OZB June 2019

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June 2019 | N° 20 | FREE COPY




Vlad Eftenie S e a g u l l ’ s

E y e

N .



Summer Splash Cool for Kids

Roma Craf t On The Rise



















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A Page Turned

Douglas Williams - Publisher



ince 2010, and barring Obama and Macron’s wins, most elections, most places have been something of a disappointment, to me at least. These disappointments ranged from the desolation of the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum to the dismay at the Brazilian fascist Bolsonaro’s recent triumph. Then through the disbelief at the US’s decision to appoint an incoherent, misogynist, racist bully as their commander-in-chief. There was, of course, the Brexit debacle in the UK, again face meets hand, and numerous others but last month, here in Romania, it was different and it was sweet. People came out and voted in healthy numbers - turnout was better than expected at almost 50% and the best in many years. The vote was overwhelmingly pro-European and coincidently the very next day the long hand of the law finally caught up with a certain kingpin who is now languishing in jail. That night Piata Victoriei was packed with people celebrating, not protesting. A page has been turned, a new chapter begun in the long and often dramatic history of this nation. Time, I might humbly suggest, for the good people of Romania to take a deep breath and let it all sink in. Something that struck me upon arrival, and I’ve heard this comment from other foreigners here, is how negative Romanians can be about their country. Any credit Romanians give their country is given grudgingly and swiftly tempered by a negative. I remember being driven around Bucharest in taxis, just fresh back from the mountains at Sinaia, astonished at the beauty, in sublime weather, for a very reasonable fare, loads going on, gorgeous people


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everywhere and the driver genuinely astonished that anyone should want to come to his country. “This country no good, we want to go your country,” was a common comment. This saddened me then and it saddens me still, I’ve never come across such inversenationalism and this was a large part of my motivation for starting OZB - to celebrate Romania and Romanians. Something else I’ve noticed: there does seem to be a preponderance of “therapists” and “psychologists” here and I would respectfully suggest that it might be time for Romanians to come together for some form of collective therapy - you guys have been through a lot, you really have. This could help with finding a bit more kindness and patience with one another, produce more smiles (why the long faces!), encourage some TLC to yourselves and to your environs - time to tidy and the Old Town would be a good place to start - and perhaps time to more wholeheartedly celebrate who you are and what you are becoming. Celebrate your beautiful, beguiling country and the bright future that surely now lies ahead. And a delegation is needed to go out and about into the world to shout about this and if you’re in the position to appoint one you can contact me at douglas@ozb.ro. For those in any doubt as to the beauty of this country flick forward a few pages and see for yourself - places, people, things going on, food, drink, stuff. Let’s begin a long celebration that welcomes the long overdue turning of the page. Hai România! O zi bună! •

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief douglas@ozb.ro





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Contents June Events


Vlad Eftenie - Sea Views


Waha! Nature Nurtures



A Unique Experience of Wine Tourism

Special 5th Year Anniversary UNTOLD


Romanian History and Heritage: An Interview with Adrian Cioroianu

Young & Smart : High Schoolers with a Mission


Rasnov History and Film Festival


Keeping Kids Happy This Summer


Roma Revival


A Stake in Transylvania: CLAIMED



The Best Gadgets for Romania's Festival Season

Education with Imagination



Haute Cuisine Romanian Style

Heaven is a Place in Transylvania: Akasha Wellness Retreat


JOYME PUB - The First Pilsner Urquell Pub in Sibiu

The Green Revolution Cycling Solutions for Bucharest


Three Star Gastronomic Super Star


Air of Vara and Searching for Solomonar


19 20

Matita - Island Paradise in the Danube Delta

Cover image : Photograph by Vlad Eftenie, Model Oana Gangone Top image : Photograph by Vlad Eftenie W W W.O Z B . R O J U N E 2 01 9



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June Events




• Mission in the Forest 2

• Eden Summer Fest

June 22nd at Federatia Romana de Tir Sportiv

June 14-16, Eden Garden

Tickets 90 Lei

Free Entrance

Now in it’s eleventh year, be sure to

Bucharest is well known for its night

Garden of Eden is a beautiful

check out the massive street theater

club and dance music scene, while big

outdoor bar and cafe venue set in

festival hosted by B-Fit and ARCUB

music festivals that mix with Romania’s

the renovated backyard garden of an

and fun for all ages, July 12th-14th. If

scenic nature tend to be quite a hike

aging administrative building from the

you can’t wait that long for some live

from the capital. Not so with Mission

communist era. On a mid-June weekend,

performance, OZB has another theater

in the Forest, a woodsy dance bash

Gradina Eden will play host to an art

preview from ARCUB to round out the

featuring Solomun, Mano le Tough, and

festival which it bills as a mix of daytime

month of June.

Soundopamine. Nearly three and a half

art shows and garage sales and evening

thousand attendees have already RSVP’d

film screenings. And for any other

on social media to turn out to the

summer night, Eden is a great spot to

Baneasa Forest, a huge wooded area just

grab a beach chair and a cold Zaganu

north of Otopeni Airport to headbump

and enjoy the Romanian evening.

• International Bucharest Street Theater Festival July 12th - 14th


in summer 2019.

June 28th and 29th @ ARCUB Tickets 35-50 Lei Where does one find the relevant intersection of Brexit and penguins? You’ll have to see this Eugen Jebeleanu play to find out, with two performances

International Street Theatre Festival

held at Arcub at the end of the month. A production involving French and Romanian actors, “Itineraries: One day, the world will change” is a unique theatrical piece that examines intercultural European identities in the 21st century whilst blending fiction and non-fiction themes and tossing in some migratory motifs to ask critical questions in this new and troubling age. Written by Yann Verburgh and directed by Eugen Jebeleanu. June 28th and 29th @ ARCUB

Itinerarii, intr-o zi lumea se va schimba. Eden Summer Fest

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Waha in figures.

We started with 900 people in 2012 and had almost 6,000 guests in 2018. We’ve grown a lot!

To what extent did the first Waha edition differ from the one in 2018?

The first edition was way smaller, for sure, the team was mostly made up of friends and artists, most of the people knew each other, there was lots of free space to get lost in at night, it was more intimate and romantic.

How do you choose the lineup for each Waha?

mercial craziness. We don’t have phone reception either, so everybody can have a deeper experience and properly focus on the now.

What inspired Waha?

Waha! Nature Nurtures


aha’s Vast forest “Oasis” in Bățanii Mari, Covasna, offers a thoroughly chilled out music experience where festival-goers can commune with nature far removed from manic modern life. Raluca Mihaila spoke with Waha's creators: Monica Ivanov, Tudor Chiliman, Alexandru Hirjoghe, Mihai Mironenco.

Why is Waha festival different from any of the other festivals in Romania?

Waha’s main focus is on people’s experience on the site. We offer a variety of stages, activities and workshops in the midst of nature, surrounded by a huge forest, where people of all ages have a playground to fit their imagination. We don’t have any sponsors or advertisers at the site so that people can completely disconnect from the urban com10

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Our inspiration came from other festivals that we attended before - Ozora, Burning Man or Boom - together with our wish to deliver the experience of an alternative lifestyle based on trust and sharing.

Who and what was your target, your aim, and what has actually happened?

What we wanted to create is what has actually happened: an open, life-changing experience where the wider potential of the present gets to be felt and played with by everyone attending Waha.

Electronic music has a special and personal meaning to each of its fans … and it’s also the main genre at Waha. What does this style of music mean to you guys?

The electronic music we play covers a wide range of styles, from ambient and experimental to world downtempo, techno and psytrance and these have a hypnotic element that accentuate the experience.

