between 1377 and 1477 by replacing an ancient Roman basilica • Church of St. Nicholas XIV century • Church of St. Bartholomew - XIII century • Church of St. Martin in the watch • St. George’s Church, established in an old hunting mansion • Synagogue • Orthodox Synagogue


first issue - may 2013

FLORA AND FAUNA The flora and fauna of Brașov municipality do not differ greatly from the county. Wild animals are scarce here and mostly are reserved in the surrounding woods. Tourists can expect meeting bears, wolves and foxes once they venture through the woods. Tâmpa Mountain (203.4 ha) has been declared as a nature reserve and serves as the guardian of numerous rare and endemic plant species such as the steppe vegetation area on the south.

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL “GOLDEN STAG” The Golden Stag is among the most significant highlights of Brasov city’s cultural activities. It is an annual festival which takes place in the city centre and gathers international talent

on the stage. The tradition was started by Romanian government in 1968 as an attempt to showcase Brașov as an interesting and entertaining destination for tourism. So far, famous artists like Tom Jones, Coolio, Ray Charles, Pink, Kylie Minogue and Christina Aguilera have performed on the stage.

SIGNIFICANT CULTURAL EVENTS • • • •

PARKS AND GREEN AREAS Brasov has been unanimously entitled as the Green Capital of Romania. The city is blessed with the largest area per capita dedicated to greenery. The government had immense concerns over reorganizing the green space and for shaping it up well, which was achieved by creating parks. That is why today, the city has a large number of parks in all its districts. 7

• • • • • • •

Golden Stag Festival Annual Days of Brașov – Annual Festival that is linked with junior feast National Contest and Festival Romanian Song - Annual Jazz and Blues Festival – Annual Chamber Music Festival Annual Contemporary Theatre Festival - Annual Organ Concerts at Black Church - Weekly Beer Festival (largest brewer) - Annual Aurora Festival (small brewers) - Annual Harvest Festival - Annual Fair craftsmen from around the country - Annual (usually linked with Brasov Days)


Voyage where to? BLACK CHURCH Parish Church of St. Mary in “Old Town Hall” was built around 1383, and the initiative was taken by priest Thomas Sander for dwelling older. The building, which was renamed as Black Church after a devastating fire in 1689, is the most important Gothic monument in this part of Europe. Virgin Mary is considered the Patron of this city, and the statue is among the abutments of Black Church.

The church can be located towards the Council House, and has Brasov’s emblem carved and embossed underneath it. The date of completion of this site namely 1477 has been imprinted on the painting and it is protected by a wooden porch.

The church choir has still retained fragments of medieval wall paintings and part of its inventory is in bronze Gothic font. It also guards the most impressive collection of Oriental carpets in Europe, outside Turkey.

8

photo by Dragos B

After the great fire of 1689, the Black Church was rebuilt in Baroque style and the interior was decorated more richly and elaborately by utilizing vaults, arches, sculptures, painted wooden pulpit and pews belonging to craft guilds.


first issue - may 2013

Greenwhere House Cob nature meets intellect

R

omania has recently garnered fame for accommodating the most successful housing cob known as Green House.

photo courtesy of casa-verde.ro

This Cob has been added in the top ten most successful home “cobs� in the world, revealed by Natural Homes. Cob in Romania is a building material similar to adobe, and consists of clay, sand water, and straw. This world-renowned eco-friendly Green House cob is owned by architect Ileana Mavrodin, and the cob is located within the village of Banat Sasca near the old craft centre on Nera. She has intelligently

photo courtesy of casa-verde.ro

integrated this house into the picturesque beauty of the landscape so much so that it comes across as completely invisible to untrained eye. Its structure has received immense international attention and acclaim because this most beautiful building has been created entirely from natural materials.

9


Voyage where to?

Bucharest

the land of dignified opulence and artistic splendoura

Bucharest is the capital of Romania, its industrial and commercial hub and its most populous city as well with 1,944,367 inhabitants (est. January 1, 2009). Population wise, it ranks the tenth city of EU. 10


first issue - may 2013

F

rom a small town in 1459, it became the capital of Romania in 1862 and since then onwards, it has been subjected to constant renovation and modernization. Gradually, it attained the status of the cultural and literary centre of Romania. The city underwent complete makeover during the 19th century and its territorial border was stretched after the unification of Moldova with Romanian Land in 1862. Thus, it became the largest city in South-Eastern Europe after Istanbul. Bucharest covers a total area of 228 km2 (0.8% of the surface), out of which 70% is is composed of buildings. is a lake in the middle of Cismigiu Park which was formerly a pond in the old medieval city. It is surrounded by Cismigiu Garden, which was established in 1847 by German architect Carl FW Meyer. Additionally, there are various parks in Bucharest among which Herastrau (the Village Museum) and the Botanical Garden are the most prominent ones. The Botanical garden is the largest park in Romania and houses over 10,000 distinct species of exotic and local plants. Other major parks include Youth Park (200 ha) and Carol Park (36 ha), which was inaugurated in 1906.

Bucharest’s elegant architectural heritage and careful planning earned it the title of Little Paris during the 20th century. Today, its administrative status is the same as a county and it has been divided into six districts. Post First World War (1914-1918), Bucharest became one of the most beautiful European capitals. It became an emblem of Europe’s signature brightness, cultural richness and energetic social atmosphere. However, its purity, harmony and splendour were brutalized by the Communist regime (1945-1989). The beautiful city became a subject of social experimentation and devastating attempts of urbanization. Industrialization was imposed on it cultural visage, and the city became overpopulated due to that. Currently, the city is a strange yet exquisite blend of ancient and modern, traditional and contemporary, and oriental and cultural ambience, which makes it appear as an unordain eclectic metropolis, and an organized land of arts and culture simultaneously.

