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Europe » Romania » Transilvania August 8th 2014

On the train to Bucharest 10am August 8 2014 We were glad to know we could still walk this morning. This wonderful Carpathian mountain range has worn us out. It has many forms and many political borders, many of which it has directly shaped over the centuries, and in every location and aspect offers rewards to the traveller and walker. Why have we not visited them before. Why do not more people come now. Whether it be in the Tatras, Bieszczady, Maramures or Bucegi we have been entranced by their beauty and the friendliness of the people living around them. This last few days we have been exploring the mountains around Brasov as well the city itself. Our base has been a self contained unit in the next door house to the Gabriel hostel where we ... read more
At Cabana Piatra Mare
Logging horses
Chez nous Brasov

Europe » Romania » Maramures August 3rd 2014

So Sighetu Maramatiei to Brasov was our first proper journey by train. First, it was thanks to Florin that we got sleeper tickets at all - he got some cancellations for us. Sleeper tickets mean you are in the Sleeper carriage and that was it. Well first you had to get in which for Jane was quite a challenge with three big steps from ground level and a pack on her back. We got in and discovered our allotted cabin with three beds - the top one being taken by a local and his young son. There were only the beds to sit on so there was a general congregation in the corridor. We quickly met Bram (yes as in Stoker) from Belgium and his Romanian wife, Maria, who had been back for their annual trip ... read more
Reflecting at Brasov station at 5.30am

Europe » Romania » Maramures August 3rd 2014

Brasov August 3 2014 The Maramures is a official region/county in Northern Translyvania in Romania. In fact the original Marmures region is just the North East side of this region, bordered by the river Tisa and Ukraine to the North and consisting of three valleys enclosed by mountains which has ensured its relative isolation over the years. The major town is Sighetu Maramatiei on the Ukrainian border. It is not easy to get to and that is what makes the area so unique. It hard to believe you are still in Europe in some respects. We are in fact only 100 miles/160km from the Bieszczcady mountains in Poland where we were staying a few weeks ago. The area is known within Romania as the area upholding old traditions. In many respects it is like going back ... read more
One of the many working horse and carts in Maramures
Marvellous Maramures
Carpet washing Maramures style

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Harghita August 1st 2014

A very nice roadtrip through the mountains. On Friday afternoon we left Bucharest and headed towards Predeal via DN1. The trip was quite bad because it was very crowded after Comarnic, especially through Sinaia. On Saturday I went on one of the nicest drives yet: from Predeal to Brasov, via Rasnov and Poiana Brasov (where the view was beautiful), then North through the mountains up to Gheorgheni, West towards Praid and then back South, passing through Zarnesti and Rasnov. The villages there look very nice and there are quite a few fortified evangelical churches (in pretty much every large village). Also, the route from Gheorgheni to Praid is very nice (both the view and the drive). On Sunday we headed to Intorsura Buzaului and had a car crash in Prejmer... It was not too bad, but ... read more
Cata
Homorod Altar
Homorod Organ

Europe » Romania » Maramures » Maramures » Sighetu Marmatiei July 31st 2014

Vaduz Izei, July 31 We just had a great bus trip from Budapest to Sigetu Marmatiei in Northern Romania in the heart of the Marmures region. We booked on the internet using the the free access at the end of the tills in the local Tesco's in Eger. We took the express bus back from Eger to Budapest and had been told to meet the 'car' at the AGIP petrol station outside Keleti railway station. We had booked with Christian Tours (who later turned out to be an agent) and the courier was Edmeea Trans (book direct with them to save 10€/person). The 'car' turned out to be a very nice 19 seater minibus. The driver was expecting 16 clients and we hung around waiting for a passenger on a delayed international train from Germany. It ... read more

Europe » Romania » Muntenia » Arges July 25th 2014

Since it was my grandfather's birthday, all the family went to Bunesti to celebrate. My dad borrowed a Dacia Duster to see how it drives. On Saturday morning, me and my cousin went for some offroad testing (he took the Duster and I took his car, a Cielo). It was so much fun! My car is very good on a smooth road, but it is worryingly low for offroad driving, so I don't get to experience this too often... All in all, we went around for about two hours before going back to Bunesti. I don't really like the Duster. It works ok offroad, but the steering wheel is a bit fiddly on a highway and the gearbox is awful when driving in a city. Also, although imo it looks very good on the outside, the ... read more

Europe » Romania » Moldova » Vrancea July 19th 2014

Again, a nice roadtrip through the mountains. On Saurday the weather was rainy and we went through some thunderstorms and showers around Baile Tusnad. The road from Ojdula to Lepsa (DN 2D) is a very bad one (presumably they are working on it, but I didn't see it happen) so we made the 40 km in more than an hour. However, the region is very nice and all the lodges' back yards lead to the Putna river. After a long drive, we walked for an hour or so along the river. On Sunday we stopped at the Putna waterfall, then headed towards Braila (where there's nothing to see) and then back to Bucharest. Total distance: 768 km.... read more
Putna Waterfall

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Sibiu » Sibiu July 18th 2014

We are of to Subiu for the last days in Romania. It was founded in the 1100. The large square as it is now was shaped in the 14th century. And some 15th century buildings are still looking beautiful. Here is also the Brukenthal palace museum. It shows paintings from Rubens, van Dijck and other masters. But.. No photos allowed. We stole s few of beautiful wall paper 300 years. It also shows some school reports of the 1730. They are huge and beautiful written. Our pension was another story. It quoted parking on side, well we drove into the street. Very tiny. Had to park on the footpath opposite. Liz was trying to get out of the car with the paperwork. We sat there for 15 minutes trying to open the car door. Hands waving ... read more
big plaza Sibiu
Brukenthal Founder of museum
building in Sibiu

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Brasov » Bran July 15th 2014

On arriving in Brasov we went to town to have a look. We soon came to the town square with beautiful buildings. No traffic here. We discovered an old hotel restaurant that started in 1914 with old photos about early years. Very nice. The price for dinner is as two hamburgers at home. The reason coming here was Bran castle or Dracula castle. We went in the late morning to Bran, thinking that the buses would be to lunch. Ha. It took forty-five minutes to get a ticket. Bran castle was up and running by 1382. Huge additions were build by 1531. The association between Vlad Tepes Dracula, Prince of Walachia 1448-1476 who spent this early years in Transylvania gave Bran Stoker, the idea of Count Dracula the Vampire. Tepes which means the Impaler, was a ... read more
Dracula
courtyard
cross at the entrance

Europe » Romania » Transilvania » Brasov July 14th 2014

le We left Sighisoare in the rain. We only had to go 118 Kilometres, so we had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. The villages are built all along the road. In such a way, there is no opening in between, just an enormous gate to let the horses and carts loaded with hay to get in. Cows, sheep, chooks and geese are running everywhere. Each village has some sort of fortification high on the hill. Bears and Wolves roam the forests but not that close that we could see them. The Saxons and Hungarians settled here during the middle ages. The threat of an invasion from the east resulted in building the fortifications of churches and citadels. The first one of these was in Sachiz. Build between 1493-1525. Like all Transylvanian fortified churches they ... read more
the citadel at Ropea
clocktower build as in Prague
inside fortefications




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