Does Waha means anything else, other than joy / amazement? Is it like an acronym for something?

Waha came from Wahaha! and it’s meant to express indeed happiness, joy and enthusiasm, though in Arabic it means ‘oasis’ which we also find appealing.

JUNE 2019 Waha! Nature Nurtures

Each stage has a different person who’s in charge of the lineup, so we collaborate and come to a common vision. We try not to use the same artists as other similar festivals, we create a mixture of the bigger artists that we want to hear along with a good selection of younger acts, all pretty much from the underground scene worldwide. We are looking for good music rather than huge crowds coming for an ‘unbeatable’ lineup, so we have grown healthily and organically with a cool public.

How does absolute freedom, psychedelic states, and the lack of rules at Waha jive with the presence of families with children?

There’s many types of people on Wahaland, there’s a pretty big family area with the kids’ playground and parent campers far from the busy, loud side of the festival, and this is where most families spend their time. The location is so big that you can always find places to walk and have a totally different experience than the dancefloor. Parents usually chill and enjoy being with their kids who mostly have a blast being so deep in nature.

If attendees are to take one thing from Waha what would that be? Nature nurtures.



Special 5th Year Anniversary UNTOLD


by Oana Tache

uess who’s headlining this year’s UNTOLD? The one and only Robbie Williams is going to land in Romania this summer to play UNTOLD 2019. The British entertainer will only play a handful of concerts in 2019 and his show at UNTOLD, in the heart of Transylvania, will be his only one in Romania

this year. This is a great result for UNTOLD and Romania’s Robbie Williams fans and it promises to be among the most spectacular shows this year. Robbie Williams has been at the top of his game for nearly 30 years since bursting onto the stage as the youngest member of Take That in 1990. He went on to massive solo success, quitting Take That in 1995. As a solo artist, he has sold over 77 million albums worldwide, holds six of the top 100 best-selling albums in British history, and has had 14 Number 1 singles. He is also one of the most in-demand live performers in music and continues to play stadiums around the world. He’s won a record 18 BRIT Awards – more than any other artist in music history. Robbie Williams will play on the UNTOLD mainstage on Sunday, August 4. But the anniversary edition of the

festival brings more surprises. From the impressive production to exclusive shows: Armin van Buuren is set for another memorable performance after playing over 7 hours in 2018 at UNTOLD with his“ARMIN UNTOLD World Exclusive Show”. Steve Aoki, Dimitri Vegas Camp, and Like Mike are gathering for their famous 3 Are Legend super show, while David Guetta is gonna be BIG! Also, the number one DJ on the planet, the young and irresistible Martin Garrix, will join the UNTOLD line-up. UNTOLD made it to 8th position on the DJ MAG chart in 2019, after being voted by all the international EDM superstars that played there over the past 4 years. Grab your tix and join the party between 1st and 4th of August! It’s gonna be MASSIVE! •

W W W.O Z B . R O J U N E 2 01 9 Special 5th Year Anniversary UNTOLD



Young & Smart: High Schoolers with a Mission by Dana Tudose Tianu

They found their vocation: Four high school kids speak about their chosen field of work


IPRIAN ANGHEL, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR, LAUDERREUT EDUCATIONAL COMPLEX IN BUCHAREST Ciprian wants to become a doctor and has no plans to work and live in a different country. He actually sees his

a different langue, to different places, to different people, which eventually occurs. However, it doesn’t feel like home, being in your own country, speaking your own language. This is something that I really prize. I believe that I can evolve as much as I would in another country, if not more, here, in Romania, because I was taught, since I was a child, to love the people around me. Furthermore, the Med School here in Bucharest is quite good. But I’d definitely consider studying three months somewhere else and getting experience in the medical system over there, understanding how things are done there.

How does your regular week look like? You’re now preparing for the Baccalaureate.

CA: Thankfully, our school offers a lot of hours of Romanian and Math, and, of course, Physics, which is my third main subject for the Baccalaureate and I have about 20h per week, of preparation for these subjects combined. Just at school. When I get home, I prepare with extra lessons. I also study Biology, and the more “advanced” Physics that what is asked from us at the Baccalaureate.

Were you somehow influenced or encouraged to choose the medical profession because it has some sort of status, or were you simply inspired by what you saw in your own family? CA: My father works in the banking industry and he did encourage me to become a doctor. My mom is a doctor and she initially told me to follow in my father’s footsteps rather than going for the medical profession. My mom has quite a stressful job and she know I, too, will have a stressful job. Saving people’s lives puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.

future in Romania.

What are you doing now?

CA: Right now I’m studying to get into the Medical School here in Bucharest. I decided that I want to be a doctor and I will definitely try to combine Medical school with some engineering and try to create something that will help millions of people.



CA: It’s easier for me and my family to be studying here, in Bucharest. Of course, studying abroad requires one to adapt to W W W.O Z B . R O

DTT: Have you found your vocation already?

IP: I want to be a Trauma Surgeon, which is a type of critical/ER surgery that deals with patients such as car crash and gunshot victims. Another way I’d like to serve is as a war doctor, perhaps working in the military, as well as working in intensive care.

DTT: Where are you thinking of going to college?

IP: If I would study in England, I would definitely want to live in the suburbs. I don’t like city life, so I won’t be studying in London for six years for sure. I love hiking, I love the mountains, it’s one of my biggest passions. If I won’t go to England, I’m looking at Holland, as well as Italy. I thought further than medical school, though. For my residency, I’d like to go to the United States. My father is a doctor, as well, and he did his residency in the U.S. He told me that the residency in America is a tough experience. But I want to go through it, especially that first year of the residency when you are in the hospital almost all the time, you sleep there three days a week, you are on call most of the time. I feel I need this type of experience and it would do me tremendous good to have it.

Do you plan to return to Romania, once you’ve finished your studies?

IP: Yes, I definitely plan to return to Romania, because I love my country so much, with all of its problems and the political tensions. Romania is in my heart (“tara mea de suflet”). It is so beautiful… Romania needs people who want to work and want to change something.

How is your school helping you prepare?

IP: I came to the American School last year, from a public school. I was afraid that I don’t share the same values as the rest of the school. I ended up absolutely loving my classmates and my community. The environment helped me open up more. Both teachers and students are so outspoken here. We are not on two separate “teams”. There is mutual respect.

How come you’re not considering college abroad?


Ilinca wants to be a Trauma Surgeon. She plans to study abroad, both for medical school and her residency. She plans to return to Romania, which she loves “beyond words”, to help society.

JUNE 2019 Young & Smart : High Schoolers with a Mission


Which, you think, are three values of your generation?

IP: I think we know how to balance work and our personal life. We want to take care of our minds and souls, too. The second one is that we are very outspoken. We talk about the things that bother us. We are creative and innovative.

(absolutely in awe of this extraordinary young lady): What are your hobbies? IP: Definitely hiking, being in the mountains. And I absolutely love animals, especially dogs – my two dogs: Gorun & Gruia.



Daniel wants to work in design and engineering. He plans to study and work abroad, and return to Romania later on, to “help the country in the way that it needs”.

What field would you like to specialize in?

DC: I would like to specialize in a field that deals with design and engineering, but I don’t want to be limited by my pre-conceived notions on this subject, so I want to keep open career possibilities in chemistry research or biology.

Did you do any extra-curricular special projects/activities that have inspired you to think about your career in a certain direction?

DC: I’ve taken part in a couple of projects so far, that have been great experiences. One of them is called “Automotive design”. We have to build a car or around 200 kilograms, and every single pipe on the frame, every single screw, the entire design, is done by us. The teachers only help us with the electrical mounting. I went through this project with a team, and, honestly, that’s the project that really sparked my interest in design and engineering for me.