LANDMARKS AND INSTITUTIONS The Palace of the Parliament (House of Parliament or People’s House; “the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function, most expensive administrative building, and heaviest building”) and important Governmental and Presidential offices are situated in Bucharest. There are over 60 research institutes/universities and a number of cultural institutions in this city. These include the Romanian Academy (founded in 1866), Polytechnic Institute, Institute of Medicine, and many other higher-education institutes. There were many large libraries in Bucharest, which were burnt during the 1989 revolution. These include Academy Library (built in 1867) containing around 8 million volumes, the National Library (founded in 1955), housing 7 million volumes, and Central University Library, (founded in 1896) accommodating 2 million volumes.

LANDSCAPE, FLORA AND FAUNA OF BUCHAREST Set at the banks of Dâmboviţa River, which flows into the Arges tributary of the Danube, Bucharest can be termed as the city of lakes since several lakes pass within the city namely Herastrau Lake, Floreasca Lake, Tei Lake and Colentina Lake. There 11


Voyage where to?

The Majestic

Carpathian Mountains 12


first issue - may 2013

Eastern Carpathian. The latter encompasses almost entire Romania, accounting for 54% of Carpathian chain. Maximum height is acquired by Tatra Mountains (top Gerlachovka, 2663 m).

The focus here is on Romanian Carpathian which entail three major divisions: the Eastern Carpathian, Southern Carpathian and Western Carpathian. ALTITUDE Romanian Carpathians cumulate medium mountains that surpass 2,500 meters. Southern Carpathian comprise of limited areas, and the average altitude is around 840 meters.

VEGETATION, FAUNA AND SOILS Vegetation cover over the Carpathian is currently distributed into two floors: forest and alpine, which largely depends upon the climate. Forest floor is the most developed in terms of biodiversity and the spatial extent. The floor overlaps a large area starting from the Danube Gorge (below 100 meters altitude) and it goes up to a value of around 1800 meters. This area represents about 60% of Romania’s forests.

C

arpathian Mountains are one of the most significant relief units in Europe. Spanning over a length of about 1500 km and an area of 170,000 km ², this range is a component of the mountain alpine and runs from Gate Vienna-Bratislava (The Danube) to Timoc Valley, beyond the Balkan Mountains. It is a well-customized mountain range presenting three sectors: North West Carpathian, Carpathian Middle and South-

The fauna is mainly characterized by numerous wildlife species such as deer, bear, boar, lynx, grouse, which are located in trout waters. Wildlife is subjected to restrictive conditions. However, the chamois, golden eagle and clear and well oxygenated waters (including some glacial lakes) are present in abundance.

POPULATION AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS Despite the temporal rule of states like Hungary, Austria, and Austro-Hungarian on parts of the Carpathian, no barriers were imposed on the administrative boundaries 13


Voyage where to? of the Romanian feudal states. Free movement of people and goods was allowed through the mountains, and it actually served as a link between regions that complemented each of them economically. This happened because these regions were inhabited by the people coming from the same origin/language, and similar traditions and work life. In contemporary era, modernization affected the process of humanization and new forms of economic and social development generated within the country, which employed most of the labour. Moreover, exploitation of mineral resources (e.g. Petrosani coal basin) became mandatory. The potential of hydropower was utilized for building numerous ways of communication. To boost tourism, Romanian government developed ski resorts and sedentarized people coming from different parts of the country as service staff in those resorts.

14


first issue - may 2013

Oravita-Anina railway , European heritage monument

O

raviţa-Anina railway line was built with local labour, where local people of the whole area contributed. The route is called “Semeringul Banat” because of similarity between it and the railway “Semering” in Austria, built during 1845-1854.

This train is comprised of a first class coach with 42 seats, a coach class II with 56 seats, a dining car and a baggage wagon. “Nostalgia” has circulated between the two World Wars and has a steam locomotive.

15


Voyage where to?

Corvinilor Castle

The emblem of Gothic architectural excellence

G

othic architectural marvels have a history of being surrounded by huge mountain and of sustaining legendary stature. Corvinilor Castle is no different in this respect. Sheltered by towering mountains, Corvinilor Castle undoubtedly can be regarded as a true Gothic architectural masterpiece and one of the most treasured and stunning medieval monuments in Romania.

as a silent witness of a significant era of Roman history. This castle encloses within its surrounding the cheers, laughter, and footsteps of various extravagant and gale knights, enigmatic Royals, gorgeous vintage era ladies, and prominent historical figures who arrived here as guests and strolled all over the place. Lavish parties in the honour of noble kings and queens from overseas were held here. Hence, you will find the aura of this place slightly distinct from other castles. You can visit the stunningly broad room of the Knights, guest rooms that were worthy of housing honourable visitants, and the Diet Hall, where celebrations took place with extreme grandeur and fervour. John Hunyadi built tower Bastions, mobile bridge chapel, defence wall, and turned the castle into a fortress “Semeta� that served as a gateway for confronting enemies. This castle hides an umpteen number of secrets waiting to be discovered... or maybe they will always remain undiscovered in the sands of time.

The first traces of information on the origin of this castle were discovered in 1278 from documents found in the House of Anjou. Later, during 1400s, to prove his loyalty. Sigismund of Luxembourg handed this castle over alongwith other royal properties, including the land, to Prince Voicu Corvin. According to historical records, the construction of Hunyadi castle began in 1443, and it stands today 16


first issue - may 2013

Constanta , Casino

T

he Constanța Casino is a historical building in Constanța. It is one of the most representative symbols of the city, built in 1909 and accessible from 1910. The casino is located on the seafront of Constanța. The word ‘casino’ is of Italian origin and is associated with a small house - Casini - where you can meet the wealthy. The first official gaming house was opened in Venice in 1626.

Constanța Casino was one of the first buildings designed for socializing and entertainment. Renard made the first sketches of the building that was to be done with clear features of “Art Nouveau”. In 1903, architect Daniel Renard, who lived in Constanța, received the contract for the casino. On 15 august 1910, the Casino opened in the presence of Prince Ferdinand. Anniversary speeches were held for King Charles I. 17

Constanța Casino has a remarkable stylistic unity. It is in fact a realization of a complex real virtuosity defining the “Art Nouveau” architecture in Romania. Architectural aspects of the plan are obvious both in volume and function. Constanța Casino is by far the most important model style “Art Nouveau” in Romania. This statement is based on the fact that the building is not like the other ones, as it is, in its entirety, an object of “Art Nouveau”.


