duminică, 30 septembrie 2012

Myths, legends and facts about Dracula

Bram Stoker's book "Dracula" is purely fiction, nevertheless based on some historical truths. Personally, I was first shocked and hurt by the book, and its references, but nowadays as a travel guide I find it very useful for promoting the Romanian tourism.
Vlad Tepes Dracula, a scupture from his birthhouse, which is nowadays a good restaurant in Sighisoara.

Those undesired references to Transilvania and Romania turned to be very good for having some fun. There are some places in Romania who had nothing to do with Vlad Tepes "Dracula" during Middle Age, but nowadays exploit its legend and organize an excellent marketing for it (e.g. Bran Castle, Fantanele Castle on Borgo Pass, Snagov Monastery etc).
Medieval Weapons, contemporary with Vlad Tepes Dracula, as exposed in  Restaurant Casa Vlad Dracul

The true facts in brief: Vlad Tepes Dracula was born in Sighisoara and ruled in the Romanian Valachia. Nowadays his birthhouse became a restaurant, where is also possible to see a sculpture of the cruel ruler, together with some Medieval weapons. While his father ruled Vallachia he has been send to Istanbul, as a guarantee for a good behavior to the protecting Ottoman Turks. There he learned a lot about the Turkish language and culture, but started to look his expedition in Istanbul as a captivity, hating the Turks to dead.
The Myth of Dracula is an excellent opportunity for having some fun

Later, during his main reign of 1456-1462, based on his natural born addiction to violence and his hate against Turks, he managed to do 100000 victims, most of them Turks. As an observation, the number is perhaps exaggerated (probably doubled or tripled) and the local political enemies have not been spared.Most of them falled through impalement, his favorite torture and execution method. He choosed probably this method, because he knew what a disgrace is for a Muslim perishing in this manner.
Eating in Dracula House is always an event

Starting from these facts, the book of  Bram Stroker tell the story of the count Dracula moving from Transilvania to London, and being addicted to blood and violence. Simply fiction, of course, but a good start for learning much more about Romania indeed. It even happened in Dracula castle from Piatra Fantanele on Borgo Pass, that a tourist complained about Dracula pawing her breast. I tried to explain her that Dracula is dead centuries ago, but it was useless!

I have tried to select all the places significantly tied to Dracula in Transilvania and Romania, and proposed a few interesting tours in Transilvania and Romania. Be sure to use this long hot Romanian Autumn, which is really fantastic.

vineri, 28 septembrie 2012

Romania saw from Switzerland

I had the wonderful opportunity to guide a group of tourists from Swiss, unfortunately only during their last day of stay, coming from the company Twerenbold and on behalf on Karpaten Tourism.  It was a big pleasure and a deep honor assisting all these people in discovering Romania, and working together with the driver Paul Schmidt.
The Swiss group had the wonderful opportunity to discover Romania in Autumn, which is a natural painter

How is Romania saw from the Alps, from upthere? The Swiss tourists coming to Romania whose guide I was really enjoyed the stay. They saw a good part of Romania, and was very interested for the painted churches (all of them were practising catholics, and insisted for visiting 8 Monasteries from Bucovina. They loved it very much, they sung together with the nuns in a few monasteries, and admired the paintings. We concluded again, that between the Orthodox and the Catholic beliefs are not so big differences, well known as the Florentin points). Amazing and touching to discover once more, that all the things who unite us are much more important than the little things which separate us. The belief is almost the same, and the differences are only in details.
The painted church of Voronet is a masterpiece, and was very good appreciated by the religious tourists coming from Switzerland 

