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#roundtripromania – An American perspective on Romania!

Romania is often perceived to be a poor country by those of us in the West. Let me start off by saying this is a lie. It is simply not true. Romania is in fact, a very rich country. It is rich in natural beauty; it is rich in religious tradition; it is rich in mediaeval history; it is rich in folklore and mythology; it is rich in its myriad forms of art, architecture, and craftsmanship; it is rich in its diverse culinary delicacies; it is rich with the warmth and generosity of its people; and finally it is even rich in more traditionally enumerable assets that would appease even the most dispassionate global finance expert: it supplies one-third of the drinking water in all of Europe, offers bountiful and diverse agricultural exports, has significant metal and mineral mining resources, and is home to the largest European port on the Black Sea for example.

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My trip to Romania began with a day and a half in Bucharest. I arrived in the late afternoon on July 1st, 2014 and was promptly greeted by a friend and her employer who organized the tour. It was the first time I had met either one of them face to face, but they came prepared with a nice bottle of a Romanian red wine — a kind gesture and a great way to make friends. On the way to the hotel downtown we took a quick driving tour of Bucharest and I was given some great information about the city and its main attractions. I was impressed by the diversity of styles of architecture and the abundance of “roundabouts”, which we do not commonly have in the USA. We checked in and dropped my bags off at the fine Z Hotel located in a prime area in central Bucharest. We then took a walk through the city and I had my first experience with traditional Romanian food: stuffed cabbage and polenta with goat cheese. It was delicious, as was the process of having a conversation face-to-face with my female Romanian friend whom up to that point, I had only communicated with via email and SMS. I learned a lot about her culture and we laughed a lot about our respective follies in attempting to speak each other’s language more perfectly: mostly she laughed at me, as her English is far better than my Romanian. It was a very enjoyable evening.

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The next day we did a proper tour of Bucharest, starting with a three hour walking tour of the city. It was fascinating to learn more about the history of the city and see some of its important buildings. We laughed a lot at the “Potato on a Stick” and “She Wolf” sculptures and took some great pictures, both serious and jovial. We then raced — and I do mean raced: Alex was keen to demonstrate the type of Romanian driving I should be defensively on the look out for when we started our driving tour the next day — over to the Palace or Parliament to take a tour of the second or third largest actively used building in the world. It was incredibly impressive both in its ridiculously huge scope, as well as its luxurious materials, and extreme attention to detail in its architectural finishes and artistic decor. It is a must see in Bucharest. We then made a quick stop at a farmer’s market specializing in fruit and vegetables and procured some delicious, locally grown, cherries, fresh red currants, walnuts, and other healthy snacks for the car trip the next day. The quality and quantity of the selection was very impressive — who needs Whole Foods if you are in Romania!? Following this, we went to another authentic Romanian restaurant, this one with a bit of a German influence, and I had my first experience with the mythical soup/stew of Romania: Ciorba. It was truly delicious and I had some variety of this dish most of the remaining days of the 14-day tour.

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The following morning we set out to drive to Constanta on the Black Sea. I had not slept much at all due to jet lag, and making a poor choice to have an espresso with dinner, and was slightly nervous about the drive, but my companion’s resolute calmness and patience got us out of the city fairly easily, even when the GPS refused to work for the first 15 minutes or so. Once on the A2 highway, the drive was very simple and pleasant and the beautiful agriculture scenery — huge fields of sunflowers mostly — pleasant conversation, and aforementioned supply of fresh fruits kept me much more alert than I thought I would have been. We arrived at the coast in almost no time at all, and were promptly greeted with an endless succession of roundabouts, which I found quite entertaining to joke about as the GPS gave us instructions on how to navigate them. The hotel in Mamaia was quite pleasant, and we checked in quickly and effortlessly — well almost effortlessly, as I had packed two large bags plus a computer bag, which I carried up and down many flights of steps. I consider this to be a positive however, as I wanted to get in better shape already and this seemed a great way to start! After checking in we took a quick dip in the Black Sea and caught some sun. It was a truly relaxing environment, and it felt a little bit like South Beach Miami to me. We then drove to the center of Constanta and took an amazing walking tour with a wonderful guide (Diana Slav) who somehow had heard about our trip and offered to show us the city. She was incredibly informative and it impressed me greatly that the young people of Romania were so passionate and proud of their cities that they would effectively volunteer their time simply to share their love of their city with foreigners. A highlight of the tour was ascending the 140-step tower and overlooking the entire city and commercial port below. Following the tour we shared Mojitos on a roof-top terrace on top of a popular hotel and watched the clouds roll in from the sea as the sun was setting: multu frumossa! On the way back to the hotel we took a moonlight swim in the Black Sea — clothing optional, but don’t quote me!