Voyage where to?

Transalpina Road

also called The King’s Road is a Man’s Spectacular Creation

T

ransalpina, also known as DN67C, is located in the Parâng Mountains, in the Southern Carpathians of Romania, and is one of the most spectacular roads of the Carpathian Mountains. It connects Novaci, South of Parâng Mountains, to Sebes in the North. It is said that the road was built under King Carol II reign and rebuilt during World War II by German troops and it is called “The King’s Road” by the locals. Another story suggests that Nicolae Ceauşescu had the

Transfăgărăşan Road (DN7C) built during the Communist regime, just to surpass the Transalpina. The road has its highest point at Urdele Pass, where the elevation is 2,145m above sea level. Given the high altitude, the road is closed during the cold months of the year. Works began in 2007 in order to transform this spectacular road into a modern highway (91 miles), allowing a rapid transit between Oltenia and Transylvania. A newly 18


first issue - may 2013

developed resort “Ranca” is located towards the South end of the Transalpina road.

NUMEROUS WAYS LEADING TO THE TRANSALPINA The travelers and tourists must be cautious that although there are many ways leading to the Transalpina, which are specially paved to go through it, most of it goes through areas that are not paved. It can be troublesome for passersby and they might not pass muster and pass across the unpaved way. Only those with true love for the mountains will choose to access such hard ways to cross.

PROMOTION BY TOP GEAR PRESENTING THE TRANSALPINA IN A NEW LIGHT The asphalt was completed as pre-announced, in the year 2012 and the best promotional campaign was put forward by the company “Top Gear”, as a collaborative effort to glorify the Transfăgărăşan. The title they came up with to advertise their campaign, most suited to the campaign, it was something like: “Top Gear is on Transalpina - the Highest peak of Romania”, Transalpina road campaign at the time enjoyed more celebrations and festivities than any advertising campaign ever. Following the visit of the Transfăgărăşan, Top Gear has been ranked in the top 13 most spectacular roads in the world and Nicholas Cage came here to film a part of the movie “Ghost Ride II”.

THE HIGHEST AWARD FOR THE HIGHEST ROAD IN ROMANIA A special award for excellence was proposed to the highest road in Romania, in the tenth edition of the International Forum, for Sustainable Development in Paris. Award for Excellence will be granted to the Transalpina road, passing the 2145 meters at the rate (Step Urdele) and the Carpathian chain, running through Romania. The award is given to the representatives of several NGOs that are, in fact, the chief organizers of the event. The role of the Forum is both educational and cultural, as it helps promoting the values that underline and also highlight rural development. 19


Voyage where to?

(

(

(

Transfagarasan Road ,

20


first issue - may 2013

T

he word “Transfăgărăşan” is made up of a combination of two words Trans - over, across and Fagaras or DN 7C. It is the second-highest paved road in Romania. Historically, Transfăgărăşan was built as a strategic military route. The distance across its 90km is consisting of twists and turns, run North to south across the tallest sections of the Southern Carpathians, between the highest peak in the country, Moldoveanu, and the second highest, Negoiu. The Transfăgărăşan Road connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia, and the cities of Sibiu and Pitești.

TWISTS AND TURNS OF THE TRANSFĂGĂRĂŞAN ROAD The road folds and climbs towards 2,034 metres altitude. The most spectacular route starts from the North. It is a winding road, strewn with steep hairpin turns, long S-curves, and sharp descents.

The Transfagarasan road is both an attraction and a challenge for hikers, cyclists, drivers and motorcycle enthusiasts, all at the same time. Due to the topography, the average speed is around 30 mph. The road also provides open access to Bâlea Lake and Bâlea Waterfall. The road is usually closed from late October until late June because of excessive snow fall. The Transfăgărăşan road may also remain open until late November, depending on the weather. It may also be closed, at times, due to severe weather conditions; it occasionally snows even in August. 21


Voyage where to? NEARBY PLACES AND TRAVELLER INFORMATION There are direction signs available for guidance, at the town of Curtea de Argeș and the village of Cârţişoara that provide information on the passage. Travellers can find food and lodging at several hotels or chalets along the way. It has more tunnels (a total of 5) and viaducts than any other road in Romania. The road passes through Bâlea Tunnel, near the highest point, at Bâlea Lake which is also the longest road tunnel in Romania (884 m).

OTHER ATTRACTIONS ON OFFER Amongst the attractions, near the village of Arefu, is the Poienari fortress. The castle served as the residence of Vlad III the Impaler, the prince who inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula character. There is a parking area and a path to the ruins. The Northern section is used, as a part of yearly cyclist competitions Tour of Romania (Romanian: Turul României). The difficulty of this section is considered to be very similar to Hors Category climbs those which are literally beyond categorization, in the Tour de France.

TRANSFĂGĂRĂŞAN - THE ROAD THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS AND ITS CONSTRUCTION

The highest altitude reached by the road is 2042 meters (in the Bâlea tunnel), located after Transalpina, which has a maximum altitude of 2145 meters.

Transfăgărăşan is a road, constructed between the way through the Făgăraș Mountains, which begins in the village Bascov, Arges County and ends near the village Cârţişoara, Sibiu County.

The road has 833 bridges and 28 viaducts.

With a length of about 94 miles, part of the DN 7 C, the road connects two historical provinces: Wallachia and Transylvania.

The construction of the road was deployed, at about 3 million tons of rock, using no less than 6520 tons of TNT. 22


first issue - may 2013

Firiza Lake

F

iriza is a lake formed in 1964 within the vicinity of Baia Mare. Initially, it served as a water resource for the town; however, due to its significant location, it soon became a popular recreational spot which attracted many avid fishermen and admirers of sea life. It was named after the town where it is situated - Firiza Town, and is located just above the village springs. There is a dam upon this lake which has been designated with the same name as the lake itself. Currently, Firiza Lake occupies a length of 2 miles and a width of 1mile. To reach the lake, you have to take the DN 18 Baia Mare – Sighet route. The dam is situated at a distance of 4 miles, however, you must remember that the road becomes slightly narrow and had numerous holes on the

The hub of recreational activities

winding road, but they have been smoothened out lately. The journey is a bit boring, but once you have reached the destination, there is little chance of boredom because of the wonderful landscape. The lake was surrounded by trees initially, but now it has hills all around.

