marți, 20 august 2013

Why should you choice Romania  your favorite travel destination

There are so many reasons to make Romania as your favorite travel destinations. I will reveal them all bellow with the necessary details and explanations.

First of all, because of the people. Don't try to understand them, they are rather sensitive and emphatic, and no one can understand them. But they are really lovely, well mannered and educated, and make their guests feel like kings. Even the poorest peasant will try to help you, will invite you in his home and to dinner. Is a matter of education, of their Christianity and of national pride. They are always there for you, if necessary, ready to help.
For the nature freaks, Romania is unbeatable in some parts of it

Second, if you start thinking of your favorite kind of vacation, you are going to find it in Romania. Sometimes you must dig longer and deeper for it, but you can find it, no doubt. Ask me and ask Karpaten, the best incoming agency for any details. Here you are the most frequent tours and vacations you might looking for. Even if you can't find your specific tour, don't lose your temper, we can also tailor it for sure:
Culture freaks won't be dissapointed at all in Romania. Here one of the painted churches of Bucovina/Northern Moldavia

-Romania Tours with the highlights in Transilvania, Moldavia, Wallachia of 7 to 14 days in many different variations, even for your specific taste

-Wine and food tours. Keep in mind that Romania is a wine country, as a former part of the Roman Empire, and we developed a wine culture, similar with France, Italy and Spain. As you are a wine afficionado, you must have heard about Murfatlar, Niculitel, Cotnari and other leading Romanian vineyards.
Wine and food tours in Romania have a long tradition

-For the beach lovers, there are a plenty of pristine beaches on the Romanian Black Sea coast, and the resort Mamaia has a tremendous night life. That resort is totally comparing with Ballerman or Rio.

-For the nature freaks there are many options. One is the fantastic Danube Delta, a UNESCO natural reserve, and another the Romanian Carpathians (e.g. Fagaras, Retezat, etc)

-For the endurance sportsmen, you can climb and walk the mountains, discovering some landscapes of an untouched breathtaking beauty. For the bikers, an excellent offer you can find at Launer Reisen, Germany for more difficulty degrees.
During a Bucharest Architectural Tour you have the unique opportunity to see the world's second biggest building, build by the former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu

-About city breaks, don't miss Bucharest, Sibiu, Iasi, Oradea, Timisoara, Brasov which are really seducing and worth a visit in any season. Even the little towns have in Romania a special fantastic charm.

-The culture freaks won't be disappointed at all in Romania. There are interesting museums in every major city, there are the fantastic painted churches of Northern Moldavia or the wood churches from Maramures. There are antic ruins in Constanta, Histria, Drobeta and so much more.

And the last argument: Romania is still cheap. You can eat in some places a good lunch with 3-4 Euros (ask about "Meniul zilei"). And most important of all, Romania is very safe, as the criminals moved out in richer countries, and the police is very active.

Comparing Romania and Hungary in the friendly way

A few decades ago no one, but absolutely no one, could dream to dare comparing Romania and Hungary. It was such a silly emnity and rancour between these two countries, forced by the Geography and History to stay together, one next to the other.
Romanians and Hungarians love wine and enjoy life

I am sure than we have much more in common than one could think. The personal relations are really excellent, I am honored to have among my friends a few Hungarians, and I even managed to learn a few words. Koeszonem szepek to all normal friendly relaxed Hungarians, which are not necessary the enemmies of Romania. The only problem are the silly crazy politicians, like Jobbik, Gaudi, Vadim Tudor. With a normal relation between Romania and Hungaria they must perish for sure, they won't accept it easy! Despite the extremists of the both sides, I must say: I like Hungaria, I love the Hungarians and I am very fond of the Szeklerland! Without forgetting that I am first of all Romanian.
Oradea/Nagyvarad/Grosswardein  is a nice Romanian city, with stong traces of the Hungarian culture

There might be extremists on the both sides due to historic facts, myths and legends etc. But don't let the History separate you, allow it only bring you nearer. We have an unique chance, we are both European countries and there is a generous model between France and Germany.
Is this Bucharest or Budapest? Be very careful when doing a plane reservation!

Besides, Bucharest and Budapest are closer than one might think, similar in some directions and anyone can take one for another. 400 fans of a Spanish football team landed in Budapest, while the match was held in Bucharest. Funny, but true; unbelievable, there are people on both sides who feel insulted by this interesting error. Other, much crazier, guess a conspiracy behind.
But this the lovely Budapest, no doubt

The people are not so different after all. Romanians and Hungarians love wine and enjoy life. They like to sing and dance, they like to have a good meals, but are also hard working. There are many happy mixed marriages, most of the people from Transilvania feel to be simultaneously Romanians and Hungarians, sharing simply similar traditions of a fantastic richness. It is definitely time to stop fighting or hating just because speaking other language. Make love, not war.

