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Four of us came to Romania for the first time and we were treated to an amazing experience by our guide, Catalin. He picked us up at the airport in Bucharest and we drove to Sibiel for our first night in a week of unforgettable experiences. Sibiel is a tiny village and we stayed in a little bed and breakfast type hotel and had an incredible home cooked meal by the owner of stuffed cabbage, sausages, a variety of salads and homemade wines and spirits. She and her daughter also paint stunning icons on glass that are ideal gifts to take home. It was the perfect way to unwind after a long flight and recharge our batteries for the amazing tour to follow. There were so many highlights on our tour that it would be impossible to go over them all. For me, one of the best things was hearing about the history and the stories of Romania from our guide, as he drove us through the unspeakable beauty from Transylvania to Maramures, where we saw the Merry Cemetery and had a lovely birthday dinner in the former home of Elie Wiesel. The guide arranged, much to our surprise, a homemade birthday cake with the largest flaming candle that any of us had ever seen, he made Martha’s 16th birthday one that she will never forget. We drove more, to Bucovina, Moldova and back through Transylvania again, never tiring of the landscape, sometimes mountainous and sometimes through farm land, but always majestic. Of the towns, I loved Sighisoara the most; the birth place of Dracula, if you will. It has such peaceful charm. I look forward to returning there sometime soon. Sibiu and Brasov were two more towns that I also fell in love with along our tour, they are not to be missed. We also visited two UNESCO Painted Monasteries that were stunning and we even spent the night in a working monastery which was unforgettable as well. It would be unfair of me not to mention the food which was beyond delicious and the Romanian wine which is hard not to love. The four of us have done a lot of traveling together and every time we get together to share a dinner, we talk about the beauty and charm of Romania and the amazing experiences that our guide gave us and the kindness and warmth he has. We not only discovered a place that we want to return to again and again, but we made a good friend in the process. I cannot say enough good things about Romania.
I was so surprise to see how beautiful Romania was this past summer. One of favorite places was Brasov in Transylvania. Bran Castle was so beautiful. Learning the true story of Dracula was very interesting. The village of Brasov was delightful filled with shops delicious food and breathtaking churches. My next favorite place was Sibiu I loved climbing the clock tower. Visiting craftman’s square and watching the villagers make their homemade crafts. How I loved the Romanian wine it was outstanding!!! I highly recommend it to all! So go to Romania, a country with surprises and very friendly people.
Last time I was in Romania: Summer of 2014
Since the so-called end of the Cold war, I have made it a habit to devote my attention – and tourist dollars – to the newly-free countries of Eastern Europe, countries whose histories I had read about since childhood but which I never thought I would be able to visit. My visit to Romania last summer was exceptional; this was not only due to the superb abilities of my tour guide, Mr. Catalin Stoenescu, but also because of the enormous complexity and variation I found throughout the course of my sojourn there. I discovered not one Romania, but many; the bustle of cosmopolitan Bucharest exists right alongside the timeless Saxon-built towns of Transylvania, just as the serene aquatic beauty of the Danube Delta may be found a few hours’ drive from the lofty and majestic peaks of the Carpathians. The Romanian people – a warm and welcoming folk if ever there was one – are themselves a wonderful hybrid of east and west, with their lineage extending all the way back to ancient Rome and their spirituality to Constantinople, so say nothing of the contributions of the Greeks, Jews, Hungarians, Austrians, Germans, Russians and Turks and Gypsies who have resided amongst them. Everyone who, like myself, cheered when the easternmost part of Europe regained its freedom should go to Romania, both to see and experience all they thought they never could, and to support a great nation as its reclaims its own destiny and comes to life again.
Last time you visited Romania: August, 2014
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