What inspires you most in your school community?

DC: The thing that inspires me most in my community, not only as a design, but as a school community, is the way it can adapt to new problems and new environments. In school, I see this especially in the innovation hub, where the automotive project takes place. Students help each other all the time. It’s something very inspiring to see – that people are not only using their knowledge for themselves - but are also helping other people through the things they’ve learned over time.


IHAIL ANDREI IOAN VOLINTIRU, YEAR 9, INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF BUCHAREST Mihail Volintiru wants to go to Harvard medical school (fingers crossed), and return to Romania to encourage other doctors to grow professionally.

Do you want to return to Romania, after graduating from Medical school abroad? MV: There is no doubt in my mind that I will come back to help people in the country I grew up in. I want to help cure the ill, plaster wounded kids, help the elderly live a longer and painless life. I would like to help make sure that viruses and illnesses have a cure and that my patients are not harmed by them. In the future, I imagine myself coming back to Romania and encouraging other young doctors to grow professionally.

What special projects have you been involved in so far?

MV: Within the school, I participated in the FirSTep International Science Competition. I have taken part, with my teammates, for three years, and won a gold medal each time. In 2018, I went to Yale University for the final round (Tournament of Champions) of a debate and general knowledge competition called World Scholar’s Cup. Throughout the competition, I won multiple medals. This year, for the same competition, I and my teammates qualified for the Bucharest regional round, hosted by my school, and we will participate in the Global Round in Hague. In math, my favorite subject, I took part, last year, in the International Math Competition in Bangkok, Thailand, where I won the gold medal for my age group.

What other hobbies do you have, aside from math, which, obviously, you have fun doing?

If you plan to study abroad, will you return to Romania, after completing your studies?

DC: Ideally, after I study abroad, I will come back to Romania, but not right after finishing the studies. I would first begin my career (or business) abroad and establish myself in whatever country I choose, and only afterwards come back to Romania and apply all of the skills that I would have learned. Not because I don’t want to be a part of my country. I love my country. But I want to be sure that I can help it in the way that it needs.

be when you grow up”, I would respond, without any hesitation: mathematician. This year, though, alongside math, mt passion for science flourished, and I began wishing to become a doctor. I want to go to Harvard Medical School, in the United States, so that I am able to increase my chances of excelling at what I love doing.

MV: My new passion is basketball. I train four times per week, and in the week-ends I participate in games against other teams, for the Regional tournament.

DTT: Did you already uncover your vocation?

MV: I was always passionate about math. In fact, whenever a teacher or anyone else would ask me “what do you want to

Which do you think are three characteristics of your generation?

MV: Curiosity, creativity and eagerness to play sports. • W W W.O Z B . R O J U N E 2 01 9



Keeping Kids Happy This Summer by Douglas Williams

School’s out for summer very soon. To parents this can be a worry. What will we do?


ear not, in and around Bucharest there are high quality, fun-filled, energy sapping solutions that both kids and parents will love. So, let’s start with a rainy day suggestion and the Escape Rooms. This one offers you, the parent, the opportunity to win lots of cool points not only with your own kids and not only with your kids’


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friends but also with your kids’ friends’ parents. It’s possible to go with two but you really need a group. Six is ideal. Phone around and do your parent friends a favour by taking their kids out from under their feet for the afternoon. With Escape Rooms it’s best if the kids are not too young as there is potential to get a proper fright (8+ is advisable). This is great fun and requires teamwork, intuition, observation and logic to escape from the room. Thus, there’s a clear educational element built in as well as a few surprises along the way. This is a really well thought out activity, one that can be found world-wide, with adults enjoying it every bit as much as kids. Visit www.roomsescape.ro for more information. Next up and also ideal for a rainy day is the House of Bounce, which, as the name suggests, is all about bouncing up and down. HoB has acres of trampolines - big ones, small ones, long ones…. it’s a whole heap of fun and utterly exhausting at the same time, helpful for our little cherubs when it comes to falling asleep. This is suitable for most ages from around four, up to and including adults. Great cardio. See www.houseofbounce.ro for more information. So now we take a look at the perennially popular and ever growing Divertiland Water Park. This is a full day out for all the family, one to plan for and to enjoy. Added recently is a full 50m pool, the Super Paradise area, which also has two restaurants and a cocktail bar.

JUNE 2019 Keeping Kids Happy This Summer

The Los Petit area will keep the little ones amused with fountains and they’ll love the shallow and always warm Hippo Pool. Sun worshippers are amply catered for with a beautiful sandy beach. Thrill seekers will have a blast on the extensive flumes while those of a more mellow disposition will enjoy gently floating round the “island”. There are shriek-inducing splash jets and a wave beach: a whole lot of family fun in the sun. As with all of the attractions mentioned here, timing is everything, but Divertiland is so huge that even at peak time on Saturday afternoon there’s usually still space to be had. Buying tickets is advisable. Divertiland is in the west of the city, see the website for directions and more information: www.divertiland.ro Otopeni’s Water Park is a vast place that you literally need a map to navigate. There’s plenty for the little children, the slightly crazy bigger children, the moody adolescent, and mum and dad. Multi-coloured flumes; long, fast slides; a “river” that you can drift round on an inflatable; and a lots of deck chairs for sitting and soaking up the sun on. And there are food and drink options galore. To find it, head north to the airport, come off the DN1 immediately after the exit for the airport and at the roundabout go round so you rejoin the DN1 this time southbound and pay close attention for the exit about 200 metres on your right. See www.waterpark. ro for more information. Staying in the north of the city we visit the simply wonderful Therme. A world class facility, Therme never fails to


impress. Timing is everything here, and that extra effort to get up and get there early - it opens at 08.00 - will pay dividends, as will making the smart choice and avoiding weekends – this is understandably a very popular destination. There are three options strictly speaking but it really boils down to two – with kids and without - so we’ll focus on the “with” and the simply amazing Galaxy area. Here you will find a number of slides, many of which are only available to the bigger kids but there are, lower down, slides for even very small children. There, they will squeal with delight as they hit previously unmatched velocities. There’s a big wave pool, a shallow baby pool and another warm pool featuring a swim-up bar. Outside there’s a beach opened in June. Find Therme about another five minutes drive north of Otopeni Airport and on the right. See therme.ro/ en/ for more information. Last, but absolutely not least, is the delectable and delightful Edenland. This is essentially a forest that has been turned into an adventure playground. First and foremost there’s the ropes courses where participants climb way up high into the trees and then they fly through the air on zip wires, ladders, ropes, and swings. But they are carefully and cleverly graded so kids as small as 100cm can still go around a course and have an absolute hoot doing it. There is also the “black” course which is only for extreme thrill seekers, particularly those fit and strong enough to manage. The safety standards are exceptional and a real credit to the owners. There is paintball, archery, horse riding, bike riding and a really good play park for little ones as well as a perfectly respectable pizzeria. Get there by going straight to the very top of Pipera Tunari and then going left and right following the signs. Pay attention mind you! See www.edenland.ro for more information. •

Top right image: Divertiland Water Park Opposite page, bottom left: Therme Bottom Left & Right images: Edenland

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A Stake in Transylvania:

