Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates

9/30/09

Romania Series: Sfantu Gheorghe (Covasna)

Wow, as I write this it is super windy outside...I'll have to go run around in it here shortly.

So, where was I...oh yeah, I had just received my bags in Ploisti. Just to get you oriented, Ploisti is about an hours train ride north of Bucharest then Brasov is about a two to three hour train ride north of Ploisti. The train ride to Brasov was beautiful, it winds through some small villages and goes through the Bucegi mountains which are part of the larger Carpathian Mountains. The mountains here are breathtaking. I took some pictures, but they don't quite capture the full immensity of the range.

Mountain village with the Carpathian Mountains in the background

The Carpathian Mountains in the clouds

Caraiman Peak with the cross - the whole train compartment was excited to show me the cross on the mountain, however none of them knew exactly why it was there.*

On the train we were in a compartment with some interesting characters, three men. The first was a nice older gentleman who rode with us all the way to Brasov. The second was a young man - I don't know probably in his early to mid 20's who was talking on his cell most of the way. And the third was an older man who was fairly crazy. He was sooooo excited to talk to Erin and that she was from the U.S. and that she could actually speak Romanian. He was jumping out of his seat waving his arms ecstatically and yelling excitedly. I didn't understand any of their conversation. Erin said he was hard to understand and she didn't catch all of his ramblings. Luckily he got off on one of the earlier stops. The two other men who were in the compartment with us said that he must have been drinking or that he must have hit his head when he was younger. I gotta say, it was very impressive and fun watching Erin speak Romanian. She is getting very good at it.

In Brasov we de-trained and caught a maxi taxi to Sfantu Gheorghe. A maxi taxi is like a small bus, they go on a set route, at set times they are just smaller than a bus - kind of like a high roofed van that you can stand in if there are no more seats available. The maxi taxi to Sf. Gheorghe took about an hour. Once in Sfantu Gheorghe we went up to Erin's apartment which is in an old communist block. The blocks are interesting to see although they are often eye sores. Communism was prevalent in Romania from 1945 to 1989.

Sunrise over Sfantu Gheorghe from Erins apartment

The next day Erin and I went for walk all around Sfantu Gheorghe. Sfantu Gheorghe is a Hungarian region within Romania, so they tend to speak Romanian, Hungarian and English. During our walk we stopped by the piata where we bought kurtos kalacs, also known as the cone of goodness - a super yummy dessert where they wrap dough around a dowel bake it an oven and sprinkle it with cinnamon, sugar and nuts. After that we went to Erin's favorite craft store, where I bought a myriad of items; a purse, a mortar and pestle, a ring, leather pins, and clay egg holders. We then went to the fortified church where we walked around the graveyard and got to go into the church, it was beautiful. For lunch we went to a Hungarian restaurant where I had the traditional Hungarian goulash - mmmmmmm.

Enjoying a cone of goodness - yummy

The fortified church

Erin and me, in front of the fortified church

The fortified church

Flowers at the fortified church

Romanian artwork, we saw as we walked around town

After lunch Erin and I headed to the bus stop where we headed to Onesti - the town where Nadia Comaneci is from. Onesti is where we started our trip to the Danube Delta, so I'll write about onesti and the start of the Danube Delta trip next time. Have a great day!

*Wikipedia says that it is the heroes' cross - a memorial of World War I.

5 comments:

danwinnemucca said...

maybe the cross is for jesus? it's awesome how you're writing about the trip, i feel like i'm almost there. now headed off to pick up my check :)

Erin said...

this is fun! i look forward to reading more of your posts...it's nice to relive our trip. i really had a great time and i'm so glad you enjoyed it too. love and miss you!!

Erin said...

ooo...simultaneous commenting...spooky

Radu said...

Nice series on Romania, Renee!
Indeed, the cross on Caraiman mountain was erected between 1926 - 1928 to commemorate the memory of the WW I heroes.
Although on wikipedia it is presented as being on Caraiman Peak, it's location is Caraiman Saddle, below Bucegi Mountains Plateau. Here is a picture made from the plateau.

Renee said...

Radu, thank you for the correction and nice words. I had an amazing time in Romania.