To mollify their adrenaline rush, tourists can enjoy facilities like boating, canoeing, ATVs, or the enduro off-road. Nonetheless, fishing remains the most primary and prolific attractions in the context of tourism, but tourists need approval from authorities before proceeding. Three species of fishes can be found in Firiza Lake, namely trout, catfish and bream. 23

The lake is open for fishing only from 1st May to 1st October. Fishing vouchers, rental boats and pension facilities are all available nearby the lake. Fishing contests are organized regularly by local authorities on the lake, and it is the most coveted event of the year among the locals. Accommodation is not an issue at all at this spot since there are several hotels, and lodges that illuminate a comfortable environment and offer every modern amenity. You must try the traditional cuisine offered here because is simply divine in terms of taste and authenticity. Moreover, night-camping facility is also available at the lake, where you can enjoy the scenic beauty of the place and spend the night basking in the moonlight, watching thousands of brightly lit stars.


Voyage where to?

Holy Monastery of the

Voronet,

T

he VoroneČ› Monastery is constructed in such a fashion that it is basically joined on the base of a stone tower, which is then fixed in an upright position on a square base. Rising position of the VoroneČ› signifies the grandeur of its praise worthy founder, Stephen the Great, during the time of St. Pious Daniil the Hermit. 24


first issue - may 2013

UNIQUENESS OF THE STYLE AND CLASS OF THE VORONEȚ The Voroneț has been created with a significant style and class, which is a sign of the expertise and craftsmanship of its creators. The Voroneț is a mixture of a special and original synthesis of elements such as: Byzantine (trefoil with steeple on the nave), Gothic (broken springs in frames of doors and windows, buttresses) and local (4-tower arches and the stars, niches under the leaves , blind to the apse arches, frieze and glazed discs).

HISTORY OF THE VORONEȚ The Voroneț was built between the time periods of May to September, 1488 by Stephen the Great. Its Grand Porch was added in 1547 (painting outdoors), under the guidance and mentorship of Metropolitan Grigore Rosca. The monastery was populated by monks from the beginning. Monastic life was interrupted in 1785, after the annexation of Bukovina by the Habsburg Empire, when the monastery was dissolved, destroyed and abandoned. The monastery was re-established in 1991, and resumed with communal monastic life of nuns, having her as abbess on Stavrofora Irina Pantescu.

ABOUT THE PAINTING Named after a Fresco, the monastery is called the Sistine Chapel of the East, for possessing a fresco, on the Western side called “The Judgement Day”.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE COLOUR BLUE IN THE VORONEȚ The significance of the colour blue can be identified, due to the fact that it is considered by specialists as unique in the world and known as “Rubens red” or “green Veronese’s”. Also having painted on a blue background is the “Tree of Jesse” or “genealogy of our Saviour Jesus Christ”, as the columns are painted in Greco-Latin philosophy.

VORONEȚ AS A UNESCO MONUMENT The monastery has been awarded to be a UNESCO monument. It is the true artistic expression of faith, refinement and taste for beauty and clearly is an emblem of the aesthetic sense of people. The holy monastery of the Voroneț, due to its grandness commands silence, delights the heart and refreshes the mind of the on lookers as they arrive here from all over the country and all over the world. The Voroneț also exudes the lifestyle and class of the people and culture of the Psalter Codex and texts of the Voroneț were copied in the 16th century IEA. 25


Voyage where to?

Colibita ,

C

olibiţa is a village located in Transylvania, Romania. Geographically, it is situated on Bistriţa valley that lies in the commune of Bistriţa Bârgăului within the jurisdiction of Bistriţa-Nasaud. The village is surrounded by the mountains of Calimani Bârgău. Colibița has been formally declared as the purest zone all over Europe by Austrian experts who visited this place. As per the measurements and researches

The most ethereal spot in Romania

from these knowing ones, this village even surpassed Soveja, which was the current leader at that time in this context. Agriculture, livestock and wood are the main sources of earning for the inhabitants of Colibița. You can locate this amazing village as soon as you leave the Bistriţa Bârgăului commune. The winding road will begin to climb upwards at a distance of 4 miles, and you will notice that the landscape will become

26

increasingly wild. Then, the sights of dam and lake huts will appear. The dam itself is an emblem of sheer beauty and masculinity, and the lake is so enormous that you can only view one side of it. The drive through the village lasts for about two hours, and meanwhile, you can’t get bored because of the natural scenic beauty and glimpses of towering mountains Strunioru and Bistricioru which surround the lake as if they are guarding it.


first issue - may 2013

SIGHTS • Reservoir from the dam in Colibiţa is an important tourist destination where a fully developed resort facility is also available.

This village offers abundant recreational activities throughout the year and in every season for mountain lovers. Hiking trails on Taul Fairies Borcut spring mineral water, a 3.5 hour long trekking path towards Bistricioru Peak, Castle Dracula and Tihuţa, which stands at an altitude of 1100 m, are available. Other possibilities include mountain biking, kayaking, climbing, fishing (trout, chub, carp - the lake Colibiţa), and sleigh rides, etc.

In fact, this lake, which receives so little attention from government and authorities, accommodates even those species of fishes that are either extinct or scarcely found anywhere else in Romania. This is because the place and the lake are excessively unpolluted, untainted and clean. Since fishing cannot survive in polluted waters, that is why this lake has abundant of aquatic life, which makes it a diver’s delight as well.

The landscape and beauty adorned by the hut lake is unknown to the world and even to the majority of Bistrița-Năsăud inhabitants, which is why it presents a completely untouched and natural atmosphere. It is mainly popular as a prominent fishing destination. The pool is crowded with monkfish, trout, bleak, chub and even goldfish.

27


Voyage where to?

