20 septembre 2012

La Multi Ani, Bucuresti ... si... a fost o data

(Gheorghe Leahu: Popa Nan - Original source) La multi ani, Bucuresti! Today sees 553 years since Bucharest first appeared in a written document dated 1459. 553 years.... An old lady in some ways and a young one in others, depending on your comparisons I suppose. 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... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 14:26 - Permalien [#]

08 septembre 2012

Visarion 8 nu mai este...

(Photo: Alexandru Mitache) The (once) beautiful villa, casa Solacolu, on the corner of bd. Lascar Catargiu and str. Visarion is no more... It has stood waiting for the 'coup de grace' since 2001 and managed to remain as upright as it possibly could despite the appalling, willful neglect causing at least half of its illegal disintegration, the constant theft of just about everything in it (no one has ever been charged) and two terrible fires (no one was ever charged for those either, funnily enough...) in as many days. Today,... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 14:19 - Permalien [#]
01 septembre 2012

Ma dusei sa trec la Olt... in Moieciu de Sus :o)

My month in Romania came to an end far too quickly and I am back at base having emptied the last dregs of my suitcase, feeling rather forlorn. To my CDs I scrambled for some audio-therapy and found this lovely (and amusing) old folksong, Mă dusei să trec la Olt sung by Maria Tanase, which took me straight back to the country of my heart in the wink of an eye and three wonderful days spent in Moieciu de Sus, Transylvania. One of my dear friends sings in a band. He has a great voice and a huge repertoire, amongst which is this one he... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 15:06 - Permalien [#]
31 août 2012

Mogosoaia with an exceptional guide :o)

For this post, I am handing you over to my own marvellous personal guide, Silvia Colfescu, with whom I visited Mogosoaia on Tuesday. I have been there many times and thought I knew it well, but of course, I did not. With her anecdotes, stories and tales of the past, the bricks came to life, the arches became all the more romantic and the architecture all the more meaningful. To share what I have discovered with you, here are some excerpts from her marvellous (and frankly, incomparable) book "Bucharest Guide", also available in... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 16:59 - Permalien [#]
31 août 2012

Barajul Bicaz, Neamt county: In Memorium

The Izvorul Muntelui barrier lake (35 km/33sqm), or Bicaz Lake, is Romania's largest artificial lake situated on the higher course of the Bistrita river in Neamt county. It was formed as a result of the Bicaz hydro-energetic dam (127m high) and for its construction (with the plans of the well-known engineer Dimitrie Leonida) to get underway, more than 170,000m3 had to be excavated. It is used to generate hydroelectricity to the Bicaz Stejaru hydro-plant. Before the construction of the dam (1950–1980), originally named the Vladimir... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 14:16 - Permalien [#]
24 août 2012

Judge not and be ye not judged...

(Photo: Pestera Sf Teodora, Sihla - source) Before I leave Bucharest for another lovely few days in the mountains, I have two stories to tell you. Please scroll down to see the Romanian translation by Mihaela. Thank you very much indeed. With all my heart, I do not wish to upset anyone or make any kind of judgement. I wish only to understand and be understood, and hope that my readers will shed some light on two situations in which I was placed recently because of the religion into which I was born. A little background first: I was... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 14:06 - Permalien [#]

15 août 2012

Ploua, ploua, ploua...

Driving along the banks of the Milcov, we could not believe our eyes. It was as dry as Arizona (see photo left). What had once been a playful, healthy river a decade ago is a stretch of dry earth today, barren rocks, a lunar landscape. Indeed, water still flows at the Cascada Putnei, but a third of what used to crash and thunder across the rocks now makes its way lazily to its destination. And the Putna river is empty, too. Vrancea has had two months of unforgiving sun without a drop of rain. The municipalities have cut off the water... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 13:34 - Permalien [#]
15 août 2012

Tarnita and the friendly bees

How to put the experiences of the last five days spent in Moldova into words. Perhaps a story or two over the next few posts will suffice. During my stay in Vrancea, we climbed the highest hill in the region, Magura - such breath-taking views, such colours, such richness - and on the way back fell upon a monastery hidden away on a dirt track that one could never have spotted from a main road. Tarnita is run by nuns and one of the most peaceful, inspiring places I have ever set foot in. Out of the car we got to investigate. Anyone... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 12:17 - Permalien [#]
08 août 2012

Ada-Kaleh: The lost island of souls

(Image source) Yesterday, I went to Muzeul Taranului Roman for a superb exhibition on the beautiful lost island of Ada-Kaleh, victim of the Iron Gate dam's construction in 1971. I must confess that I'd never heard of it. I was frankly shattered by what I discovered there - the total elimination of a little corner of paradise, lives lost, the forced displacement of a community, pain and dramas that simply cannot be expressed for only those displaced know how it is. Ada-Kaleh, now submerged under the waters of the Danube, lives on in... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 14:12 - Permalien [#]
22 juillet 2012

Rhapsodies, ballads, horas, tarantellas - and seeing Romania as God intended

There are few things more soothing than shutting one's eyes and drifting off, bewitched by the spells of Enescu, Dimitrescu, Porumbescu and Negrea, to the swirling mist-enveloped mountain peaks, endlessly rolling hills, babbling brooks, joyous waterfalls, villages trapped in time.... Of course, the most famous piece known by everybody (even those who don't like the classics) must surely be George Enescu's lovely Rapsodia Romana (op.11 in A major), Nr.1. Enescu wrote two Romanian Rhapsodies (HERE'S the second) which are probably his... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 23:56 - Permalien [#]