După primul articol şi după cum am promis, aveţi aici PRIMA PARTE a articolului despre experienţa din România a lui John Albin. 🙂 Pe cuvântul meu de onoare că nu i-am dat bani să vorbească aşa de frumos despre România.
Desigur că va urma şi o a doua parte a acestui articol deoarece e fizic imposibil să povesteşti despre ţara noastră dragă într-un singur articol. Impresii despre oameni, mâncare şi altele veţi găsi în următorul articol. Până atunci, ENJOY!
„After having a little time to rest and recuperate from travelling, I am finally getting around to writing about my wonderful trip! Let me begin by saying what a wonderful experience it was to visit Romania! I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent abroad and definitely wish that it could have been more than 12 days. Rather than recite my itinerary for the whole trip, I’ll just mention a few notable things I had the opportunity to experience and my general impression of everything else.
I mentioned in the first article that I would be visiting both the Bran and Peles Castles. As luck would have it, I was also able to visit Rasnov Castle and see Pelisor Castle. I saw Bran Castle first, then Rasnov, followed by Peles and Pelisor. Each is different and amazing in its own right and I would suggest seeing them in the same order I did so as not to take away from the experience. Both Bran and Rasnov Castles are significantly older structures than Peles and one might not appreciate Bran or Rasnov as much after seeing the exquisite detail and design of Peles. I was amazed at each for different reasons: Bran for its size and solidity (some walls are 4 ft thick!), Rasnov for its amazing location perched atop a hill looking across the plains and down on the city, and Peles for its intricate designs and outstanding attention to detail. If I were to suggest only one castle to see, I would recommend Peles in a heartbeat. I was amazed not only by the architecture which borrowed from many different nations, but also the incorporation of so many modern features in the original design that are still in use. Electricity, central heat, central vacuum, even an electric sliding skylight in the main hall were all used in Peles and all still work. I can’t accurately describe the intricacies and incredible architecture of the castle, so I won’t bother trying but will simply say that it is something that really should be visited while in country. Simply fantastic.
After that last paragraph, I realize that my vocabulary is lacking when it comes to adjectives and adverbs with a positive meaning and apologize right now for doubling and tripling up on some of them. To be honest, it isn’t really my fault that I enjoyed Romania so much. Perhaps I should invest in a thesaurus to make the rest of this article more interesting so “great”, “wonderful”, “amazing” and the like are not words that spawn contempt due to over-familiarity.
One very breathtaking experience was riding a “telegondola” to the top of the mountains to see the “Babele”. The ride itself was amazing, traversing such rugged terrain in such little time and swinging slightly the whole way up. We knew it was going to be cold at the top and did dress as warm as possible, though I think a pair of snowshoes would have been incredibly helpful. The view from the top was spectacular and the wind and cold combined to make it breathtaking as well. If the ride up was amazing, the ride down was something even better. I say something because I do believe I have run out of descriptors. Seeing the entire town laid out below and the mountain made it incredibly picturesque, which was quite apparent as nearly everyone on board had their camera out and clicking away (myself included). 😀
I also was able to see a good deal of the countryside on the train between Timisoara and Brasov, from the flatter farmlands to the rolling hills to the mountains near Brasov. As I’m sure most Romanians know, the trains aren’t exactly built for speed and took 10 hours. 😉 My crossing of the Atlantic took less time than Timisoara to Brasov. :)) A few things that stood out to me seeing it all for the first time: everything is so GREEN. The grass seemed to grow everywhere and stay at a nice height making the countryside very pretty. I was a bit taken aback at the amount of litter in areas, especially in places that would otherwise be incredibly beautiful. I know it was almost all near major roadways or the tracks, but it seemed so out of place in what is such a pleasant land otherwise. I also know that it only takes a few careless people littering to spoil a beautiful setting and I don’t put it on the people of Romania as a whole. I was also a bit shocked by the amount of electric wires that are above ground and the routing. I wouldn’t say that most American electric wires are buried, but the above ground ones are usually fewer in number per pole. Also, in a few places I saw the wires with a tree branch growing up through them, this shocked me a bit as the tree would have been trimmed in the US. On a lighter note, seeing all the villages as we passed them on the train were very quaint and seemed to be frozen in time when viewed from a distance. Most with a uniform building code of same color walls and roof to make the entire village match. Although in some villages there didn’t seem to be a code and bright and vibrant colors seemed to dominate the options used by the owners. It wasn’t unpleasant by any means, just different than what I am used to with primarily earth tones being used for paint, etc… 🙂 It was a bit reminiscent of certain areas of Florida where bright, vivid colors are the norm.
I definitely enjoyed the feeling you get seeing so many older buildings still in use and the history of the country. After stepping inside many places, that feeling changed to surprise when seeing how they had been either retrofitted with modern appliances or completely renovated. In certain instances the exterior of the building wouldn’t resemble even a fraction of what was on the inside and the effect was rather shocking (in a good way). The historic buildings coupled with the cobblestones and narrow streets made Timisoara a very charming city. The parks were all hidden so well that I never would have known such large, untouched pieces of land could have still existed in the busy city. It made them seem even more special for being so hidden, even though the natural feeling of the park itself made each special. I think my favorite park was the one behind the Orthodox Cathedral and bordering the canal. Partly because of the location, near the simply amazing Cathedral, but also because of its atmosphere. It was fairly bright while still being quite wooded, and this had a very pleasant effect. Returning to the Cathedral, which merits mention on its own, it was a spectacle in itself that was truly awe inspiring. I had seen pictures before but didn’t quite grasp how simply massive and detailed it really is. Standing easily 2-3 times taller than the surrounding mature trees, it really is an iconic building in the city and always made me turn to look at it whenever possible.
Realizing that I have rambled on quite long enough about locations and buildings, I will wrap up this section and continue with other topics in “Part 2”. 😉 From its varied terrain to historic and fantastic buildings, Romania really does have a lot to offer. For me, Romania is worth the visit for its architecture and geography alone. 😀 Fortunately, there were many other enjoyable things about Romania that I will mention in the next segment.”