Danube Basins

T

A NATURAL SPLENDOUR

he Danube Basins are actually a sector of the Danube gorge crossing the Carpathians; these basins are about 5 miles long. It is indeed an extremely spectacular view, to behold the sight of Danube Basins. The arches are well built and sturdy, and they are slightly deepening towards the Iron Gates. The arches continue their journey, looking triumphant

The sight of the amazing Danube Mountains leave people astonished and spell bound with their exquisite landscape. God created these awe inspiring mountains in shape of a seat, which are located in a chock-a-block, smaller space, as compared to their giant size. The ancient land that existed in between, bordered by the Danube and the mountains is the area which is quite

and glorious, until they reach Drobeta.

28


first issue - may 2013

phenomenal at the moment, famous for its air show. The harmony between the river and the mountains is exceptionally unique and inimitable; it is a connecting point, a co-relation between human being and Mother Nature. The ethereal realm of this surreal place takes your imagination towards a joy ride, in a whole new fantasy world. It is a miraculous place, whose beauty and charm is yet to be explored.

Dragan, and its construction took no less than 10 years, from 1994 to 2004, with a total cost estimated to over a million dollars.

The most outstanding and popular tourist attraction in the area is represented by Danube Basins.

WIDTH AND DIMENSIONS

Logo encrypted on the King Decebal: Under the guise of Decebal, there is a Latin inscription: “DECEBAL REX - DRAGAN FECIT” which literally means “King Decebal - made by Drăgan”.

The widest part of the Danube has 4 km and is extending between Serbia and Romania. The Danube is slightly towering above Orsova Golobatz fortress, guarding the entrance of the famous Iron Gates. The popular Iron Gates area is the most exhilarating part of the trip along the Danube. The river bed traces along the narrow mountain chain, called the Carpathian Mountains in the North and Balkans in the South.

THE FOREST AREA AROUND THE DANUBE Forests that go on for more than 100 kilometres on the Serbian side of the Danube have now been official declared as a national conservation area. It is a wild and wide-ranging landscape speckled with wild animals such as: wolves, bears and lynx. The country has about 15% of the population of bears in Europe. Is it legal to hunt them but it is an expensive luxury costing, worth thousands of dollars.

THE NATURAL MIRACLE OF THE DECEBAL Decebal is the rock sculpture carved in the shape of the Dacian King’s face. It is the largest sculpture in Europe: has 55 metres height and 25 metres width. In terms of size comparisons, the Decebal monument is 6 metres less than the Statue of Liberty, 8 metres more than the monument of Christ in Rio de Janeiro and approximately 10 metres longer than the height of the legendary Colossus of Rhodes, Greece.

IRON GATES NATURAL PARK The “Iron Gates Natural Park” is the second largest protected area of Romania, after Danube Delta. The most spectacular part of the park is represented by Danube Basins, which is a European heritage. Danube is a symbol of success and a cultural revolution that flows across Europe. It is a beautiful mirror image of the past, present and future of European civilization; it is reminiscent of old memories and promising of a glorious future yet to come.

THE IDEA OF THE MONUMENT The credit for its conceptualization and creation goes to Romanian businessman Iosif Constantin

29


Voyage where to?

Danube Delta

30


first issue - may 2013

31


Voyage where to?

LOCATION AND WHEREABOUTS OF THE DANUBE DELTA

A BEAUTIFUL EXTRAVAGANZA OF THE GREAT “WETLAND”

Most part of the Danube Delta is located in Dobrogea, Danube Delta is undoubtedly one of the most Romania, and is spanning across 3446 km ². beautiful deltas in Europe and also in the world.

The Danube Delta is the second largest and best preserved of European deltas and it entered the UNESCO World Heritage in 1991.

It is known as one of the great “wetland” of the planet.

Arguably, what is most impressive about the Danube Delta is the remarkable diversity of habitats and life forms that it hosts, in a relatively small space.

It is also specifically classified as a biosphere reserve at national and international taxonomy, as a national park in the IUCN.

DIMENSIONS The journey towards the end of a road is exceeding ahead and catches an impressive 1780 miles area. The Danube is the second longest river in Europe.

32

The Danube Delta is an authentic museum of biodiversity, gifted with a natural gene bank of invaluable natural heritage which is universally acknowledged.


first issue - may 2013

A WORLDWIDE TREASURE

d) The Danube Delta is a place where government decision makers, scientists, policy makers and local people and volunteers co-exist and cooperate. They all work together as a team for the development, of a model for water planning and management to solve human needs, with help of the conservation of natural processes and biological resources;

The worldwide value of the reserve has been recognized by its inclusion in the international network of biosphere reserves (1990), under the “Man and Biosphere� (MAB) program, launched by UNESCO in 1970, as Delta fulfils the main features and prerequisites of a biosphere reserve namely:

e) The Danube serves as a symbol of voluntary cooperation for the conservation and use of resources, for the benefit and well-being of people everywhere.

a) The Danube Delta conserves precious examples of characteristic ecosystems and also includes strictly protected areas traditional use of resources, such as: fisheries or reed and buffer zones, to reduce the impact of human activities;

ANOTHER MILE STONE FOR THE DANUBE DELTA IS ACHIEVED

b) The Danube Delta is a territory or a coastal zone. It is an integral component that is managed, for far reaching objectives ranging from complete protection to intensive yet sustainable production;

Since September 1990, Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve won recognition as a wetland of International importance. It became all the more special by the inclusion of a waterfowl habitat, amongst more than 600 such areas, but Danube Delta was placed as the largest one of them.

c) The Danube Delta is a regional centre for monitoring, research, education and training on natural and managed ecosystems;

33


Voyage where to?

Manuc’s Inn

The pioneer of hotelling in Bucharest

M

anuc’s Inn, as per historical records, is the oldest operating hotel building in Bucharest. It encloses within its premises a popular restaurant, several bars, a coffee-house, an extensive bar and several stores facing the street. Its structure is represented by a multiple balconied courtyard. The courtyard which has hosted many performances and fairs in the history of Romania.