They visited also Sibiu/Hermannstadt and stayed long in its wonderful Medieval centre, with its Citadel and Liars' Bridge, putting their partners to the difficult test of sincerity! Unfortunately, no one was able to pass that test, and we had therefore very tensed moments. The best shape and disposition has been regained in Cluj-Napoca/Klausenburg, before the riding statue of Matei Corvin, a brave and controversial ruler of Transilvania (Romanians say he was a Romanian, but the Hungarians say on the contrary, he was Hungarian!). Amazing, but true, and very interesting in a city still hosting an important Hungarian minority (20 % of the total population of 400000 inhabitants). Cluj Napoca is very beloved by the Hungarians due to its Inteligentsia. Cluj Napoca is a wonderful example of Medieval flair combined with urban Easteuropean charm. Best place for a city break.
Cluj Napoca is surely one of the Romania's most beautiful and interesting cities
From Cluj to Oradea was a light shot for driver Paul Schmidt, as we were supposed to stay in Hotel Continental Forum****, the biggest and the best from Oradea! Good opportunity to systematize and evaluate the knowledge of the tourists about Romania, who still has many things to be discovered. Thus, the sad farewell turned into an opened invitation.
Hotel Continental Forum from Oradea, on the banks of Crisul River

joi, 27 septembrie 2012

The fortresses from the heart of Transilvania

Transilvania is an important consisting part of Romania, a little bigger than the third of the country.Very nice, very civilised and western oriented, a proud of all Romanians.
The Carnival in Sighisoara is probably the best place for starting the discovery of Medieval  Transilvania

It has a trembled history, and in Middle Age has been ruled by Hungarians, who brought German Saxons for help in organizing and defending the country. The German Saxons (Franken actually) build every settlement on the same blueprint: a central citadell consisting of a fortified church, where all the people should withdraw and fight against the invaders during long sieges.
Eating in Dracula house is nowadays a peaceful event, who doesn't scare anyone. But all the meals are garlic based, in order to keep the bad spirits away.

In the middle of the Romanian Transilvania there are 700 very well preserved medieval sites, forming an amazing UNESCO inheritage . With a group of Norwegian tourists lead by Kjell and F1 driver Oivind from PR Norge and on behalf of Karpaten Turism  we drove four days long to discover the forgotten Paradise from Middle Age.
The man in this photo is Serge Gunnar ( a sultan with Asian and African ancestor.  A fine friendly man, whose friendship I am honored to have became)

Sighisoara is doubtless the peak of all Medieval fortresses from Transilvania. Because the town only counts 20000 inhabitants, the life even today is organized around the citadell. There are many Medieval Festivals to the delight of  the tourists and locals. It is normally in Sighisoara walking on the streets in the complicated evening gowns from Middle Age. In the Dracula house there is today an excellent restaurant, making sensational dinners with lots of garlic, specially for avoiding the bad spirits. From the town very many hotels and restaurants we made the best possible choice: Binder Bubi *****, which was an excellent host and we regretted very much when we had to leave.
Norwegian tourists in the citadell of Sighisoara; you can see the  clock tower

But only with the consolation to stay three days long in Binder Bubi Medias ****! Still try to understand this difference of one star, and did not succeed, as this hotel has the same high quality standards from Sighisoara, and even a swimming-pool, which is not available in Sighisoara. Medias is twice so big than Sighisoara, but has not such a tourist circulation. Or, maybe, being so big, the touristic circulation is not so obvious! Every little streed from Medias was in reparation, the town very dusty and dirty, but worths a long stay! From Medias we visited also Sibiu, gone to a winetasting in Ganesti/Seuca. It is to mention in Binder Bubi, both Medias and Sighisoara, the house wine, which is very good and only costs 18 RON ( no matter if the Red Cabernet or the White Sauvignon! With your permission Serge Gunar, and of all ladies around you)

A good friend and a good driver was always Oivind; here working in the yard of Binder Bubi Sighisoara.

marți, 25 septembrie 2012

Winetasting in Tarnave vineyard

On the nice road between Medias and Targu Mures, and namely in Ganesti/Seuca, I have been honored to take part on a profesional winetasting, organized in Butoiul Sasului. Our very friendly hosts have been Mr Janos Jancsi and Ildiko Molnar.
Serge Gunnar Nguyen and his friends.