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The next morning we relaxed some more, and sought out a fun park (Holiday Village), which in hindsight probably could have been avoided and replaced with a little more time on the beach. We jokingly renamed it “Park No Fun”. In fairness, the bumper cars were actually fun, and the miniature horse ride made for some entertainment until the gypsies attempted to extort extra money from us. Upon leaving Mamaia, we drove through beautiful and seemingly endless fields of sunflowers and a quick, but quite dramatic, summer rain to reach the Danube Delta area. The accommodation was wonderful, and the hostess provided us with a special suite that made us feel like royalty. We practiced our ping-ping skills some and concluded that neither one of us could beat Forest Gump or anyone from Asia in the Olympics, and therefore decided to take a short walk to regain our self-esteem. We were greeted by many-many little helpers who were eager to help me obtain my goal of getting in better shape by encouraging us to pick up the pace and shift gears from a slow walk to a brisk jog. A thick black cloud of miniature vampires followed us back to the room and endowed us with many love bites on our arms and legs, but the cross and garlic at the door kept them from safely entering our room and converting us to the undead, or giving us Malaria. Word to the wise: bring bug-spray if you want to spend time outside at night in this area. The dinner was wonderful. I ordered Ciorba de Peste, and another fish entree. The Ciorba de Peste came out with so much fish that we both thought we had been served both the Ciorba and the entree and we very surprised when the real entree was then served next! The Ciorba was incredibly huge, wonderfully tasty, and incredibly inexpensive. It is a must-try.

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The following day we took a boat tour of the delta with a couple from Belgium. We were advised that we did not need bug spray, but we insisted anyway given our meeting with the mini-vampires the night before. The boat ride was incredible, and the Delta was seemingly never-ending in its expanse. It reminded me of the Florida Everglades some, though with deeper, cooler water, less alligators, less Spanish moss, more birds, quite possibly more frogs, and a generally more agreeable climate unless you happen to be a reptile or amphibian and thrive on the very hot and humid climate in the Everglades. Despite our doubts, it was correct that bug-spray was not needed on the boat, or perhaps mini-vampires like their larger cousins are truly nocturnal and therefore we were safe in the sun? However, we pressed our luck and took a quick tour via hoarse-drawn carriage though a “special” forest (Forest Letea) that is flooded for most of the year, and from here we took a short walk to an unknown destination to see some nondescript forest-vine. If you are confused by that description, don’t worry; we were too. Throughout this misguided quest, our hungry little friends were back in abundance. Word to the wise: stay on the boat! The boat ride is well worth the experience and very pleasant. It is truly incredible! I can not say the same for the forest: there are MUCH more remarkable forests in Romania and we saw MANY of them in the course of the rest of our trip.

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The following day we spent driving up the eastern part of Romania from the Delta to the northern parts of Moldavia. Admittedly, when I first noticed the distance that needed to be covered on this day when looking at the initial plan, I thought that 7-8 hours and 400-500 KM seemed excessive for one day, and I assumed it was not going to be that enjoyable. I was wrong. The driving was very pleasant, and is unlike typical highway driving in the US, which is generally trance-inducing in its monotony. In contrast, the drive to Moldavia was filled with amazing scenery including diverse landscapes, a ferry crossing, curvy roads that tempt you to pretend you are a race-car driver, over-hanging canyons that make you feel like you are entering something like Pandora in the movie Avatar, and even a friendly tortoise that we stopped to help cross the road. Along the way we stopped in Bacau, where my companion had attended high school, and had a salad from a local mall where it was interesting to get a sense of the daily lives of the local residents. It seemed quite similar to the USA; they did not seem to sell anything specifically for vampires! We stopped next in Piatra Neamt to see the tower to Stephen the Great, the preeminent historical hero of this region. It was very lovely and quaint, and felt quite similar to experiences I have had in Zurich, or in ski-resort areas in upstate NY in the USA. It felt very welcoming, and the stone masonry of the monument and church was impressive. As we continued our drive through Moldavia, I was told that all the best things in Romania, including the most beautiful women, come from Moldavia. I can not argue with this, as my companion is herself a beautiful Moldavian princess who may indeed have the best smile in all of Romania. I was also impressed by the houses in the area, and it seemed to me that even the most modest houses were very well maintained and seemed to convey a deep sense of pride. I think I would feel the same myself if I lived in the area, as it is truly a very wonderful location and I wish we had spent a little more time here. As we came close to our destination for the night, we drove through the most impressive natural scene that we had encountered so far: the aforementioned overhanging canyon gorge. It was truly breathtaking, and made for very invigorating driving as we drove through it at sunset to reach our accommodation at Lake Rosu: a very pleasant mountain resort area, which was among my favorites of the trip.