CLAIMED by Arabella McIntyre-Brown


t’s exactly nine years since I rolled into town, the axles on my car scraping over the potholes, my little car stuffed to the roof with the essentials for a new life. The kitchen sink and 1,000 books would arrive later. ‘Town’ is a remote village in the Piatra Craiului national park, 8km from a Lidl and 1000 metres up in the clouds. I’d driven across Europe from Liverpool, escaping a sad few years that had seen me hit 50, and bury my sister, my mother and three other relations. The subsequent brain fog meant I became the Undead. I couldn’t make a decision, couldn’t work. So the best option was to move to Transylvania, obviously. I didn’t take a pill or bother a doctor – the peace of the mountains and the clean air was enough to bring me back to life. This book is the sane story of my

crazy move, and what kind of welcome I received from puzzled Romanian neighbours but for several years they wondered why a British woman move here alone. Aren’t you bored? Aren’t you lonely? they asked. But when they learned that I was a writer, that seemed to explain everything. Since I moved here, visiting friends and family have, without fail, been surprised and charmed as their preconceptions about Romania are flung to the winds. What I didn’t know then was how

much my own attitudes would change with the switch to this Central European perspective. I had a great deal to learn: about myself, about Britain, about life in general. Now 61, I’m over the hill and hurtling down the other side, but what I’m losing from the effects of age is counterbalanced by what I’m gaining. Cats, and hairs on my chin, naturally, becoming an old bat – but solace, a bit of wisdom, and the start of a new story, too. •

President Iohannis visits the UK stand at Bookfest and going left, the UK Ambassador to Romania Andrew Noble, Nigel Bellingham, director of British Council, and Sorana Baciu, author

***** “Măgura gives me moments of time travel, though, so I relive little slivers of my life now and then; tiny gifts from the god Chronos. On the last day of April, 2014, it was a perfect spring morning. At 7am the sun was war m, dew sparkled and the birds were celebrating. I sat with my coffee under the cherry tree, just bursting into blossom two weeks late, delayed by some last unkind snow, and suddenly the half century of my life collapsed like my cheese soufflés. One of my mother’s favourite memories – one she often repeated – was of putting me out in my Silver Cross pram under the cherry tree, tucked in beneath my cashmere baby blanket, bonnet and jacket fastened. She watched me gurgle in pleasure, waving starfish hands at the white blossom trembling in each breath of wind. It must have been no later than the end of April, when I was 10 days old. And there I was, 56 years later, sitting under white cherry blossom again, seeing blue sky through the gnarled branches, no long gurgling but still feeling the joy of utter beauty. A life in between, but the Great Mother repeats her party trick without ceasing, white blossom under blue skies in Sussex or Transylvania, regardless of little humans’ fleeting lives.”

Book cover



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JUNE 2019 A Stake in Transylvania: CLAIMED

Children Camp

Education with Imagination


ids are passionate about new technology and we, as parents, must ensure this interest is channeled in the proper way in order that our loved ones can develop key skills that can lead them to exciting and rewarding careers in the future. Way too many hours are wasted in front of the computer, on their smartphones on brain numbing games and banal Youtube videos. What’s more this is often at the expense of going outside and playing in the healthy, wholesome, old-fashioned way. EuCodez seeks to address both of these issues by providing a new kind of summer school where kids, along with their peers, can explore their inner tech geek with courses led by qualified and

experienced experts, along with their peers and all in the glorious surroundings of Neamt. We are EuCodez Association and we support innovation by educating your imagination. The children and families will learn new concepts about the technology behind engines and sensors and they will put them into practice by building LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots. These will be programmed using a visual programming language developed by LEGO. At the same time, attendees will learn how to create websites and smartphone apps. Accommodation is in 5 bungalows each with 4 beds and 1 cabin with 5 rooms of 2 beds. Both the bungalows and the rooms have private bathrooms. This summer camp integrates robotics and programming with teamwork and fun activities. We have devised the perfect plan for the perfect week that will combine new technologies with old ways of having fun and all in one of the most beautiful parts of Romania. All instruction bilingual Romanian/ English. Transport from Piatra Neamt provided. •

7 wonderful days spent together with friends of the same age and who share the same passions: 09-15th July (age 11-14) 17-23rd July (age 15-18) 25-31st July (age 11-14) 02-08th August (age 10) 10-16th August (age 11-14)

write the code “supervacanta2019” in the Message section of the registratio form from www.euvaracodez.ro

Family Camp

Spend 7 days with your child in the EuVaraCodez family camp (18-24th August). Teach him the games of your childhood while he/she shows you his/ her favourite games. Remember and relive your childhood in the foothills of the Ceahlău Mountains, on the shore of Bicaz Lake. See also www.facebook.com/eucodez or @eucodez or call 0751-172-433 to book. • W W W.O Z B . R O J U N E 2 01 9

Education with Imagination


hike in the famous, vast and breathtaking and super peaceful Carpathian Mountains and join our Transylvania Hiking the “OM” Peak Camp; Yoga Retreat where you can completely relax and rest or a Restorative Yoga; Meditation Retreat might be a great deal for you. For those that are planning to go vegan or at least those interested in improving their vegan cooking skills, they should definitely give our Plant-Based Cooking Camp a try.

Heaven is a Place in Transylvania: Akasha Wellness Retreat


ocated in beautiful countryside only a few kilometers from the castle of Vlad the Impaler also known as “Dracula’s Castle”, there is an idyllic village “Pestera” where you can enjoy 6 day yoga and wellness retreats. We know that yoga can be boring but at Akasha, we put a lot of effort into designing themed yoga retreats such as these:


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If you are willing to get rid of some kilograms or you’re needing a boost to your diet, this Yoga Camp; Detox Retreat in Transylvania is the smart choice. You will be eating vegan cooked food and drinking detoxifying teas and smoothies. All these combined with daily yoga practice, can be a very good start for a nutritious well-balanced diet and can dramatically improve your health or your weight loss process. If you want to learn more about the sensory examination and evaluation of wine, you should definitely join our Transylvanian Wine Tasting & Yoga Retreat. You will learn lots about the history of wine and how it is produced locally. Get lost within the traditional flair of Transylvania Camp; lose yourself on a

JUNE 2019 Heaven is a Place in Transylvania: Akasha Wellness Retreat

Healing and keeping your gut happy is important for your body and mind. Give your gut the best foods for gut health so it can do its job and join our Akasha Gut Healing; Yoga Retreat with Integrative Nutrition Course We all know how the holidays can seriously impact our digestive system. We’ve organized our 7 nights Pre-Holiday Yoga, Meditation Camp; Detox Retreat so that you can learn how to control and detox yourself after the Holidays Season. We all know how many calories we eat/hour and how delicious the cookies are. Apart from the relaxing and detox part, our 27 Day Akasha Multi-style 200hrs Yoga Teacher Training will make sure you will become a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher. You will stay for 27 days with us, guided by internationally experienced yoga teachers. They will guide you through every yoga position and will make sure that you will be able to teach others. •