I did not come alone, but with my group of tourists from Norway who were visiting Romania, special mention and thanks to their guide Kjell and excellent busdriver Oivind!
Norwegian tourists taking part to a profesional winetasting. They were speaking very much after the fourth sort of wine!

This vineyard of Tarnave, in the very heart of Transilvania, is a little cooler than other Romanian vineyards. Consequently, the harvesting must be made in the late Autumn, not earlier than the half of October. This year was very good for wine production, with a dried summer and a long warm Autumn. Along many times, the most appropriate grape varieties have been proved to be Italian Riesling;  Sauvignon; Muscat Ottonel (very important: they are all exclusively white wines. The Reds need a moo soil, which is not possible to be found here.) The over mentioned varieties are well adapted to resist and fight against diseases, long drought periods, long chilly winters. They give in average a production of 8-10 tones/hectare and reach a net sugar content of 210-270 gr/kg, resulting excellent wines with 12-13 degrees alcohol. We tasted all these wines, and they have been very convincing, as explained by Mr Jancsi. Of course, the sweet light Muscat Ottonel has conquered the heart of our ladies, and especially the happy group around Serge Gunar (the sultan of the harem obviously!).
This blessed bus has been our wheel hous for 6 days in Romania, and his driver  Oivind our guardian angel!

But we proved also a much more appealing for the men Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a red wine, made from grapes who are purchased from other regions of Romania, e.g. Recas. Neither the Red, nor the Muscat Ottonel was available to purchase, and thus the big hit was the Italian Riesling.

duminică, 23 septembrie 2012

Romania seen by  a Norwegian group

A few enthusiastic tourists from Norway, during a more extensive Europe tour, reached also Romania as a main destination. The trip has been excellent organized by PR Norge, the permanent guide Kjell Hagberg and the bus driven by Oivind Brenhagen, and I was on behalf of Karpaten Tours.
Autumn, the painter of the nature, was an excellent time for visiting Romania

It was for me a big honor and a deep pleasure guiding this group in Romania, and helping them to discover this exotic unknown country for many of them. If they felt so good as I did, surely means that they must come back, as they repeatedly promised.
The F1 driver Oivind at work, while we the other were most on vacation!

I will never forget their excellent behavior, I wish I have only tourists like these.  The Romanian adventure started in Oradea, in a hotel chosen by Kjell (he knows so many thing about Romania, much more than I do) and took place in a wonderful Autumn, probably the best season for visiting Romania, due to the many colors all around (Autumn is the best painter, not only in Romania). Due to the cooperative staff from Restaurant Ramada Oradea we managed to improvise a frugal lunch in 15 minutes, which was a good performance. Good start indeed. The people were very impacient waiting for me due to the introduction of Kjell and Oivind, excellent team players.
The organizer guide Kjell , impressed by the carnival in Sighisoara

The tourists have been very happy discovering a clean, nice, smiling Romania during 6 days of an excellent structured program, made by Kjell himself. We taste together many of the good local wines, and they enjoyed mostly the Riesling! But also Muscat Ottonel and the red Cabernet Sauvignon had their fans.

I assisted them to discover a colorful Romania, with his popular dancers and singers, with Dracula, with the imperial guard in Alba Iulia. The visited area, middle of Transilvania, is one of the Europe's best preserved medieval sites, also nominated as UNESCO heritage, contains 700 citadels.  But there are still some other landscapes to be discovered, very soon I hope.
Visiting Dracula House, nowadays a restaurant, was much more relaxing than we thought first!

