Anyone needing info on Romania?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by agape2travel, Feb 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. agape2travel
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    agape2travel Silver Member

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    My wife and I have completed 10 trips to Romania on behalf of a charity and would love to share details on this mostly undiscovered (at least to tourist) country. I will wait until someone ask but here's a warning...if you ask there will be a lot of details.
     
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  2. rjb
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    A generous offer agape2travel! Loved my trip to Romania in 2008, getting around by train & bus. Certainly found the food & drinks cheap!
     
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  3. Bob Smolinsky
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    Tip 1: don't pet the dogs.
     
  4. agape2travel
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    Actually the situation with the dogs has improved greatly over the last 10 years. When we 1st started the mission work in Romania I carried a club to protect us from the stray dogs but I don't feel the need to do so now. Romania is a lovely place to visit, especially if you like going back in time. It's almost like this country during the time of our grandparents. Very rustic ...very friendly ... very open. We have to turn down many requests for us to stop & stay with the local folks. They enjoy spending time with people. The guy on the show NO RESERVATIONS did a episode on Romania's food and it was very accurate. If you need info, I'm the guy.
     
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  5. Bob Smolinsky
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    neither do I when I go.....but some don't, especially in the eve after a few in the pub and they are thinking oh what a cute doggie.....they will leave you alone, but if you give them attention....well....
     
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  6. agape2travel
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    Good point Bob...it guess that would apply to any location ...here in the States or abroad. Happy travels!
     
  7. jbcarioca
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    Could you post some general information using your experience as a filter. We're short on information about lots of places, including Romania. We plan our first trip there later this year and would greatly enjoy an experienced outlook.

    We have traveled extensively and lived in a dozen countries or so, but never have made it to Romania. Thus, we're newbies.
     
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  8. cr34102
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    another newbie - we'll be spending a couple of days in Bucharest pre-cruise in June. thanks!

    Your thoughts on public transport/daily passes?
     
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  9. agape2travel
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    Glad to help. First let me touch on the bad news before getting to the good news. When compared to other European capitals, public transportation in Bucharest pales. There's a subway but it doesn't go to the airports. The subway does have cover the main part of downtown Bucharest and there you will find the Parliament Palace (Palace of the People) which is the 2nd largest building in the world (this is the building where Michael Jackson said "Good Morning BUDAPEST") ...a surprising good art museum ...lots of very old churches ...ruins dating back to the 1300's (Princely Court links back to Vlad the Impaler who served as the inspiration for the Dracula stories) ...Peasant Museum which shows what life was like back in the early days of Romania ...and some of the best Romanian food around. Let me know which of these you are interested in and I will send you directions. To get to the other places of interest in Bucharest you will need to use a bus, trolley or taxi. I will send you my email address and if you want info on these other places I will send it to you via email because it will be very lengthy. Just let me know what info you need.
    As far as a pass, how long will you be in Bucharest? There are several excellent passes for long stays. If you're there only for a day or two I would recommend buying individual tickets because the cost is dirt cheap. In my next post I will share ideas on day trips from Bucharest.
     
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  10. agape2travel
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    Let's talk about short day trips coming out of Bucharest. While prices in Bucharest have risen over the last decade with the spike in population (lots of people have moved to Bucharest seeking employment), the cost of travel outside of Bucharest is a real bargain. Take the subway over to 'Gara De Nord' (train station in the north) and get your tickets to Sinaia (several trains each day - express train only takes a couple of hours). Sinaia is the summer palace of the former king. In Sinia you can tour the palace with lots of great art, take a cable car ride up the mountain (excellent skiing in the winter), shop authentic Romanian shops, and enjoy a Swiss-styled village. A little further up the track you will find Brasov which has fantastic skiing 6 months in the year. Brasov is a German-sytled city. From Brasov you can take a short bus ride to Bran which is called Dracula's Castle. Vlad the Impaler (who inspired the Dracula stories) may not have ever stayed in the castle you it's a nice castle to visit. Most of these activities will cost about $5 USD each. Be sure to visit the farmer's market in Bran and purchase the cheese which is aged in tree bark. It's great! If you have the time you can also go by train to Sigasoara which is the actual birth place of Vlad. His father (Dracol) was the leader of this German garrison town. The clock tower dates back almost to Vlad's time period. You can do Sinai and Brasov in a very long day and then get back late to Bucharest or you might want to rent a room in Siani. The last time we stayed we rented this bed and breakfast for $45. We enjoyed the time with the owners. If any of this sounds interesting please post back and I will give you more details.
     
