"Here long enough to see all four seasons" Romania by DSwede
Romania Travel Guide: 6,321 reviews and 19,943 photos
Romania was good to me. The weather is pleasant (maybe a bit cold in the winter), things are not expensive and the people are nice. The language is Latin based, similar to Catalan, French and Spanish. I can understand 20% of what is spoken and 80% of what is written. The women are friendly and beautiful (which is good for me), and the food is bountiful and good.
Well, here's a few random thoughts on Romania in general (in no particular order). See my subsequent pages for details on my visits to other locations within Romania:
Ploiesti - about 45 minutes north of Bucharest, site of WWII bombings of petrol industry
Brasov - Germanic influenced mountain city
Bran - home of Bran castle
Sinaia - mountain getaway, just south of Brasov
Bucharesti - the heart of Romania
Constansta - tading center and beaches along the Black Sea
Hunedoara - home of the Corvinestilor Castle
Sighisoara - wonderful medieval town in central Romania
Slanic - town named for the local salt ponds and salt water springs
Busteni - neighboring town to Sinaia
(for more pictures, feel free to visit my Romania Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)
Romanian food is a mixture of what the surrounding areas claim as theirs. Dishes have a lot of tomatoes, cucumbers and spices similar to Mediterranean areas. There are also influences from Germany and its close Russian neighbors. But one thing it definitely has an abundance of is pork. If you have ever been in a Muslim country and survived pork withdrawals, you may wish to re-acclimatize yourself before eating too many Romanian specialties. Why pork? Like many things, you have to look back in time. Among a long list of foreign powers that occupied and controlled Romania, the Ottoman Empire was one of them. The Turks collected food and livestock from the locals to fuel their empire and their armies. Being Muslim, the Turks routinely kept all the food except they returned the pigs. Eventually the Romanians made pork the staple of the diet since it was the one item that would not be taken.
As some of you may know, Romania used to be a communist nation. But in 1989, their was a coup and the ruling family was assassinated. Since then, a democratic republic has been struggling to survive. There are many improvements since this change in government, but likewise there have been many set back. The people do have more freedoms, but at the same time there is less control. For example, before, people might not have had great jobs, but they had jobs. Today, many of the people are unemployed. Before, everyone was guaranteed medical support, but now nobody can afford it. It has its biases, but read Codrescu's "A Hole in the Flag" for some historical and personal reflections of the before and after.
They do not celebrate Halloween here, they are majority Christian, but Halloween is a pagan thing that started in Ireland and came to USA/Canada. The people here are more orthodox, so only a few see Halloween as a time to have fun.
But enough about that stuff. I could regurgitate information like that all day, as well as my descriptions of Bran, Brasov, Sinaia, Sighisoara and Hunedoara. All of which I went to again, but this time I went with my mom and sister. Yup, they both came all the way to Romania to spend two weekends with me. One of the weekends we drove a large circle north, through some old medieval cities and the Transylvanian mountains. The second weekend we went near Constanta so they could see the coast and take a dip in the Black Sea. Along the way, were the typical old towns, quiet villages, lots of cows, herds of sheep and lots of sunflowers (and I mean lots!!). It was great to have such company because not only was I blessed with back seat drivers, but also back seat history teachers too! It all made sense when it was being read from the tour book at the time, but somewhere between the laughter, the mispronunciations, the bathroom pit stops in the country, and the dodging of livestock, many of the historical details were lost.
- Pros:Sunflowers and majestic mountains will enchant you.
- Cons:Economy doesn't help the locals, but makes it cheap for foreigners traveling through.
- In a nutshell:With so much diversification, a week minimum is required in each corner of the country.
Romania is a huge producer of sunflowers. If you visit in the summer, definitely take time to smell the flowers. Take a... more travel advice
If you have access to your own transportation, I highly recommend driving the Transfagarasan Road (Hw 7C). This section... more travel advice
DSwede's Related Pages
Romania Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
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- Things to Do in Romania
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