Built in 1808, the Inn was originally owned by a wealthy and flamboyant Armenian entrepreneur of Turkish origin, Emanuel Mârzaian. Manuc’s Inn became the most significant commercial complex of Bucharest during the mid-half of 19th century. It incorporated around 15 wholesalers, 23 retail stores, 107 rooms for visitors and official purposes, two receiving rooms and a pub. The Inn is the bearer of immense historical importance for Romania, because it was the very place where the preliminary talks for the Treaty of Bucharest, which put an end to the 1806–1812 Russo-Turkish war, were held.

It has always been a famous place for Romanian television channels and the place has been utilized for shooting folkloric performances.

34


first issue - may 2013

Medias,

L

ocated 56 km from Sibiu, on Route 14, in a hilly area, the city is at the confluence of Moşna and Târnava Mare River, in one of the most famous vineyards.

Since 2009, “Mediaş. Mysteries of the City of Light “ is the motto under which local government tries to attract tourists eager to meet the rich history of the place. Keeping the major element - the Trumpet Tower, a traditional symbol, well-known in the architecture of Mediaş, they launched a new brand perspective which can open unlimited gathering of different items to meet under the dome of the title of “mysteries”. This is because the stories and legends behind the leaning tower, the twins, the female cult, the decoration with solar symbols, the mason details, add more mysterious treasures, which all are of course part of the rich history of this city.

Formation of a new conception of tourism values of Mediaş is only possible by creating a line for transmission of messages, concerning the traditional element of history. The existence of such a tourism brand helps Mediaş meet this need and energizes the historic core polarization of cultural tourism.

35


Voyage where to?

Moldoveanu Peak Moldoveanu Peak is the highest mountain peak in Romania, located in Făgăras Mountains, Argeș County, and reaches an altitude of 2544 meters.

The highest peak in Romania is surrounded by peaks of over 2400 meters, so it is visible only if you approach it.

The route is not the easiest, but its beauty and ultimate reward is worth the effort.

36


first issue - may 2013

37


Voyage where to? FROM BÂLEA LAKE TO MOLDOVEANU

It is better if you book a weekend for Moldoveanu Peak, because crossing the route can take from six to eight hours.

PEAK The Moldoveanu Peak route starts from Bâlea

It is also recommended to start climbing in the early morning. Near Bâlea Lake district, there are parks, camping areas and hotels in where you can rest before the adventure begins. Do not forget to take with you as much water, snacks and a cream with a high sun protection factor as you can.

Glacial Lake, located in one of the most beautiful regions of Romania. Bâlea Lake is reached during the summer through Transfăgărăşan, and a spectacular winding road, called “way of the clouds”. Among the attractions, you should not miss the only ice hotel in Eastern Europe, built near

The ascent starts from Bâlea Lake. You then need to follow the pointer to Saddle Goat and you should

the lake and which looks like an igloo.

prepare the camera, because the panoramas there will leave you breathless.

MOLDOVEANU PEAK Once on top of Moldoveanu Peak, you will forget all the fatigue accumulated along the way. The feeling that you have once reached on the highest point in Romania is unique. In addition, a picture title that says “Moldoveanu Peak” is certainly a valuable reminder and a proud image that you can keep with you forever. The route to Moldoveanu Peak is an unforgettable experience, but you cannot start climbing without taking some precautions. Do not neglect the weather and avoid venturing on the ridge in days with rain and thunderstorms. Do not leave without proper

footwear and hiking trails, without a sleeping bag to protect you at night, when temperatures descend drastically. 38


first issue - may 2013

(

Mocanita ,

T

he starting point for the Vaser Valley forestry railway, the narrow gauge steam railway train goes through the wildest parts of Europe and has 21 miles long.

Mocănița, on the Vaser Valley, starts every morning from March to October, around 8:30, so it is recommended to be accommodated in Vișeu de Sus the night before, to make sure you arrive on time.

Also it is the last steam powered narrow gauge logging railroad in Europe and probably in the world. The history, tradition and life are carved in the wood and gates of Maramureș churches and dozens of streams stretch over the entire area as a cobweb.

Surrounding the station, there are quite a few hostels and certainly you will not have problems to find accommodation for one night. The price is about 80 £ per night for a double room and if you are lucky, you can have breakfast included in the price if you talk before with the owner of the guesthouse.

Among them is the Vaser River, which crosses the Maramureș Mountains in the middle of one of the most beautiful and wild landscapes in Romania. The access point of Vaser River valley is the town of Vișeu de Sus. It is also the starting point for the steam train that runs on a narrow gauge railway. It is one of the last functioning in Europe.

Built in 1932, CFF Viseu de Sus works today too, with the main goal lining Vaser Valley in wood processing factories in Vișeu de Sus. CFF Vișeu de Sus is the only narrow gauge railway in Europe, still used to transport timber. Mocănița on the Vaser River is the only mean of transport to the heart of Maramureș Mountains. 39


Voyage where to?

Mud Volcanoes

M

ud Volcanoes are a remarkable natural phenomenon and a synthesis of the geology and tectonics of Curvature of Sub-Carpathians, Romania.

planet. Or even on other planets. Research and NASA recently published work (most probably in 2010) to show that mud volcanoes are manifested as a cosmic phenomenon.

In recent years, the Mud Volcanoes at Berca, Buzău County, became a much frequented tourist attraction and probably the most famous geological monument in Romania.

Mud volcanoes, in terms of their occurrence, are not rare. There has been identified thousands of mud volcanoes concentrated in about 40 regions. Only 10% are visible, in the continental area, and the rest can be found underwater.

The landscape cracked clays offered a strange, unusual polychrome of “lava” turned into clay, which has been used for photo essays, film productions in SF decor, fashion editorials and advertising videos. For photographers, the volcanoes represent a large topic, and to some extent even for tourists: it’s hard to not take pictures with some active volcanoes, whatever they may be. And in light of recent research by molecular phylogeny, mud volcanoes would have an important role in the emergence of life on our

Bubbles fuelled by gas fumes burst every few seconds. Methane comes from a depth of 3,000 meters or more and can be lit with a lighter. The region was once very rich in oil. Between the two World Wars, competing on volume extracted was Prahova Valley, so at that time it was one of the most productive oil zones in the world. Subcarpathians oil, in Buzău, has a high quality, being poor in paraffin. 40


first issue - may 2013

The Nera River

T

he Nera River springs are thought by some to be from the Western part of Southern Carpathians, but they actually belong to the Semenic Mountains.