I wait some comments from Norway for this post.
A part of the Norwegian group to the wine tasting
And the other part, fortunately you can't hear them talking! Because after tasting 4 sortiments of wine they spoke a lot! 

marți, 11 septembrie 2012

A Romanian Succes Story

I don't wanna show you Romania only through my eyes, you won't believe me. I agree, and that's why I wanna introduce you another person, who is maybe more entitled to speak about Romania and the Romanians.
Ladies and gentlemen, Pascal Brijnaert is a wine afficionado, as a man who doesn't drink wine has no chance to integer in the Romanian society, mainly in Vrancea county, one of the most famous vineyard in Romania. No kidding, he and the normal Romanians are not wine addicted, but enjoy very much a glass or two on special occasions.
Br Pascal Brijnaert is a Belgian living in Romania since 20 years.  He is a successful businessman with a natural born sense of humor and of friendship. Please observe the precious painting from his house

He first came in Romania in 1994, and grounded a company producing wooden toys, as also other wooden products, see more on http://www.fininvest.ro. Nowadays the company managed to establish on the market in its niche, surviving with 10 people only, in the conditions of a strong competition and  global crisis. He is not rich yet from this small company, but gives a good example of entrepreneurship, global marketing and management skills. The company is well equipped with state of the art machines and good team of excellent technicians.
The company Fininvest lead by Mr Brijnaert operates some state of the art machines

Much more important than that, Mr Pascal Brijnaert has excellent human contacts and speaks nowadays Romanian better than French, to the huge astonishment  of the locals, some of them even proposed him as a mayor in the town hosting his residence. He decorated his house ( which is, by the way, even in the company) with a fantastic French taste and a special care for every details. Following his born artistic inclinations, he makes donations for Romanian Painters or Musicians like Cosmin Movila or Felicia Filip. But beyond everything else, has a special sense of loyalty and friendship making him so beloved and popular even, or special, between his employees.
A team of skilled devoted people work for the company lead by Mr Pascal

About his favorite wines we've tasted during the pantagruelic feasts organized in his house, the list is long. Near a Special Edition Grand Cru Chateaux de la Loire (France), come proud some local wines: a wonderful rich Merlot from Carligele, or a special White Riesling from Mos Gurita/Jaristea.
The table will receive soon the necessary arrangement for another unforgettable party  designed by Pascal Bryjnaert for his friends.This room saw many things, but I don't tell you more, as I have the privilege to be  a friend of Mr Pascal Brijnaert 

duminică, 9 septembrie 2012

The Romanian Way of life

The most difficult thing for me, as a native Romanian living in Romania with many contacts abroad, is to speak about this country named Romania. I confess, I like this country, I love these people. If you ask me "why" I will strive to give you a reasonable decent answer. Other times, depending on my disposition, I don't love so much Romania anymore, but on the contrary.
A Romanian house to the countryside is traditionally very closed and very intimate; everyone strives to do all what he needs by himself

So, I can't rely on my my opinions. Shall I believe what the strangers I know would say, Romania is a piece of heaven. Again, some expats living in Romania have very good words about it. One important thing making Romanian so huge different comparing to other nations is the half of the population living to the countryside. They help each other, are very solidary and unit, but keep a strong intimacy inside their courtyard. And every house must be almost independent, doing all they need by themselves. Very healthy, they are totally against fast food. And this Romanian food smells and tastes otherwise comparing with everything you want!
A wedding is a perfect opportunity for three days feasting, even if not all brides are EBA, the daughter of the Romanian President Traian Basescu

 For the Romanians the food belongs rather to fabulous, than to normally physiologic needs. During the communist times there were often shortages to the basic aliments, and nevertheless appeared a lot of cooking books. It was maybe a form of resistance through culture, or a sort of black humor. The food is near humor, a major peak of Romanian survival technique. The food precedes and causes sex in a ritual way, also being able to transcend the all day in an unearthly mystical experience.
Right pairing the wine and the food is an art, but you know already a lot from it. Keep practising and search the best Romanian wines.