The Green Revolution Cycling Solutions for Bucharest by Raluca Fiser

support of Raiffeisen Bank and Kaufland Romania, the first automatic bike-share project. A 100% Romanian development in hardware and software, Green Revolution develops and operates this project 365 days a year. Today, 1,7 million unique users have said YES to I’Velo. Meanwhile, Green Revolution is working on developing I’Velo 3.0, the first hybrid bike-sharing station, accommodating the needs of modern urban citizens - by developing stations which share bikes as well as e-scooters. Still, a proper, safe cycling infrastructure is missing in Bucharest and in


ycling … to work, shopping, meeting friends, taking your child to school and of course for fun and health… in Bucharest? Green Revolution believes this is possible and in the last 10 years they have fought for the rights of cyclist and for behavioral changes within Romanian culture, through it’s I’Velo bike-sharing projects, Bike2Work campaigns and legislative involvement. In a city facing air pollution infringement while simultaneously and not coincidently ranking first position having the worst traffic congestion in Europe, the bike seams the most logical, easy and

other cities of Romania. More sensible legislation and regulation at both the national and local level are not in place yet. As long as Romanian authorities’ prioritize cars over people in their policies, we won’t be able to unleash the whole potential and socio-economic benefits of cycling. We do, however, see a rising number of people cycling. Commuting to work by bike is a great start. Therefore, Green Revolution works next to C-level to promote cycling as a sustainable and healthy means of transportation. The European Cycle Friendly Employer Certification is

healthy alternative for citizens’ transport. But it is much more difficult to promote this sustainable transportation mode and the subsequent healthy lifestyle than it might seem at first glance. Green Revolution took up this challenge in 2009 and developed the first bike-sharing station to turn people to bikes. These bikes were initially used in the secure perimeter of the parks in six cities in Romania. Green Revolution, along with its sponsor Raiffeisen Bank, has from the very beginning, aimed to promote cycling as a viable means of transportation. Then in 2017, I’Velo Urban was born with the

not only a tool for recognizing the efforts a company is doing for its employees, but a tool box to help and improve and continue best practice. What will it take for our vision of sustainable, healthy and livable cities to be realised? A great team, the right sponsors, a bit of craziness and a will to prove that “where there’s a will there’s a way”. So join the ride! www.greenrevolution.ro www.ivelo.ro www.bike2work.ro W W W.O Z B . R O J U N E 2 01 9

The Green Revolution Cycling Solutions for Bucharest



Matita , - Island Paradise in the Danube Delta

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elected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, the Danube Delta is one of Europe's most spectacular natural reservations.

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Occupying a unique place in the heart of the Delta, near both Matiţa and Babina Lakes, Matiţa Island offers isolation, wilderness and tranquillity. The island of Matiţa is located 45 km from Tulcea, in the middle of the triangle formed by Chilia Veche, Sulina and Mila 23, at the intersection between Matiţa and Babina Lakes. Administratively, it belongs to the village of Chilia Veche, one of the oldest settlements in the Delta region. The Greek colony Achillea (named after Achilles, the hero of the Trojan War) was established here in 334 BC and later fortified by Alexander the Great. In medieval maps, it appears as a Genoese fortress, an important place for the Genoese merchants’ activity at the mouth of the Danube. At present, only the defence ditches of the fortress and the entrance from the channel Chilia - Batag

JUNE 2019 Matita - Island Paradise in the Danube Delta

and Tătaru bifurcation are visible. The 6,280 sqm island has an elongated, boomerang-like shape and features no less than 8 buildings, comprising a built-up area of more than 1,300 sqm: accommodation units, a fishery, and technical and administrative buildings. All buildings maintain the traditional architectural character of the place and are roofed with reeds and were all completely renovated last year. Set in the heart of the Delta, this beautiful island is perfectly placed to exploit its touristic potential and is ready to resume its former function as a guesthouse with plentiful comfortable accommodation as well as its own fishery. This amazing property is on the market with an asking price of 350,000 euros •


See www.artmarkhistoricalestate.ro for more information and scan the QR code to watch dedicated video about the property.

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SEA VI E WS a p h o t o g ra p hy p ro j e ct by Vl a d E f t e ni e

Model Oana Gangone 22

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JUNE 2019 Vlad Eftenie - Sea Views



r. Vlad Eftenie is an architect and a lecturer at the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest. He is also a photographer, specialized both in street and architectural photography. He is the author of the book “Photography as a methodical investigation tool of the urban image�, Ion Mincu University Press, 2012. In 2014, he won the Open

Low Light award at the Sony World Photography Awards. He had numerous individual and group participations in architectural and urban photography exhibitions in Romania (Bucharest, Timisoara, Baia Mare) and abroad (Berlin, Lisbon, Toulouse, Padova, Dublin, Venice), 2003-2016. Vlad was honored as a Forbes Hero in 2016 by Forbes Romania magazine.

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A Unique Experience of Wine Tourism


VINCIS tells the story of a family with a dream: placing Romania on the international map of wines, once again. The ambition to showcase indigenous varieties in a dialogue with international varieties has a propitious support in the calcareous

and clayey terroir of the Dobrușa Hill. The AVINCIS wines combine the essences of this terroir and the light of sunrises, afternoons and sunsets. In its entirety, the Vila Dobrușa project is a space of freedom and communication. Whoever enters this space discovers another Romania, the one of a job well done, of beauty and of harmony. AVINCIS offers unique experiences of wine tourism. On the Vila Dobrușa estate, home of AVINCIS winery, tourists can book their stay, which includes meals, wine tasting, a tour of the winery and walks through the vineyard. The long walks on the VILA DOBRUSA estate offer the opportunity to discover its beauties. The winery, the manor, the landscaping and architectural arrangement as well as the areas covered by vineyards are the main aesthetic landmarks of the domain. Enjoy the AVINCIS wines and the beauty of the Drăgășani vineyard! • For more information and to arrange your stay contact Ana at: avincis.vinuri@avincis.ro W W W.O Z B . R O J U N E 2 01 9 A Unique Experience of Wine Tourism



Romanian History and Heritage: An Interview with Adrian Cioroianu

Publishing that wanted to publish a book on Romania’s kings. The concept wasn’t crystal clear, in the beginning, on whether it should include all the queens and kings of Romania. At the time, I was the Dean of the History Faculty (at the University of Bucharest) and I was teaching students who were doing their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Some of them were very good and I could sense their passion and dedication for history. So, in that context, I thought it would be a good idea to write several books instead of one, and dedicate each volume to a king or queen, involving my best students as co-authors. I chose four kings and four queens and began with the book on Queen Mary of Romania, which was published in 2014. The next one to be published, in 2015, was King Carol I, and, since then, four more books came out: Queen Elena, King Michael, King Carol II (which was just launched on June 1st). We also published a book on Princess Margareta in the series. The next books will be Queen Elizabeth I (King Carol I’s wife), Queen Anne, King Michael’s wife and King Ferdinand.

by Dana Tudose Tianu


DRIAN CIOROIANU is, since 2015, Romania’s Ambassador to UNESCO*, in Paris. His is one of Romania’s most esteemed historians, a writer and history professor at the University of Bucharest. He was recently in Bucharest for a few days this June, for the launch of the latest book in a series called Kings and Queens of Romania, “Carol II”, which he co-authored with Eduard Matei.

DTT: You launched a new book, Carol II, at the International Book Fair, Bookfest, in Bucharest, on June 1st. It belongs to the historical, biographical series, Kings and Queens of Romania, published by Curtea Veche. Could you tell our readers how the idea for the series emerged?

AC: The idea came to me after I received a proposal from Curtea Veche 28

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DTT: Just by looking at the books, one gets the sense that young people are the target readers of this series, correct?

AC: To tell you the truth, our intention was to write these books for readers of all ages, or how we like to say, for those between 7 and 97. There’s something new to learn from every book in the series. But their format and the drawings in each of the books makes them especially attractive

JUNE 2019 Romanian History and Heritage: An Interview with Adrian Cioroianu

to younger readers – children, teenagers, students. In a way, this type of literature is an introduction to history. Those who read the books find out new things which they didn’t find in history books or saw on TV. It’s books like these that open up their appetite for history, because it stirs their curiosity.

DTT: Your activity shows just how close the mission of bringing young people closer to the history of Romania is to your heart. How do you stay in touch with them now that you don’t teach at the History Faculty?

