03 octobre 2014

Victoria v Viktor & Victor

(Photo source) US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs Victoria Nuland gave a scathing speech from Washington today, criticising leaders in Central and Eastern Europe who take advantage of NATO and EU membership and 'ignore democratic values while protecting fellow corrupt politicians from being held accountable'. The speech coincides with one of Romania's most mind-boggling corruption scandals in modern history, the "Microsoft affair", involving at least nine former ministers as well as current Prime... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 20:05 - Commentaires [10] - Permalien [#]

20 septembre 2014

La Multi Ani Bucureşti, oraşul meu iubit

[Gheorghe Leahu: Popa Nan, source] In 1459, 555 years ago today, Bucharest first appeared in a written document. 555 years.... Bucharest became Romania's capital in 1862. This, from Wikipedia: "Its eclectic architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical), interbellum (Bauhaus and Art Deco), Communist-era and modern. In the period between the two World Wars, the city's elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris" (Micul Paris). Although many buildings and districts in... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 12:14 - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]
18 septembre 2014

Say NO to a church in Bucegi Natural Park!

(Photo source) The possible building of a church in Bucegi Natural Park, a protected zone, on 3000m2 of land 'donated' (note the inverted commas) by the Busteni Local Council in 2012, has caused massive public outcry - and rightly so. Zero public debate, zero respect for the opinion of the people of Busteni, and very little legality involved from what I've been told. PLEASE add your name to the online petition (don't forget to check your e-mail inbox or spam to confirm) of over 15,000 signatures and visit the FB page Spune NU... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 16:47 - Commentaires [2] - Permalien [#]
16 septembre 2014

Remus Pricopie: what the fox?!

(Image source) I didn't think a bloop from a Minister of Education could get much dafter than Marga's Transylvanian radiator, but yes... the current seat-holder, Remus Pricopie, has surpassed it, rewriting the founding legend of Rome. Before I go on, here's a little background: The statue of the Capitoline Wolf (Lupa Capitolina or Lupoaica, as she is now known) nurturing Romulus and Remus (see story HERE) was presented to Bucharest by the city of Rome in 1906 for the 'General Exhibition of Romania', held to mark three important... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 16:27 - Commentaires [2] - Permalien [#]
05 septembre 2014

A temple of mysteries & a monastery of flowers, Șinca Veche

50km from the city of Brașov at the foot of the Făgăraș Mountains lies a cave so steeped in mystery and strange phenomena that it is rather difficult to describe. The Rupestral Monastery of Șinca Veche (or The Temple of Șinca Veche), also known as 'The Temple of Fulfillment', 'The Temple of Wishes', 'The Temple of Fate', 'The Cave Monastery' or just plain 'Grotto', is a national monument and, on this very spot, the Divine Liturgy was served for almost a quarter of a millennium. Why so many names? Well, because nobody really knows when... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 18:47 - Commentaires [5] - Permalien [#]
05 septembre 2014

At the entrance to Peştera there is a verse...

Last weekend whilst exploring the breathtakingly beautiful village of Peștera, Bran, we came across a statue with a sculpted plaque: "Tu Ghicuta urci Vladusca Pan’ la Pietrele lui Crai Sa dai branza cea mai grasa, Dar in coji de brad s-o dai Afle varul secelean C-a facut-o un pesterean…" This lovely, simple monument in stone overlooking the magnificent Bucegii is dedicated to the shepherds of the Bran-Moeciu area with an extract from "Legenda Branului" by Ion Duicu. It is an epic poem of 2,578 verses recounting the Bran Legend he... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 15:46 - Commentaires [5] - Permalien [#]

08 août 2014

10 years porridge for Dan Voiculescu - and a lot more besides

(Image source) BREAKING NEWS: Romanian businessman, politician and media mogul Dan Voiculescu has been sentenced to 10 years (the maximum under the new penal code) in prison for money laundering and fraudulent privatisation in the Food Research Institute (ICA) affair. The verdict is final and comes after six years of judicial wrangling, delays, political hoodwinking, theatricals and media attacks on the judiciary. Given his age and the Romanian law on old farts being jailed, he will be eligible for release after serving 1/3 of his... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 15:15 - Commentaires [7] - Permalien [#]
07 août 2014

The origins of pălincă and a little more...

(Image source) The other evening, I was having dinner with friends and at some point, we got onto the subject of pălincă. As you do. When you're drinking it. "Do you know the origin of pălincă?" Radu asked me. I thought I did in terms of the 'firey plum brandy claimed by the Hungarians as theirs which angers Romanians no end.' "Nope," said Radu. "Pălincă comes from the word pelin, a plant - and the original drink was made from this." Da? I didn't know. This calls for a blog, I thought, always a sucker for lesser-known facts. And... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 18:30 - Commentaires [10] - Permalien [#]
07 août 2014

Domeniul Stirbey, Buftea

In 1850, Barbu Dimitrie Stirbey, ruler (voivode) of Walachia (1849-1853 and 1854-1856), began the building of his palace at Buftea as a stronghold with its two exit tunnels should a quick get-away have been deemed necessary. Such were the times. It was completed by Stirbey's son, Alexandru (1837-1895), in 1863. But it is Alexandru's son, Barbu (married to Princess Nadèje Bibescu in 1895) who really gave romantic atmosphere to the palace through his gentlemanly escapades and historic adventures and, when I visited Buftea two weeks... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 08:48 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
02 août 2014

Dumitru Furnica-Minovici, his museum and his famous uncles

(Image source) Dumitru Furnica-Minovici (1897-1982) was born into an influential Aromanian family legendary for their crusade in the name of Romanian medicine. His Brasovian father was a merchant and his mother, Elena, one of the sisters of the famous Minovici brothers. Dumitru had three fascinating uncles: The first, Mina (1857, Braila-1933, Bucuresti), founded the world's first morgue in Bucharest in 1892 (imagine the conversations at dinner!) and created the term "legal medicine" as a way of organising research, teaching and... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 15:59 - Commentaires [4] - Permalien [#]