The big party meal once started, nothing and no one can stop it, this is the Romanian way of life! And when the right wine comes, it is really an event. The good feasts (e.g. weddings) used to last three days long with exquisite food, good wines and dancing, of course. Nowadays, this tradition goes on and Christmas and Eastern the hospitals are full of people having sick of the alimentary excess. I invite you to discover this way of life, it is worth your attention.

vineri, 7 septembrie 2012

The Romanian Dracula  Tour

The historic truth served as a base for a well known novel of Bram Stoker . There was a Wallachian ruler called Vlad Tepes (The Impaler) who was a very cruel man, his favorite execution method being the impalement. He hated the Turks and strongly fought against them, being celebrate as an athlete of Christianity and being supported even by the Pope.
Vlad Tepes The Impaler, also called Dracula, was cruel, severe, but right and fair, according to Romanian myths and legends

He had no trust in the local influent big boyars, who betrayed his father. These categories of enemies of Vlad Tepes gave him the unhappy opportunities to execute many of them. In the Romanian myths and legends, Vlad Tepes has been portrayed as a right, but severe ruler. His opened mass executions freightened even the big Sultan Mehmet II The Conqueror, coming to Wallachia to cash his tribute or kill Vlad Tepes. So, Mehmet II lost his temper and gone back, when seeing terrible scenes of impaled Turks ( a slow difficult death).

Starting from this truth, Bram Stroker's Novel made from Dracula a world symbol of horror, which is a terrible mistification. But we shall also marketing the Dracula legacy! And I gathered in this Romanian Dracula Tour everything which can remember the life and rule of Vlad Tepes Impaler.
Sighisoara is the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, and a well preserved medieval fortress

Day 1 Sighisoara in Transilvania is the birth place of Vlad Tepes The Impaler. The town of Sighisoara is even nowadays a very well preserved medieval fortress, and many buildings look in the same way they did a few centuries ago, during Tepes childhood. Stay a day there, walk and look the traces of Dracula. Wine tasting in Jidvei possible, and even probable.
The Bran Castle has many in common with Dracula  and makes a good marketing and publicity for it

Day 2 Travel to Cabana Fantanele, a mountain chalet, where Dracula used to refugiate, and Bran Castle, where you can find a torture room and the genuine atmosphere of the old times. You are supposed to eat a lot of garlic during all the day, in order to keep the Devil away (The Romanian Dracula originates from Dracu, or Devil). Not recommended for people with heart diseases, and only possible with a prescription from you Physician.
The Monastery of Snagov  hosts, according the legend,  the tomb  of Dracula

Day 3 Travel to Bucharest and visit the Monastery of Snagov, where according to the legend Vlad Tepes the Impaler was buried. This is again a mistification, he lies most probably in Comana monastery! Besides, you can visit other nice places in Bucharest or one of its wine tasting rooms.

joi, 6 septembrie 2012

Romanian gastronomic specialities

Romanian gastronomy is very rich indeed, and this is one of the many arguments for  taking  the decision to offer you exquisite food and wine tours here in Romania. The Romanian gastronomy is also not very original, due to successive  historic influences coming from neighboring Empires (Russian, Turkish, Hungarian and German).
The Gulash is rather Hungarian, no matter, you can eat exquisite Gulash in Romania

In Transilvania you can find very spicy paprika or gulash ( a tasteful spicy mix of meat pieces with sauce). In every corner you can find Kraut mit Wurst (German for cabbage with sausages!) with its local variation "Varza a la Cluj" (Romanian for " Cabage a la Cluj"). Cabbage a la Cluj is mixed with mincemeat and rice.
Varza a la Cluj pairs excellent with a red strong wine, as you can notice!

In Dobrogea you will be able to find the traces of the Turkish kitchen, mainly by the deserts like saraili and baclava! About the musaca (Romanian for Moussakka), it is much better represented Romaniawide, consisting of alternative layers of potatoes thin slices and mincemeat. You may observe, please, that the Romanians eat mainly pig meat, and there is an historical explanation even for that: during the Turkish occupation, the Turks took practically everything better, but they never enjoyed pig, as not recommended by their religion.
Baclavas are Turkish, and are very tasty.