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The next morning we ate a buffet breakfast that seemed it should be part of a five-star hotel in a major city. Any and all possible breakfast delicacies were made available to us, and we drank huge amounts of impeccably prepared espresso out of beer mugs that would put Starbucks to shame. The fresh mountain jam, a local tradition, was particularly incredible. My Moldavian princess seemed quite at home in this setting and I too thoroughly enjoyed both the rugged terrain outside as well as the luxurious culinary pampering inside the accommodation. We took a quick walk to the lake itself, and I witnessed what I believe was some form or river or lake Otter swimming in a stream that was flowing out of the lake. We then drove back down through the gorge and took an ample amount of breath-taking pictures. Our first stop of the day was the famous painted monastery Manastirea Voronet of Moldavia. It was really quite impressive, and a unique sight for western eyes such as mine, which are not used to seeing the entire interior surface of the church including walls, ceiling, and more painted with rich colors depicting various Biblical allegories. I came to realize later in the trip that this is common among Eastern Orthodox churches, but I had never experienced it firsthand myself, and it was truly impressive to see. Moreover, this particular church was even more rare in that the entire exterior of the church was also painted in the same style. This is not common, and makes the site a world heritage site. On the way out of the church my Moldavian princess demonstrated her own proficiency in artistic craftsmanship, as I had come to expect from all of Moldavians, and I witnessed her build herself an intricate crown of clover blossoms with expert precision and efficiency. The result was truly fitting for a queen! Following the painted church, we stopped at some kind of nature preserve (Reserve Dragos Voda). I thought I might find brown bears in the wild here, but alas it was more like a zoo, and I did not find it particularly impressive, nor well cared for. Perhaps I am spoiled having recently been to the National Zoo in Washington DC, USA which has a far greater selection of animals, all of which seem to be much better cared for. I did see a single bear and a wolf, but they seemed like they could benefit from some antidepressants or other boost to their vitality, and it gave me a rather sad feeling. (Perhaps having actual water in the large concrete depressions that seems intended to be swimming pools to allow the animals to cool down on hot days such as the one on which we visited would be a good start?) I would recommend to skip this stop and spend more time exploring the truly wild nature of Lacu Rosu where we where earlier that morning. That evening we arrived at “Dracula’s Castle” in the northern part of Transylvania. It was not entirely clear to me what relationship this location had to the historical Vlad Tepes, or fictitious character created by Bram Stoker, but the drive from Moldavia into Transylvanian territory was very breathtaking and filled with dramatic skies which seemed to form painted narratives depicting the eternal battle between light and darkness. It was a fitting background for our first entry into Transylvania, and easily allowed us to imagine we were the protagonists of some medieval mystery novel. The restaurant at the Hotel Dracula was quite good, although I was the only one who ate, and because of this I was a bit concerned this might be the night where I discover my companion truly was a vampire in disguise. What or who exactly was she saving her appetite for? I figured if it was to be my last night among the living, I may as well have a feast, and so I ordered a wonderful country lamb stew in a traditional preparation and a large carafe of dry Romanian red wine —at least I would die happy, so I thought. Fortunately, morning came and we were both still intact and after a quick inspection for puncture wounds in the shape of canine teeth, we had a quick breakfast and got back on the road. We departed “Dracula’s Castle” and headed towards the Maramures region.