The main purpose for which it was established as a park is conservation of biodiversity, f lora and fauna, landscape, local traditions, encouraging tourism, environmental education and public awareness.

Nera - Beuşniţa is a protected area of national interest, including the National Park Nera Beuşniţa corresponding to IUCN category IV (mixed type nature reserve), situated in Caraș-Severin, the administrative territory of Sasca Montana and New Şopotu.

Nera National Park - Beuşniţa enjoys a great floristic richness, a landscape of unique diversity and uniqueness, and kept wild state due to difficult access to the area.

Nera National Park occupies the south-Beuşniţa Anina Mountains and the Northern part of Locvei Mountains, occupying an area of 36,364.8 hectares, which includes 6 declared and a proposed reserve.

Nera-Beurnita Nature Reserve is superlative or pluperfect reached nature in the region of Banat and Caraș, nothing but the fruit of love for millennia between water, air and stone elements. 41


Voyage where to?

Peles, Castle

F

ull of history, elegance and wealth, Peleș Castle is one of the finest tourist attractions in Romania.

Summer residence of the Romanian first royal couple, King Charles I (1866-1914) and Queen Elizabeth, Peleș Castle, named after the river that flows near the imposing building, is situated on a small meadow in the heart of the forest. The castle was built outside the village perimeter with an area of 12 miles in 1874, when the initiative sovereign municipality receives the name of Sinaia.

Located in Sinaia and shrouded in mystery, the royal Peleș Castle is presented dignified and elegant in front of numerous art lovers and casual visitors. Met by an imposing statue of King Charles I and the first queen of Romania, Elizabeth I, the visit to Peleș Castle turns right from the beginning into a royal beauty, refinement and sumptuousness.

INSIDE THE CASTLE The interior is a sumptuous castle, and the one who directed the work of fitting was Queen Elizabeth. The Queen’s involvement in this project was a fitting Maxine. The house is very comfortable and more than made to accommodate a lot of guests. Fitting styles are different and complement each other.

It has 3,200 square meters, located on five levels and has 160 rooms, including 30 bedrooms. Construction took place over four decades - from 1873 to 1914. 42


first issue - may 2013

Retezat’s Mirrors

T

he Retezat Mountains, one of the highest massifs in Romania, are positively a perfect destination for photo lovers.

The Mountains gained the reputation of “the massif of superlatives� because they represent the largest and deepest glacial lakes in Romania, and in the same time, they depict the largest mountain surface at an altitude of more than 2000 meters.

43


Voyage where to?

Salina Turda

S

WHAT’S SALINA TURDA?

alina Turda is the newest tourist attraction in Romania and has been has been refurbished and restored in the tourist circuit in 2010. Although Salina Turda is a tourist attraction that is on the list of those places that should be visited at least once, most tourists do not even know of its existence. Very curious was the fact that of 100 Romanian tourists, less than 30 learned of the existence of this saltwork, at least until last year, when a top television broadcasted a story with this objective. As a positive thing lately, there is a remarkable improvement in terms of the number of people visiting the mine.

Salina Turda is a combination of mines, arranged to be visited by tourists, not a much lauded effort since it’s a mine. Besides that, Salina Turda is a major tourist attraction, and without fear of being wrong we can say that it is among the most significant attractions of Turda and an important centre for treatment and rehabilitation. Since it has a beneficial effect for respiratory diseases, it is recommended to those suffering as a means of natural remedy.

44


first issue - may 2013

On hot summer days, it can be a pleasant retreat because of low temperatures of a constant 1012°C.

WHAT TO DO IN SALINA? In the mine, you can relax in a very pleasant way in a specific microclimate of salt mines. In the treatment centre is possible to benefit from personalized sessions, in accordance with a prescription. In both Rudolf and Teresa mines, renovated and modernized, visitors have the opportunity to spend time in a nice way. In the mine there is a huge wheel with 6 gondolas, where those who wish can admire a panoramic landscape. If you visit Salina Turda, you have the

opportunity to attend a performance of ad hoc visits, as it actually happens as representatives of the church choir “test” the great acoustics of the amphitheatre. Mine Rudolf can be reached down the stairs or through an elevator in Theresa Mine, a place in where a lake is formed after infiltration of precipitation on the surface. In the middle of the lake, there is an island where you can rent boats. The island can be reached crossing over a pontoon made of wood. The view that opens in front of you, once arrived on the island in the middle of the lake, located in Theresa Mine, cannot be described through words, as it can only arouse keen interest of something special, extraordinary, different from everything.

45


Voyage where to? >

(

Savarsin ,

T

he Royal Castle is a castle in Săvârșin owned by Romanian Royal family, and is situated in the area of Săvârșin, Arad County. Rebuilt in the early 19th century in a neoclassical style and fitted with floors and balconies, the castle underwent many transformations over the decades inside and outside. This castle was built during1650-1680. The castle has three floors: basement - which includes a dining room, laundry, storage and household annexes including kitchen, ground floor comprising reception hallway, reception hall and dining room, first floor comprising three apartments and two studios.

the National Festival of Literature “Dorel Sibi ‘, under the patronage of Princess Margaret. It is a great area whereo nly kings and barons went to hunt. The elders here are just waiting to tell you about famous hunting parties and the braveness of the king.

The castle is in the middle of a big park with many rare species of trees (including silver fir, thuja pyramidal cypresses, Turkish hazel, sycamore and secular oak) and a lake, in the centre of which you can find a small island.

The first documents in which Săvârșin is mentioned are from 1680. The Royal area is about 20 hectares and its employees work hard every day in order to maintain it.

THE ROYAL SĂVÂRȘIN

The Royal family comes two to three times a year, especially during the winter holidays or Easter. In order to be ready for their arrival, major preparations begin a month before.

Săvârșin Castle is the heart of the rural community with the same name. Built in the 17th century, destroyed during the Revolution in1948 and subsequently rebuilt, the castle was purchased in 1943, along with field Săvârșin, by Romanian King Michael.