Romanians were a few hundreds years ago mainly a shepherd people, and as a remaining they eat nowadays cheese at almost every meal. One kilo cheese costs 3 Euros, and a kilo tomatoes 0,8 Euros, and so you have a good idea for your menu if you are on a budget.
Sarmalute (  forc-meat rolls in cabbage sau vine leaves ) are present at any feast in Romania

An exquisite Romanian meal present at every meal during the feasts (Christmas, Eastern, etc) are the sarmalute ( forc-meat rolls in cabbage sau vine leaves). They are not very difficult for cook, the mix consisting of mincemeat, rice, eggs and spices, but you may have a problem while cooking, as the leaves go apart. This is a crucial test for the young girls when are just married, and many of them simply sew the leave after rolling! Which would be in your opinion the best wines for all these wines? Many combination possible, but your concrete one is opened for your Romanian Tour!
The people need to sell all this production!

A small tribute for a great wine

I lived up to now a peaceful, wonderful and intense life. I tried all the joys of this Earth life, and I deeply enjoyed it.
Among the Romanian vineyards you are kindly asked to find the Tarnave!

Above and before anything else I remember  a glass of a special wine, an old wine of Tarnave, the heart of Transilvania. It is the famous Traminer from Blaj, made in 1940-1960, following the same methods like the heavy Rieslings of Rhine, or the Alsacian wines. The taste of this wine is in a certain way the taste of Transilvania, if you allow me.I am deeply convinced, that you will understand the history of Transilvania deeper and better drinking this wine than reading  a few volumes about it.
A little piece from the Tarnave vineyard

I also had the privilege to open ( and even drink, to be honest) many bottles of exquisite Romanian wines. I can also mention the spectacular Grasa or Tamaioasa from Cotnari. Describing them requires a few pages, it is much simplier to drink it. Translating all the resulted sensations in words, enumerating the right smell or taste impulses, this is the real labor of the wine afficionado when meeting these wines. I would mention rather as a memory practise honey, wax, nuts, overiped fruits, late flowers, Eastern spices, etc-it is quite an experience!
This a product from Tarnave, a Riesling, but we may not forget the Traminer!

I was also very enthusiasthic discovering the classic wines of Minis, I became wiser from the Samburesti, and I let myself becoming tipsy and dizzy in Murfatlar.

As I enjoyed all these things, I also push you to spoil yourself with these exquisite wines. The opportunities will come for sure, you only need to stay eager and grab them.

But let's go back to my favorite Traminer of Blaj. This wine still holds a typical scent of fresh hay. This sortiment came in Transilvania at 1900 , and you can barely find it dried, only scented. Enjoy it with a shells soup, or a white Mediterranean chicken, cooked with butter and Provence herbs in a pan ( only for advanced connaisseurs).

miercuri, 5 septembrie 2012

Romanian Wine Cocktails

You must know and be aware of the wine based cocktails, as you may know as professional or simply skilled wine fan. I am also very fond of cocktails, and other mates of me here in Romania also do! We make them mainly, but not exclusively, during hot summer days, when it is not allowed to drink the wine dried or at room temperature, as the sommelier recommend!

We use here in Romania as cocktail bases natural sweet wines or sweet liqueur wines, and you must know some great wines as Porto, Madera, Marsala, Jerez, as also some other grand vins or grand cru. It is also possible to use Champagne for the cocktails, I am sure you already know this trick.  I adapted the receipes you know to the Romanian particular conditions, getting some amazing results, which I would like to share with you.
During the summer hot days it is not advisable to drink wine dried.

1. Cocktail Busuioaca
Use the following ingredients:
-ice cubes, the half of the shaker
-60 ml fresh orange juice
-30 ml fresh lemon juice
-100 ml Busuioaca de Bohotin
-1 teaspoonful of white rhum

Mix only by hand, well agitating the shaker, until you get an homogenuos drink, and add last the rhum, for a guaranteed success. The result is a long drink, tasting sweety and fruity.
Red wine based cocktail, the wine is Feteasca (girl wine). Indicated for ladies, if drunked by the men!