The drive to the Maramures region was very nice and I was surprised to find some new feature of the landscape in each area of our trip. We drove through rolling hills and a moderate mountain range where we amused ourselves by stopping to take silly pictures of one another along the way. As we entered the Maramures region we felt as if we had traveled back in time a couple hundred years. It felt a bit like the Pennsylvania Dutch communities in Lancaster, PA close to my hometown in the USA. We noticed the iconic cylindrical-dome hay-stacks of other parts of Romania where not common in this area and joked about the superiority of the Moldavian method. We arrived at our first stop, a monastery (Monastery Barsana) comprised of churches and buildings constructed almost entirely of wood. The details and craftsmanship were astounding and I had a deep respect for the knowledge and patience it must require to achieve such perfection. I took many photos both of the architecture and woodwork, as well as the flower garden, which seemed to be transplanted directly from heaven. I think anyone with a small amount of talent could become a world-renowned photographer simply by coming to this region with an iPhone. We then checked into our accommodation which was an independent Bed and Breakfast operated by a local family. These types of accommodations are called Pensions in Romania, and they offer a truly wonderful and authentic experience, particularly when the host cooks as well as ours did. The food was simply amazing. All ingredients where produced directly on-site, almost all of it likely procured and prepared that very day. We sampled locally made palinca flavored with pears, and found it to be quite effective: I breathed fire for a few hours, but it was too strong for my Moldavian Princess’s delicate constitution. We visited a second monastery high in the hills, and took many pictures of the wonderful artwork. We searched for a mythical river, which we were told runs with naturally carbonated water — I did not believe it, and we did not find it, but I am assured such things actually do exist in Romania. We made friends with a local Wolf Dog (German Shepard), which introduced itself to me as I was checking one of the streams to see if it was actually carbonated or not. I threw a stick for the dog, and we instantly bonded. He followed us home over the entire two 2km or so walk to our Pension, and insisted we play fetch the entire time. We considered adopting him as a relationship dog, but alas we were told he was already spoken for. That night we slept under a huge natural long-haired wool blanket that made us feel like albino werewolves; one of us may have even barked at the moon at some point in the night. In the morning we had another incredibly prepared meal, and we were sad to depart from this paradise, but further wonders awaited ahead of us.

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We departed the town of Botiza in the Maramures region and started on our journey to Cluj Napoca. We stopped in Sapanta Cemetary, known as the happy cemetery and found the name quite fitting. It was very colorful and made for wonderful close up macro photography, as well as offering us a chance to practice our impromptu acting skills as we pretended to be zombies for the camera. We then drove through some very dramatic mountain passes and encountered a Romanian road-block or two along the way; the first was a huge white hoarse who simply stood completely still staring at us and blocking the road completely. We suspected we might be required to pay some kind of toll such as an apple or some carrots. Eventually he found us worthy and allowed us to pass. We bought some kind of wild berries similar to blue-berries from a young girl on the side of the road, and these gave us energy to stay alert on the serpentine mountain passes. We arrived in Cluj and checked into a nice hotel, which offered a suite that made us feel comfortable. We relaxed a bit and enjoyed the lovely balcony before heading out for a walking tour of the city. We met our guide in front of the Roman archaeological site in the center of the town. The tour was quite nice and we witnessed many impressive buildings and a large gothic cathedral, though to be honest we had seen more grandiose things of a similar nature already in Bucharest and other locations. Cluj was impressive however as the historical center of Transylvanian economic and political power, and we had a nice dinner at a Hungarian influenced restaurant.

The next morning my Moldavian Princess practiced her rooster routine once again and we woke up around dawn; she was determined I get the absolute most I can from the experience and in retrospect I am thankful she did not allow me be a lazy American and sleep until late morning. Plus it gave me a reason to learn a new Romanian phrase along the way: “Vreau zece Espresso!” (I want ten espressos!). This was not an exaggeration, as it was a very full day ahead of us. We first stopped at Alba Lulia where we saw yet another magnificent cathedral that was the center of this fortified city. We joked there must be a lot of sinners in Romania that need repentance and conversion due to the abundance of churches everywhere you look. The church was nonetheless very impressive and different than all the others we had seen thus far. The exterior was made with some form of light beige to yellow stone that looked like a very beautiful sandstone or something similar, and the interior had a very impressive, austere even, dome that towered towards the heavens. I almost was compelled to confess all of my sins on the spot. Almost. We walked around the town and feigned a mock battle with the guards, and I even snuck into a traveling reptile show that happened to be at the city that day. Snakes and princesses don’t typically mix well, even in Romania, so the princess waited outside. Next we traveled to a magnificent castle in Hunedoara, which felt to me to be where I would choose to live if I was a vampire or maybe a dragon. Despite its intimidating gothic appearance it was actually not connected with these legends in any way, and instead was simply extensively fortified to protect itself from Ottoman attacks in past centuries. There were some very reverberant chambers in the castle, and the audio nerd and musician in me wondered what it would be like to perform music in such spaces. We visited a wonderful lake (Lake Cincis) nearby and had a quick lunch. Word to the wise: don’t order the Ton (Tuna), as I found out the hard way later that night. The restaurant was nonetheless very lovely, and these things can happen anywhere, so I assign no fault or blame. We arrived in the lovely city of Sibiu in the evening and checked into a wonderful 4 star hotel, which I might rate 5 if it were up to me. By this time, I actually felt very nauseated and debated staying in the room, but we were scheduled to meet a guide for a walking tour so, I sucked it up, and we went walking around the city. The city was very beautiful and reminded me a lot of Venice, Austria, in that everything was impeccably tasteful in a classical style made with fine stone and marble, but with the feeling that it had been constructed just yesterday given the lack of any signs of deterioration or aging. The lighting in the late afternoon seemed to cast everything in a heavenly glow. Even the streets and cobble stone courtyards where impeccably clean, which made me quite nervous actually as I could not help but wonder where I might projectile vomit if necessary while doing the least amount of damage and creating as little scene as possible. Fortunately, I did make it back to the room before that happened, but I regret not being able to completely enjoy this wonderful city do to my personal discomfort at the time. I would love to return some day and spend more time in this magical city. The energy of the city seemed to heal me over night, and in the morning my vitality and appetite had both returned in full force.