AC: I am, in fact, doing many things to keep in touch and to keep teaching, even though now I don’t do it at the University. At one point I will come back to my students. One of the things I do is to hold meetings and participate to conferences where I talk to students and high schoolers. I did this is France, Belgium, Poland and Spain. Wherever I am invited to speak, I ask to have meetings with young people, be they in high school or college. I met young Romanians from the diaspora at various conferences in Paris, Lyon, Brussels, Barcelona, Warsaw. The only thing missing from my life right now is the frequent interaction with my students, which is a great source of energy for me. Also, I know from the feedback I get, that my TV & YouTube series, “5 Minutes of History” is pretty popular in Romania and many young people watch it.

DTT: The big events on the Romanian cultural and historical scene seem incomplete without your presence. Will you be going to the Rasnov History and Film Festival in July?

AC: Yes, of course. I have been going for a few years already. I launched books, introduced various films, took part in debates, met foreign Ambassadors and had conversations on many history and culture-related themes. • *UNESCO: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), based in Paris.



Rasnov , History and Film Festival by Dana Tudose Tianu

July 19th through the 28th, the Romanian “Davos” happens in Rasnov, less than 20 km from Brasov.


orin Mindrutescu, CEO of Oracle Romania, and one of the Festival’s greatest and most outspoken promoters, often mentions the parallel between the thought leadership that happens in Davos, every year, and the Rasnov phenomenon, created organically through the Rasnov History & Film Festival. The festival is at its 11th edition this year. It started in 2009, from the deep commitment to a different point-of-view when it comes to local and global cinematography: it focuses on promoting European and international cinematography, and on reflecting major historical and cinematography events. The festival is promoting cultural diversity, creativity, innovation and dialog between professionals in history and cinematography. Personally, I love that the Festival organizers created a Debate Forum that runs throughout the duration of the event. In 2018, leaders of the business, historical, policy, cultural, artistic and religious worlds spoke during the various Panels of the Forum. Mariuca Talpes (Bitdefender), Michèle Ramis (French Ambassador), Hans Klemm (U.S. Ambassador), Cord Meier-Klodt (German Ambassador), Stella RonnerGrubačić (Dutch Ambassador), Tamar Samash (Israel Ambassador) Wargha Enayati (investor, cardiologist), Adrian Cioroianu (Romanian Ambassador to UNESCO), Steven van Groningen (CEO Raiffeisen Romania) and many other prominent leaders came to Rasnov last year to encourage young individuals to innovate and to express themselves during free discussions and constructive debates.

discussions with actors and directors, screenings, book presentations, concerts and art shows. The visitors will take part in a cinematographic marathon, with the newest and most valuable documentary and fiction movies (over 50 movies are presented), shows, debates (more than 40 special guests) and conferences on history-related topics. The Rasnov City Hall has been the main partner of the Festival since its inception and already became a tradition for the local residents of Rasnov. Rasnov is a medieval city, and its fortress gives a unique identity to the historical profile of the festival. The Festival includes high quality educa-

tional activities for young people – high school and college students. All young participants can apply for the Summer School. Summer School participants have access to all the events and enjoy an open dialogue with all the special guests. There are Concerts every day of the Festival, in the Garden of the Rasnov Fortress. We invite you to check out the Festival’s Facebook page, (Festivalul de Film si Istorii Rasnov), the Events section, and you will be able to purchase tickets to the concerts of your choice. Alexandru Andries, Vali Racila & Ada Milea, The Mono Jacks, are some of the artists whose music will delight the Festival participants. •

The 10-day festival takes place within the Rasnov Fortress. It offers the public films in first viewing, new documentaries, W W W.O Z B . R O J U N E 2 01 9 Rasnov History and Film Festival



Roma Revival by Anda Ene


ZB talked with Khalid Inayeh, an architect of Palestinian origin who studied in Romania in the 1980s and has remained here ever since. He is one of the pioneers of social entrepreneurship in Romania. His project, Meșteshukar ButiQ , is one of the most admired businesses of its kind in the world today. The collections of crafted jewelry, households objects of decorative designs all created by Roma artisans have been exhibited at the Romanian Design Week, and also at the Stockholm and Vienna Design Week.

ButiQ is more complex than the common sense of the word boutique: the meaning of “Buti” is “work” in the Romani language and “Q”stands for Quality. So, you pretty much understand, right from the name, who we are and what we do. The story began eight years ago, in 2011, when I had the idea to create an organization to support and revive traditional Roma craftsmanship. I ordered a study and traveled through the country among Roma communities to see what is left from their crafts and their authentic way of life. I realized how poorly understood their culture is and how fragile the link between traditional crafts and people who continue

Meșteshukar ButiQ was founded in Bucharest in 2011 with the aim of reviving traditional Roma crafts and as an umbrella for a wider network of socio and economic enterprises in Romania. The brand has indeed succeeded in bringing a new vision to Roma craftsmanship and to launch traditional products that incorporate contemporary design.

1. Mesteshukar ButiQ is a funny and funky name, is it a fusion between “meșter” (craft man) and “șucar” (cool). It catches your attention immediately. What is the story behind this “brand” and what was your motivation for initiating this project? 30

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these activities are. Making a good living doing these crafts was virtually impossible, so there was very little incentive for the young people to take up and continue the crafts. There were only three to five artisans or less in each community and they were stuck creating the same objects. Nevertheless, this search for talent revealed a huge collection of beautiful household items crafted by hand. Then we applied for European financing with the project “Romano Cher,” aiming to revitalize these traditional crafts. Our idea was to help the Roma preserve their traditional crafts by making the fruits of their work relevant for the market. This will get a fair amount of money for the work and talent incorporated into these objects so that they could continue to be able to support their family and have the chance of a better life. In 2013 we won a prize in social economy by the ERSTE Foundation Roma Partnership. With the support of ERSTE, MBQ [Meşteshukar ButiQ] has revisited many of these traditional crafts and developed updated collections.


2. When was the first collection of Mesteshukar Butiq launched?

The first real collection was launched in 2014, at the same time as the opening of our show-room, which by the way, was awarded the prize of the Romanian Order of Architects for Interior Design. This year, we did another remodeling of our space and received the “Designer Fashion Week” award for interior design. Soon, hopefully, we will open our cafeteria, where you are invited to have the best Turkish coffee made in a pot entirely handcrafted from hammered copper sheet. A coffee pot and other enchanting, delightful objects, perfect for coffee lovers and those design enthusiasts with fancy kitchens.

– whether in the bone-chilling cold of the Transylvanian winter or the baking heat of the summer. As Nadja said once: “We’re on the spot when the objects take shape in minutely detailed handicraft. They look at us, talk to us, follow us.” This has been an ongoing journey for almost 3 years and we are proud to present a collection of handmade products, their makers, and their stories.

4. Where and how do you find your artisans?

We mostly look for them in the most vulnerable communities, to spot the ones who are really in the shadow and not being able to capitalize their work. The others, who have clients and have found their niche, don’t necessarily need our support.

5. What is your best seller? Are there enough clients and turnover to support the business?

Jewelry is the best-selling item. As reinterpretations of Roma symbolism adapted to the present, the items carry the rich dowry of their culture and artistic identity of all the Roma Crafts. After eight years, we can say that our business is sustainable.

3. This is a very interesting melting pot you have here: designers from Austria, Roma craftsmen, creative and cosmopolitan people and marginalized artisans. Is Romania a fertile playground for such a cooperation? Why?