2.Cocktail Cotnari
-ice cubes, 1/4 of the shaker
-20 ml exquisite cognac
-20 ml Curacao orange
-60 ml Blanc Cotnari (made by VINARTE SA)
-2 traits Angostura bitter
In order to get a refreshing long drink, you only may to mix 5-6 seconds long
White wine and orange cocktail, with a lot of ice, of course

3. Cocktail Dealu Mare cooler
-ice cubes, 1/4 of the shaker
-20 ml lemon juice
-20 ml exquisite cognac
-100 ml Feteasca Neagra from Dealu Mare (dark red wine)
-complete with soda or sparkling mineral water, or even with ginger ale or lemonlike drinks ( taste matter).
Stir for 10-12 seconds long and get a long soft drink, and decorate with a lemon spiral.
Which is your poisson?

Tell me please your opinions and other receipes or secret tricks you may have.

luni, 3 septembrie 2012

Best accommodation and meals in Romania

For visiting such a nice country like Romania you need an accommodation. If you are on a business trip, or your time is short, you have the normally first choice: big luxury hotel in a big city like Bucharest, Sibiu, Iasi etc. They have good standards and strive to maintain them. Amazing, the prices for accommodation and meals are comparable with the Western Europe prices, and it is really difficult to find a good accommodation  in the peak season under 60 Euros (nevertheless, please contact me for such a delicate thing, as I can give you all the necessary insider tips).
A luxury hotel is a good solution when visiting Romania  if you are in a hurry  and not on a budget

For the meals, never forget my secret tips: you can usually find the best offer in little restaurants or inns, under the name Meniul zilei: for 3 Euros you get a good three courses menu! This is one of the things keeping Romania attractive for the professional budget travelers!
Meniul Zilei for 3 Euros is probably the cheapest way to  eat  in Romania

Another tip for a traveler in Romania having more time and not staying necessary on a budget is the accommodation in little pensions scattered all over the country, but mainly in Bucovina, Bran, Sibiu. The human contacts you can find are really amazing, as the unforgettable meals you can get ( smelling and tasting fantastic, as are mainly green products). Thus you can meat a farmer, or a craftsman or even a country teacher who will be very happy hosting you and earning also something with this occasion! In the communist times these human contacts has been banned and punished by the Securitate, but today  this is one of the blossoming industries in Romania. Finding these places is not difficult: watch after "cazare" or "Zimmer frei" in the most important touristic attractions, airports, railways etc. Even here there is a huge difference between the established pensions and the locals with some free rooms concerning the conditions of lodging and prices (between 15-40 Euros). Take all the information needed when choosing a room: go and see it, ask for the agreement from the Ministry of Tourism ( preferable) and affiliation to associations and networks, avoiding the unpleasant surprises.
A pension offers board and lodging, and very pleasant human contacts

Camping places in Romania are for sure very cheap, but overcrowded on week ends and in the peak season (July-August). Not very many, you can find them in the hills or on the Black Sea coast. The Romanian go there in mass for longer stays. Don't have big expectations from the sanitation, they are underdimensioned and not properly maintained. You have also the chance to find the wooden houses, offering a minimum comfort and a limited intimacy. For the mountains freaks looking their ways in the Carpathians, there a few chalets offering shelter. Some of them are easy reachable, other not,offering a complete isolation; mostly are closed during winter.

In Bucovina, Neamt or near Horezu the monasteries offer shelter for the pilgrim. The offer is not very wide, the little number of beds is always not sufficient. You have quiet, peace, wonderful landscape, very low prices, but don't expect to a warm welcome. And never forget the night service, which can be noisy and unpleasant for the visitors.
A floating hotel is advisable in Danube Delta.

In the Danube Delta you can find the floating hotels, offering a good lodging for good prices, as also meals. And for those who are really on a tighten budget don't forget the youth hostels, where you can find sometimes big army dormitories of 10-20 beds