Since 2001, the Royal family is back in possession of the castle and King Michael is here every year to live among past life memories and brightness. The Săvârșin Castle is undoubtedly a good part of his life.

The Royal domain became a centre of social and cultural activity in the area. In 2008, Săvârșin held 46


first issue - may 2013

Viscri

I

n the 12th century the king Gesa II called Luxembourg settlers to populate the East part of this kingdom, Transylvania. Viscri is only one of the Saxon villages of Transylvania. Of course, it is a special one, due to its great fortified church which is part of UNESCO World Heritage.

By far, the most famous foreigner who came to Viscri is Prince Charles, heir to the British Crown. He first came here in 1998, at the insistence of Baroness Jessica Douglas – the President of Mihai Eminescu Trust (MET), founded in 1987 in London in an attempt to save from extinction more than 8000 villages in Romania.

Viscri is a village in the county of Brasov, Transylvania , Romania. Withdrawn from the main road linking Brasov to Sighisoara, Viscri village hosts one of the most spectacular Saxon fortified churches, besides being one of the six UNESCO World Heritage listed.

Thanks to Prince Charles , Viscri turned overnight into one of the most popular tourist attractions in Romania. Annually, up to 20,000 tourists come here for Romanian hospitality. The seventh house on the street, the walls blue and green wooden shutters, is also open to the public. It can always be accessed by tourists who want to experience a night in the sheets of Prince of Wales. The price is 30 £ per night.

Peculiarities settlement drew attention and goodwill of Mihai Eminescu Trust, a foundation sponsored by Prince Charles himself. The seventh house as you enter Viscri is an old one, over 150 years and is composed of two buildings. It has the exterior walls painted in purple-blue hue. The windows are covered with some solid wooden shutters, painted in a green colour.

“Prince Charles is a very simple man. Very friendly and very nice,” said Mrs. Gerda, one of the villagers. Most of the tourists who come are British. They eat and sleep in the “eco” Saxon style, moreover because the scenery remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

An organization, in which Caroline Fernolend management has made in just a decade something that, for many people, seemed a miracle: a hollow avoided by everyone, Viscri turned into one of the more sought-after sights in Romania. Is gathering 15,000-20,000 visitors per year, mostly foreigners from all over the world.

An all-inclusive accommodation in Viscri is around £ 90 per person. Accommodation includes sleeping in the guest room and two meals (very copious, based mainly on bacon, sausage, cheese and eggs), usually breakfast and dinner.

“A normal person” - “villager” Charles, Prince of Wales 47


Voyage where to?

Sighisoara ,

S

ighișoara is a town in Mureș County, Transylvania, Romania. The municipality has a population of approximately 25,000 inhabitants.

with four levels, a balcony and a roof in baroque conducted in 1677 by three foreign masters. The four turrets on the roof represent the judicial autonomy of the city. By 1556, the first floor of the City Hall was founded. In 1894Turnul Clock underwent general restorations and there were placed glazed roof tiles and facing away from the town below were painted emblems and inscriptions with the two most important moments reminiscent of the monument. In 1898 the tower was converted into a museum.

SIGHIȘOARA There is a wonderful journey to be had through these lands, and those in the heart of the country, who have arrived in the ‘Pearl of Transylvania’, have a choice of many sights to impress them.

CLOCK TOWER. SYMBOL OF SIGHIȘOARA

CLOCK AND FIGURINES

The Clock Tower was originally a gate tower with two levels. In its current form, it measures 64 m high and is a rectangular prism with massive walls

On both facades of the tower, there is one huge dial and niches with figures. The wonderful front 48


first issue - may 2013

from the city includes the following figures: in the right quarters, a drummer beats a bronze drum in between the two large female statues with blue dresses, representing righteousness and justice at the same level, are two small figures representing Day and Night.

HISTORY Sighișoara is located approximately in the centre of Southern Romania. Mureș is linked to Europe by road E60. It is a gorgeous city that houses a history of thousands of years, a city where many nationalities live together in harmony. Due to its outstanding architecture, dominant position and geographical backdrop, the city was known since the late 19th century as the ‘Pearl of Transylvania’. Cities and towns

were founded in the Middle Ages. Sighișoara was founded by German immigrants in the second half of the 12th century. Sighișoara Citadel is considered today to be the most beautiful inhabited city in Southeastern Europe.

49


Voyage where to?

Romanian

Traditional Recipes

T

he whole daily life of people from the villages flows according to the requirements of the earth, of nature, of human beings living in a strong interdependent relationship with them. Positive interdependence is based on a deep connection taken to a spiritual level. Of this connection depends actually the lifestyle founded in rural areas, and that differs so much from people’s daily rhythm in cities for instance.

In the villages, however, life has changed in recent centuries due to human’s connection with nature. Unfortunately, most traditions have disappeared from us. Very interesting is that they disappeared because of the advent of technology and the development of the so-called modern spirit. So here is a war against all that is old.

Stuffed cabbage with polenta SUTFFED CABBAGE

1 kg minced pork (or pork and beef, equal amounts) 110 gr rice 3 bay leaves 2 dried onions (medium size) two tablespoons of pork lard broth / tomato paste 100 grams sauerkraut pepper salt (a tablespoon)

POLENTA

2 full cups of corn, 4-5 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt Preparation time: 3 h Complexity: Medium

50


first issue - may 2013

Bean soup INGREDIENTS

250 gr of beans 3 onions 3 bell peppers 2 carrots parsley, thyme, lovage 500 ml broth (homemade or store) salt oil tomato sauce or broth Preparation time: 00:45 Difficulty: low Number of servings: 6

Cheese dumplings with cottage cheese [papanasi] One of the most popular Romanian desserts

INGREDIENTS

500 gr cheese 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a bit of lemon juice 3 tablespoons of sugar vanilla sweet cream a bit of salt flour You can then serve warm with cream and blueberry jam, berry or strawberry. Preparation time: 0:40 Difficulty: low Number of servings: 4

51



Voyage. Where to?