The merit for this project goes to ERSTE who came up with this idea - to pay a designer to work directly with the artisans. Thus, world renowned designer Nadja Zerunian was sent here and she was supposed to stay with our people for a week. But when that week ended, she asked ERSTE to continue the project. So, in the next two years, she came every month for a week and, together with our artisans, she enabled the transition from the traditional household objects to more sophisticated items. Also, she suggested to extend our portfolio to jewelry, which we did under her constant supervision. Besides collaboration with Nadja Zerunian, Peter Weisz and Glimpt Studio, there were other collaborations with designers from Sweden and also from Romania. They sit side by side with the Roma craftspeople

6. You are probably one of the first associations of social entrepreneurship in Romania, dedicated to Roma artisans. Based on your experience, what do you think is the main challenge of a social entrepreneur?

MBQ is one of the first companies in the social economy and is probably the only one that is sustainable as a business. We are suppliers for IKEA, being present already with four collections, each of one counting over 10,000-20,000 pieces. This means seven craftsmen permanently employed full time, social and health security paid, a much better care for their families with predictable and good living conditions. One serious challenge is to find the artisans and to optimize the process of production. The rest of our artisans, around 30 people, are working under a collaboration contract. They work from home without a regular program. Some of them are, in the true sense of the word, real artists, and they tend to be quite capricious. But this is nothing new, we all know how difficult is to

manage talents! The biggest challenge is to bring something new and to try to be one step in front of the others… again nothing new!!

6. How many times have you wanted to give up? Can you suggest any do’s and don’ts to consider in order to create a social enterprise that is a sustainable business?

Many times, approximately, once per month. I would suggest to those who want to start to work in the social economy to not be driven by profit when choosing this field. It’s not that you can’t make a successful business, but if you work well, you can expect the profit in about 5 years. In the meantime, you really have to dedicate your heart, your time, and your money to the cause, and most importantly to have patience and to become friends with obstacles. •

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sand-free mat does exactly what the name says it does, namely keeping the sand away from you. Its smart fabric allows the sand to pass right through it, but not the other way around, so those running kids who threw sand on your mat will no longer turn it into sandpaper.

The Best Gadgets for Romania’s Festival Season


If you think the beach is the most spectacular festival location, you definitely haven’t been to Bánffy Castle, home to the Electric Castle festival. Known as Transylvania’s Versailles, it’s the ideal place for lovers of beautiful architecture and amazing landscapes. On the downside, it’s also ridiculously muddy, so festival-goers are sure to get dirty, and not necessarily in a fun way.

by Dan Teodorescu

Romania has a very diverse climate that may take some getting used to if you’re not from around here. From scorching Saharan summer heat to freezing cold arctic winter, we have it all and do our best to make the most out of each time of year. While wintertime is definitely skiing season, summer is the perfect time to attend a wide range of international festivals. These are arguably the five most popular summer festivals in 2019 and the most useful gadget to bring along for each one:


With over 200.000 people attending last year and at least as many expected for this year’s edition, NeverSea is one of the world’s biggest beach parties. Since you’ll be traveling to Constanta, you might as well spend a few days enjoying Romania’s seaside, from Mamaia’s posh beaches to the hippie carefree atmosphere of Vama Veche. All you need for a fun day at the beach is sunshine, some good friends, and a beach mat. While technology can’t really do much about the first two, it can definitely improve the last item on the list. Sandlite 32

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food and beverage stand during festivals, but luckily there’s a better way. The Camelbak hydration pack is a lightweight and comfortable vest that can carry 2 liters of liquid, meaning that you can enjoy four beers without standing in line or anyone spilling your drink.


Although you’ll probably get a bit of rain, you’ll also more than likely get a few hours of sun every day. With the heat drying up all the mud on your body, anything resembling a shower will be a godsend. Enter Blue Mountain Solar Shower, a handy and very cheap gadget which uses solar power to heat up the water inside its insulated bag, helping you look and feel human again.


This two-day event is Romania’s longest lasting rock festival and takes place every summer in Sibiu, a former European culture capital. With the event happening within a city, you probably won’t get sandy or muddy but you’ll most definitely get thirsty, especially after some good headbanging. We all hate the huge lines at every

JUNE 2019 The Best Gadgets for Romania's Festival Season

This spectacular electronic music festival is Romania’s biggest, with over 350,000 people attending last year. It takes place in the gorgeous city of Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania’s unofficial capital and home to a vibrant and diverse community. This year will mark the festival’s fifth edition and considering the fact that the first round of tickets was sold out in about 3 minutes, it’s safe to say that new attendance records will be broken. Large crowds get you in the festival mood and certainly look spectacular, but they can be the loneliest place in the world if you get isolated from your friends. A few hundred thousand people around you means that phone reception is a luxury, but luckily there’s a way of keeping communication with the rest of the group. Walkie


Talkie watches not only make you look like a secret agent, but are also very handy in these situations, as they have about 7 km range and don’t rely on any network.


If you love festivals but don’t feel like leaving Bucharest, Summer Well is the perfect destination. Located on the history-rich Stirbey Domain just half an hour outside the capital, it rivals Electric Castle for the title of the most breathtaking festi-

val location in the country, but fortunately there’s less mud involved. With all the downtime between live acts, all you can do is stand around and look cool. We guarantee that absolutely nothing will make you look cooler while being supremely comfortable than this inflatable gadget chair. You can kick back, listen to some music on the in-built speakers and casually sip on a drink from the sunken cup holders, with everyone around asking themselves why they can’t be as cool as you. •

Sandlite Sand-Free Mat

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Haute Cuisine Romanian Style


by Jeremy Ogden

know Romanian food. Hearty and filling, it’s simple and unrefined. From mici to ciorba de burta, sarmale to mamaliguta, Romanian food is often heavy, delicious and undifferentiated between a restaurant to one’s home. So the first time I ate at Brasov’s Sub Tampa restaurant (aptly named for its location), I didn’t believe what I was eating was Romanian food.

at all familiar with this recipe. He started digging a little deeper and found that prior to the communist period in Romania’s history, two distinct classes of Romanian food existed. There was the more common country cuisine (țarănesc) contrasted with an aristocratic cuisine (bucătăria aristocratică). One of the greatest surprises for Valentin in researching this cuisine was that merchants used to bring live oysters in barrels to the markets in Bucharest. The recipes and knowledge of aristocratic cuisine were nearly wiped out under communism, but thanks to exhaustive research, the fundamentals have been revived and given a modern twist in Sub Tampa. Valentin and the team call it neuveau-Romanian cuisine.

Getting to Sub Tampa is a hike, quite literally. As the name suggests, it is directly below Mount Tampa, the infamous mountain sporting to the Hollywood-esque Brasov sign. The 800 meter hike from the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare is well worth it. It helps to work up an appetite, and after a feast of delicious nouveau-Romanian food, it doubly helps to burn off some calories. As you get closer to the restaurant and further away from the touristy Republicii street, nature slowly envelops you. The restaurant is positioned directly next to the lower Tampa cable car station and nestled in the trees. “Feel the nature,” the restaurant’s slogan, vibes well with the interior design. Wood is incorporated generously throughout, but not in a traditional Romanian countryside way. The design here is very modern, while minimizing the distinction between indoors and out. Marketing Manager Bianca Ghita says “we want to create an experience for our guests, not just food, but the environment to create the right ambiance.” The restaurant first opened its doors in February of 2018, but the concept for Sub Tampa was sparked by chance 14 years earlier when owner Valentin Soneriu happened upon a recipe from his grandmother Mami Nono. Though already a restauranteur, Valentin wasn’t 34

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One of the ways they directly apply the ‘new’ in “new-traditional Romanian” is by using modern cooking techniques. Many of the meat and protein dishes are cooked using sous vide, in which the protein is vacuum sealed in a bag and then cooked at low temperatures in a water bath. The greatest benefits of this technique are ensuring the meat is tender and juicy while still being cooked all the way through and preserving flavor. The use of foam is done frequently to garnish main courses. A staple of ultra-modern molecular gastronomy restaurants, the foams are made from vegetables, fruits, or a combination of both. Like many modern restaurants, they incorporate the farm-totable concept as much as possible, with some of the produce and meat sourced directly from the Soneriu family farm. After being seated at a table and completing the standard ordering of