The next day after driving on part of the impressive Transalpina, the highest road in Romania, we stopped at Polovragi Cave on our way to Horezu. It was quite impressive, extending over 70 meters back into the mountain and containing many interesting geological formations and the full skeleton of a pre-historic bear. The valley where the cave was located was also quite picturesque aided by dramatic and temperamental skies. Following our amateur spelunking, we continued to our accommodation in Horezu: another wonderful family-owned Bed-And-Breakfast (Pension). The room was wonderful and we enjoyed it very much before heading out to meet our guide from Sibiu the day before, who was originally from Horezu and who had traveled back home to show us the city — talk about going above and beyond! She (Mariana Hoanță from Romania Magica) showed us some of the remaining houses of the aristocracy of past centuries, and then took us to one of the leading pottery artisans of the area, for which the city is widely known. We watched in awe as an incredibly talented woman transformed clay into art before our very eyes. I mistakenly felt compelled to touch one of the pots that looked to be dry, only to find it was still wet and I ruined one the designs that was still drying. Not to worry however, as our magical instructor simply improvised new adornments to the design that made my errant intrusion seem like an intentional design feature! We tried our hands on the potter’s wheel. If it were the World Cup, the score would be America 1, Romania 0, but we both laughed a lot and had a great time. We then had a lovely dinner at a great restaurant recommended by our local guide, and I attempted to give her a generous tip as she departed, but she refused to accept it. This would not happen in the USA and I found it very impressive, that a young person would donate two days of her time simply to share her love of her city and country to a foreign guest.

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On the 12th day of our adventure we departed Horezu and stopped at the Curtea de Arges monastery. To be perfectly honest, I was feeling a little overloaded with churches by that point, but I was surprised to find that this one had even more amazing features to keep me interested and engaged. In fact, it turned out that this might have been my favorite religious site of the entire journey given its very impressive exterior and interior architecture, craftsmanship, and decor. I found many of the iterative design motifs to be fascinating, as this sort of thing has application in some of my own work and thus I found it to be very interesting to study and take photos of. Following this stop we embarked on some of, if not THE, most epic driving of my entire life as we crossed over the Carpathians on the Transfagarasan highway, which was rated as one the best roads in the world by a European auto enthusiast magazine. I agree completely! It was totally epic, complete with narrow switch backs, a colossal damn on an artificial lake (Lake Vidraru), pristine forest wilderness, a high pass at over 6000 feet (2KM), another Romanian road-block (this time in the form of a herd of sheep and their shepherds), and sporadic thunderstorms complete with dense fog. Close to the peak of the mountain pass, in the middle of a cloud, I stopped the car to photograph a waterfall coming down a cliff and as I got out of the car I noticed some vendors along the street who were selling meats and cheeses like a small farmer’s market. We purchased an ample quantity of their various offerings, and I must say emphatically it was some of the best and freshest food of this variety that I have ever tasted. It puts all the yuppy gourmet organic grocery stores in the USA to shame. Perhaps it is unfair even to compare since it is highly likely that these products came from the same plants and animals we had just seen while driving through this paradise — animals that live directly in this mountain region and which feed on its pristine pastures, drink pure water from its mountain springs, and develop extreme vitality by grazing on its steep slopes. Simply amazing! At the top of the pass we took pictures at a small lake where there was some snow still on the mountain, and we had yet another espresso. The drive down the mountain was even more impressive than the ascent, and we took many photos and videos. This was a definite highlight of the entire trip. That night we arrived in Sighisoara, birthplace of Vlad Tepes, and spent the night at the family residence of “Dracula” on the night of the full moon. It had a strange and wonderful energy to it and we enjoyed taking pictures in its fortified village-town.