I have got a warm Jo napot for all the Hungarians I know, or I still don't know, and please help me to learn other words and phrases.

duminică, 18 august 2013

The Fascinating Story of the Romanian Jews

The history of the Jews in Romania

There are unfortunately very few Jews living today in Romania. After the Holocaust, many of them fled to to the forming Israel and contributed decisively to its consolidation
Main street from Focsani, similar to other Romanian towns and cities, was full of Jewish stores

During his last years in power, the Jews have been for Ceausescu one of the best export hits, after a long series of economical mistakes. But neither Ceausescu, nor the most of the Romanian people were anti-Semite. The Romanian are tolerant, and many of the Jews  living here enjoyed this hospitality of the Romanian people. In exchange, the Jews contributed a lot to the wealth of some cities, towns and villages in Romania (e.g. Oradea, Sibiu etc). Bucharest has had a huge Jew quarter, which is still to be seen today.
The Coral Temple of Bucharest is the country's biggest sinagogue, liein in the Jewish Neighborhood

Between the WWI and the WWII almost every single town in Romania had a main street with fancy shops, and most of them were owned by the Jews. It is said, that all the clients entering a Jewish store ought to buy something, even on credit, as the wares have been good and the shopkeeper very skilled in attracting and convincing the clients.

Many doctors, scientists and intellectuals have been Jews. It has been said "one Jews, Two Romanians" in the radical circles of Romanian nationalist (we had for sure, there are silly people everywhere. Mention Garda de Fier/Iron Guard, or Ion Antonescu etc.)
The Sinagogue of Brasov, one of the many in Romania

The Jews came in Romania from many places of the world. When Bucovina stand under Austrian occupation, many Jews from Galitia were invited here. Other sources: Russia etc.

During the WWII and Holocaust the Romanians had a part of guilty about the Holocaust and mass deportations, with the excuses of foreign pressures. But many people neglected the orders, and tried to help the oppressed Jews (e.g. Raoul Sorban from Cluj Napoca). We regret nowadays the lack of the Jews in the Romanian villages and cities, and would like having them back.
The famous Restaurant Pescarus from Bucharest, an excellent relaxing place

More than 10 % of Israeli population speak Romanian. These people still love Romania, remembering the nice things of their stay here. Many of them still visit Romania regularly, have friends, connections etc (maybe some of them are becoming investors). It is very touching speaking to these people, I had this opportunity during a Romanian folcloric show in restaurant Pescarus. The Tour guide left Tulcea when she was two years old, but she is still able to speak Romanian!

vineri, 16 august 2013

Knowing your limits and going beyond them while biking in Romania

As a professional travel guide I always took care on my condition and good shape, it is simply necessary in that field. I really enjoy this job and I am very fond of it for sure. My country, Romania, is really nice and I like very much introducing it to foreign tourists coming in contact with it.
Tour manager Paul Launer, also a long range runner, is never sick or tired, and motivates the group daily with phrases from Goethe & Co

I also like very much the Romanians, they are mostly simply, not sophisticated, but well mannered and educated, normal and friendly. And I also like and enjoy my contacts with the foreigners, these cultural contacts are the salt and pepper in this job.
German Bikers in Oradea Park, before starting the big adventure. In black, first from left, Tour Manager Paul Launer

But when I have been instructed to be the travel guide of a bikers group coming from Germany over Launer Reisen, I was very balanced, even angry and scared. What if I am not going to succeed and resist? Paul Launer also asked all the normal questions, including my age, but I decided to take this adventure as a provocation. People talled me first that is a bust waiting all the time behind the cycles, and is only 20 km to ride everyday. It was really the thing I was needing and desperately waiting, and I took it, I said yes.
We also climbed on the Transfagarasan, the most spectacular Romanian mountain street, and discovered foggy peaks at 2000 metres

The ruthless reality was totally different! If I knew it, I could say no and destroy everything. We rode the bikes daily at least 100 km long, and it was specially difficult in the mountains. But not to ascensions and climbing, as you might think, but on the down hill! I always tried to keep my speed under control, and pushed heavily on the brake ( I am still a beginner, I must accept), totally different comparing to my mates, who reached unbelievable speeds, of 50 km/h and beyond. I was always the last by the down hill, as I know the roads and conception of car drivers in Romania, that's why I must keep my speed under control. On this point I never agreed with my mates, they seem to me being out of order.
Spectacular sunset in the Carpathians, a good reward for intensive efforts

A few words about my mates. The tour manager Paul Launer , a long runner and marathon runner himself, managed to make a perfect selection of people of the same kind. It was for me a big honor and pleasure making this trip with these people. Important mention: they were also two ladies participating to the trip, they were my secret hope ever since I met the group. But Renate and Longine, German Doctors, were damned good. Much better than me by far, and also better comparing with many males from the group!
The bikers mixed up with the locals Romanian, resulting a fantastic cultural change

A bike tour like this, as organized by Launer Reisen, is much more rewarding when compared to a bus tour, as we travelled throughout Romania, from Oradea to Constanta, and from Tulcea to Drobeta Turnu Severin. We enjoyed genuine landscapes, as we didn't ride on the busy main streets, but on the unbeaten paths, thus having the unique possibility to discover the simple Romanian, who is unsophisticated, not very rich, but always very happy and smiling. Unbelievable these Romanians, which are among the poorest Europeans, statistically speaking!

About the hotels, it was a good selection, and always the dinner very rich and generous. Unfortunately, after riding bike a few hours, you can't simply eat all, your body won't swallow. I hope that all the tourists are at least so happy as I am, as I gone much beyond my known limits. Thank you, Paul Launer, thank you dear mates riders!