Trip through Romania

Romania Travel Blog

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What I came to see were gypsies and lovely gypsy music but in in the capitol I felt I was teasing the Irish about Leprechauns the whole time. We are Romanian, gypsies are a problem. We don’t accept them.

Romania is more than Bucharest, less than Bulgaria. I haven’t anything negative to say but it is here I start realizing cultures are melding and the travel has lost it’s sight. The landscape is incredible, a continuam of Bulgaria. The spiritualism seemed to be missing. The hitching was lovely but guarded. The first hitch was a man picking up a buddy at the border, the taxi the buddy took dropped me off in Bucharest. This is good and easy. Of course an excellent way to enter a country.

The taxi driver would say what was repeated over and over and over by nearly each driver. Be careful, not everyone is as friendly.  In Bucharest, the folk museum is not to be missed!!! It is lovely and depicts well the culture of old.  The culture of old is strong and still active well outside of Bucharest. The buildings are a compromise of old, orthodox churches and communism. Throughout the city, this is repeated.  I was hoping to walk into a bar, hidden off the tourist track and the music would be fantastic, smiles brights, laughter abundant, a place I could blend into the surroundings and watch beauty before my eyes. Instead, my CS host entertained me with 2 French movies about gypsies. The gypsies I am looking for are the Johnny Depp sort in the Chocolate movie where music and dance are more important than survival and street begging.
These gypsies travel in caravans and are near extinct. Most people have never seen a Satara (pronounced Cha’tara). I met 2 people who have seen but otherwise people showed me the housing projects (like American style), the government has forced them in. Yet in every part of Romania, you can see brightly colored full dresses and head scarfs worn by the women and wide brim hats with long pointy mustaches worn by the men. They have kept their language and it seems there is stress over the fact they may move to the housing but never give up their customs. And so is life. The movie was called Transylvania.

Transylvania I went next. Sinaia is a town on the way to Brasov. Sinaia is where the first king of Bulgaria built his castle in the late 19thC.  It was a political bond that brought Charles to Romania.

The castle was amazing simply cause of the woodwork! Germans were reknown for woodwork in the 19thC and there is the most incredible carvings throughout. Brasov is a tourist town for folks from Bucharest to spend their weekends. Too much tourism but the Black Church, seemingly 8times larger than any building outside the castle is nice though closed most of the week. It is black cause of a fire in the 16thC. It is huge, cavernous and makes you wonder what the hell is the Church good for but spending other peoples money and prospering at the expense of others. We need a new church in this world… Church of Reason, Church of Common Humanity,  god knows but certainly the church of Christians hasn’t really progressed our existence.  In Transylvania, or should I say travelers who had come to… told me of all the tourism in the Dracula castle and what a let down it was so I skipped it.
  Everyone says culture lies in the north…. It is true far north east and west.

On my way  I stopped in a nice town- Targu Mares for 4 days with my CS hosts. CS is wonderful when you can meet a very special woman with wonderful ideas for Africa! Diana and her boyfriend Sorin will go there and start an NGO to help build schools amongst other wonderful things. She is young and her exuberance is what high school movies are made from. I love listening to her ideas and her mine and we fed off each others energy. A hell of a young woman who ought to do great things. I have promised to meet them in Africa, enthusiasm is contagious!

But farther north I witnessed the first old world culture. Lovely wooden churches I hitched to and around apple orchards, raspberry bushes and pears that fed me from sunrise to sunset.

Old villages, with old tools and horse drawn carriages and hay stacks. Lovely lovely hair stacks!

Finally I stayed with a Hungarian family in Baire Mare and enjoyed mothers cooking and the college age daughters company. Bless them-allowing a stranger into their home, the father and mother married, raised their daughters through communism, I just wish I could speak Hungarian or Romanian and hear their stories. The older daughter’s boyfriend helped fill me in. They are Hungarian and in no sense feel Romanian. Most of this world was once Hungarian until the end of WWI where it was divided and now ethnic Hungarians live in Ukraine, Slovakia, and Romania. Today there is huge political divide and as the young politician told me- the EU will never be a united states the ethnics are too old and feelings too strong.  In the end no gypsies, if Romania again I will head Northeast.

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