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We survived the full moon in Transylvania without encountering any mythological creatures and decided to press our luck and head to Bran Castle, the home of Bram Stoker’s version of Dracula. The castle itself was nice in an intentionally creepy way, and had an interesting selection of medieval torture devices, weapons, and armor, as well as various austere gothic decorations. On the way out we took photos of various macabre wooden masks and bought some mountain raspberries from gypsies that looked as if they have been Photoshoped they were so fresh. We then drove to the second castle of the day, Peles Castle, which is actually more of a palace, as it was once the center of the royal aristocracy for the region. The drive through the whole Brasov area, where both castles are located, was very dramatic with the southern Carpathians surrounding both sides of the road at many points. The whole area is very nice and quite affluent as many Bucharest residents have vacation homes in the area to take advantage of the many ski resorts in the winter and hiking and lake frolicking in the summer. Peles was incredibly impressive; it had a regal flare that was matched only by the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest that we saw on the second day of our adventure. Every square centimeter (Yes, I know I am American and should think in inches, but I am trying to be more international!) was adorned with some form of artistry or another. There were no traces of Soviet-era minimalism here; everything was extremely ornate in a neo-baroque or neo-gothic style, which seems to implicitly communicate innate dignity, nobility, and a sense of divine purpose. Many rooms here had different themes, such as the armory room that held a vast array of weapons, armor, artillery, and hunting tools both from local traditions as well as foreign equivalents. Also of note were the Ottoman inspired room complete with ornate tapestries with the feel of the near east, the regal home theater room, and the dining room set for a dinner party for at least 30 people, each set with the finest china and silverware. (Is it still called silverware when made of gold?) The exterior of the castle-palace was equally regal with its iron gates, fountain sculptures, and intricately manicured grounds. We had a lovely lunch on the complex where I had a delicious rack of lamb, though the prices where fittingly also more regal than most other locations during our trip. Following Peles we ventured to our accommodation in nearby Sinaia, another mountain resort town in the greater Brasov area. The city is a apparently a popular destination for hiking and winter sports, and I would like very much to return to it one day to try both. It feels very much like a US mountain resort area such as Aspen or Lake Tahoe, or Western European locations in the Alps.

On the final day of our adventure, we again rose at dawn — Moldavian Princesses are very punctual. We departed ahead of schedule and made our way back to the Bucharest area where we stopped at the burial site of Vlad Tepes. It was interesting but not as dramatic as all the other wonders we had already seen in the past two weeks. We had a quick glance at the lake (Lake Snagov), and headed back towards Bucharest, taking a little time to practice our country driving on the easy and flat country roads of the area. By this time we had memorized by heart most of the popular pop songs on the radio of the summer including, I see fire, Wiggle-Wiggle, Tu, and several others and it was very apparent that princesses really enjoying singing and dancing in the car. We made it back to Bucharest by mid afternoon, decompressed some, and I sampled home-made Moldavian cooking one final time — yes, princesses can actually cook!

And then in the blink of an eye, our adventure was over. 14 days flew by us before we even knew what happened or had time to reflect. Fortunately we have over 3,000 — yes, three-thousand — pictures and videos between the two of us to remind us. All in all, it was a truly epic adventure, and I think I personally lived more in these 14 days than I had in the past several years. We experienced so much life in such a short period of time it is almost unfathomable. It can not be adequately expressed; you must experience it for yourself.

You too should in fact, come to Romania, learn why in my opinion it is one of the richest counties on earth, and in the process enrich your own mind, heart, and soul. You will thank me for the advice, and more importantly you will be forever thankful to Romania for the experience just as I am now!

With much love and thanks to Loredana Marie Pricopie, (aka Moldavian Princess, aka Romanian Rooster) and Alexandru Grinzeanu (www.turistclub.ro) for planning and organizing this trip! And extra special thanks to Loredana for being such a wonderful travel companion, and truly special human being!

#roundTripRomania is organized by travel agency TuristClub.ro in collaboration with Kooperativa 2.0.
Photo from this trip here and here

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