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drinks, this restaurant does something rather rare for Romania. They bring a basket of freshly baked bread and a jar of homemade Pasta De Jumari (pork fat paste). Likely owing to the decade Valentin spent in the United States in his youth, where it is common for bread or chips to be given free to the table, this is on the house. It’s a bacon lovers dream come true. To start, try the Bran Gold (Aur de Bran), local kneaded cheese from the town of Bran, with walnuts and a tomato jam. The Fried Tripe (Burta De Vite Crocanta) is surprisingly reminiscent of fried calamari, served with garlic and picante sauces. This one is on the heavy side and best shared. I am still working up the courage to try one of the most highly recommended appetizers: Pig Brain Paste (Pasta De Creier). When it comes to mains, I prefer the meats here, in part due to the tenderizing sous vide technique. The Rack of Lamb (Cotlet De Berbecut) is an excellent choice, and well garnished. A challenge the restaurant had when they opened was that there were an abundence of recipes which were developed for the restaurant, but they did not want to feature an overwhelming menu. Sub Tampa has now been open for nearly a year and a half and they are slowly rotating some of the menu items. One recent additionis the Milk-Fed Veal Chop (Cotlet De Vitel De Lapte). Commonly featured in royal courts, the dish is served with mushrooms, pureed potato, and a wine sauce. Chicken lovers will enjoy the Roasted Chicken Leg (Pulpe De Pui Rumenite). For the more adventurous diner, there are always the Veal Rocky Mountain Oysters (Fudulii De Vitel). Sub Tampa is a must in Brasov you will likely be pleasantly surprised to discover that Romanian cuisine is more than what you can find in most traditional Romanian restaurants. Beyond the recipes, the culinary development team at Sub Tampa have re-imagined what this cuisine looks like and how it is cooked. • Jeremy runs Brasov Tours, see www.BrasovTours.com for more information

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It’s Time for Pilsner Urquell JOYME PUB, the first Pilsner Urquell pub in Sibiu, recently opened its doors for all beer enthusiasts. This is a place where you can experience tradition as it blends seamlessly and beautifully with modern times. It’s the perfect place to wash down a fine meal with a great beer.

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istory and tradition can be found in every corner of this new hostelry and these are well worth checking out.

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Pavilion A of the Artillery Chamber was built between 1873 and 1876 for the Austro-Hungarian army during the reign of Mayor Wilhelm Edler von Hochmeister and Emperor Franz Joseph I. Nearly 140 years later, the Artillery Chamber is now the JOYME PUB with delicious beer and fine food combining with an irresistible hops fragrance. Pilsner Urquell is the world’s original golden pilsner, launched in 1842, and its unique production process has been maintained ever since. The same high-quality Czech ingredients are used, the same production process, and it is only produced in the brewery in Plzen, Czech Republic, where it all began. Sibiu is famously a historical city that respects and carries forward cultural and social heritage, and historical JOYME PUB is the perfect setting to partake in the new chapter of Pilsner Urquell’s story in Romania. Such high quality beer must be properly served, and that's why every Pilsner Urquell is served in the traditional way called Hladinka, that is a perfectly poured, packed with three generous, dense and creamy foam fingers to keep its

JUNE 2019 JOYME PUB - The First Pilsner Urquell Pub in Sibiu

unique, fresh aroma. Therefore, when visiting Sibiu, visit JOYME PUB and enjoy a perfectly poured Pilsner Urquell pint, in a generous space packed with history and tradition. For more details and reservations, contact JOYME PUB here: Facebook: JOYME PUB (@joymepub) Instagram: joymepub Phone No: +40 786 191 658 Address: Calea Dumbravii, Sibiu, Romania


Three Star Gastronomic Super Star


’Atelier de Samuel le Torriellec is a gastronomic restaurant located in the heart of the city, near Cismigiu Park, hidden in the intimacy of Bucharest’s streets. L’Atelier is a member of Relais & Chateaux, the exclusive international association of independent hotels and restaurants that celebrate l’art de vivre and are committed to creating exceptional experiences of cuisine and hospitality. Chef Samuel le Torriellec is the Executive Chef of L’Atelier and proposes a rich and vibrant cuisine menu created for the pure enjoyment of the palate. With a remarkable experience in grand restaurants in Paris and Lyon, our French Chef is one of the very few in Bucharest to have gained such levels of experience and expertise in world renowned restaurants with up to 3 Michelin stars. Here he outlines a simple and delicious dish for the summer.

Artichoke a la Greek Time for preparation: 15 min

(4 portions)

artichoke 2kg salt 4 gr pepper 3 gr white wine 50 cl carrots 80 gr

onion 50 gr fresh coriander 0,5 coriander grains 2 gr thyme 0,05 lemon 80 gr

• •

Peel the artichoke, and just use the heart. Clean also the center with a spoon and put them into water with lemon, so they do not oxidize. Finely chop the onion and the carrots and put them in a frying pan with olive oil. Add the artichoke, cut in 4, with the fresh coriander and the grains, add the white wine and a little bit of lemon juice and cook slowly for about 15 minutes. Let it cool. Serve it with cheese and a glass of rose. W W W.O Z B . R O J U N E 2 01 9

Three Star Gastronomic Super Star



Photograph by Dennis Ursachi


Air of vara and Searching for Solomonar


by David McLean Shoup

ummer is now firmly over the horizon, the sun rising above the Black Sea earlier each day (5:32am by my latest count). June is the first month when almost any weekend offers ideal getaway opportunities to experience the clean air and plethora of scenic vistas that rural Romania has to offer, from the quiet peaks of Moldoveanu to the booming beaches at Vama Veche. Don’t worry too much about your budget. Camping in Romania is not only amongst the world’s most beautiful, it’s also cheap. With quality tents 38

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available on OLX for as little as 200 Ron and priceless hospitality abounding across the country, there’s no excuse not to hit the mountains, seaside, or delta this summer and see the very best of what Romania can offer to even the most jaded of explorers.

In addition to their arsenal of potential devious magical powers, they are said to speak every language known to humanity, and carry their knowledge in a leather bound book tucked under their arm as they wander through the mountains.

The grand views aside, a wandering weary traveler in the Romanian hinterlands need never be lonesome. One can always meet friendly passersby in the countryside here, provided that one is not trying to pass them on the curve in the road at 80 km/hour. There’s an ancient Romanian legend about a class of sorcerer who live in the Carpathian Mountains that has intrigued me as of late. Descended from the high priests of the bygone Dacian Kingdom, these red-headed “Solomonar” may appear like a beggar if you encounter them on the steppes of Bucovina or the forest of Bucegi, but be wary. If you short them on a food or monetary donation they’ll curse you back to kingdom come.

Romanian folklore is fascinating, but I especially like the message of this legend that power comes from knowledge (as has been demonstrated in the high turnout rates in last month’s dramatic European Parliamentary elections). Nevertheless, I’ll keep a few extra Lei and a cold Ursus tucked away on my next camping trip to Zarnesti, should a Solomanar appear. It’s always best to make a good first impression. And if a bear rather than wizard should appear, as may be the case should one travel out to the well trodden Bucegi forest, a nice big bottle of pepper spray can be found at Kaki Army Shop in Piata Unirii for a reasonable 42 Ron.•

Air of Vara and Searching for Solomonar

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