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  11. agape2travel
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    If I had two days in Romania I would spend half a day in Bucharest and then I would take a day trip out. Bucharest is suffering from over-crowding with high pollution levels, expensive hotels (leading name brands will cost $150-250 USD per night) and an ever increasing crime problem. While the public transportation, food, and cost of entertainment is inexpensive in Bucharest, the housing cost is very high. Outside of Bucharest you will not find a lot of public inner-city transportation but you will find inexpensive costs across the board. For example, an one-night stay at a nice bed and breakfast outside of Bucharest will cost between $40-60 USD. Most of the cities north of Bucharest take on a Bavarian feel with lots of medieval aspects. The Saxon influence is big in the northern half of Romania. Going west of Bucharest you will discover a strong Hungarian influence since a big part of this land belong to Hungary at one time. Imagine what it might have been like visiting Germany or Hungary back in the 1800s and you have rural Romania. Most of the work is still done with horse/mule/oxen and the people are 'country-friendly'. Let me know what you are learning toward and I will end you more info.
     
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  12. cr34102
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    What a treasure trove of information! Thanks so much - I'll need to go process this, as our choice of hotel (Radisson Blu) is set for us by Uniworld. But I think their style is to provide general info and breakfast, but leave the passengers on their own for a couple of days before boarding the ship.

    My preliminary dive in yielded Caru' cu Bere as a restaurant with English translation. Potential dinner.

    Thanks again!
     
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  13. agape2travel
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    I will have to check my files but I believe the Radisson Blu is not far from the art museum and embassy row. If so, you are in the heart of most of the downtown highlights. There's a pretzel bakery close by that dates back to the early 1800's. We often munch on these giant pretzels (no salt) for lunch. Just watching them bake up the pretzels with their giant wood fire oven is a treat. They say the oven is almost 100 years old. There's also several Bavarian restaurants and plenty of good Romanian country food restaurants. One time in Bucharest we ordered what my grandmother would have called 'hog jowls and beans'. Add the corn bread and it's southern cuisine.
     
  14. agape2travel
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    Are you flying into Romania? There isn't a train/subway from the airport to downtown so I hope the cruise line picks you up. If not, there's a bus (but it takes a long time to get downtown) or you can go with a taxi but agree to the price before you get in. Several of my friends have paid up to $50 USD for a 2 hour trip in a taxi that should have taken 30 minutes.
     
  15. agape2travel
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    The Cara cu Bere restaurant (name means beer cart) is a great place. At night they have musicians that play for you. Our favorite item to order is the 'mix grill' which features several grill meats and veggies. The 'mici' is a spicy sausage that's good. If the Radisson is the one I think it is (I will have to check my files), the restaurant is not far away. The sarmale is stuffed cabbage or grape leaves and it's great. The mamaliga is similar to wet cornbread and is served with sour cream. Very tasty!
     
  16. agape2travel
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    Do you have the address for the Radisson? Is it 'Calea Victoria'? If so, it's the hotel I'm thinking about.
     
  17. agape2travel
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    If you like modern art/sculpture ...then check out Brancusi @ the art museum in Bucharest. Brancusi (I may be spelling his name wrong) is one of the greats from the 20th century.
     
  18. agape2travel
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    There's a tour of the Palace of Parliment (also called the People's Palace). It's the 2nd largest building in the world. Limited art but a pretty place to visit. It's a 20 minute walk from the Cara cu Bere. The cost in 2007 was $4 USD.
     
  19. agape2travel
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    The Princely Court dates back to the days of Vlad the Impaler. It's fairly close to your restaurant in the Uniri area. Very interesting if you into ancient things.
     
  20. agape2travel
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    Your hotel in Bucharest can get you an appointment for the Cotroceni Palace. It's a taxi ride outside of Bucharest and very cool! Just make sure you agree to the taxi price before getting in. Drivers can rip you off!!!
     
  21. agape2travel
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    By the way, I'm writing these posts without the benefit of my files so the spelling of names may be wrong.
     
  22. agape2travel
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    The pollution and traffic of Bucharest reminds me of Athens. If you have the time, take that day trip! You will enjoy the Romanian countryside. Train travel is inexpensive and the express trains are modern and quick. Just stay away from the ancient 'personel' trains-slow and old.
     
  23. agape2travel
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    There's not a language problem in Bucharest for those of us who speak English. Since a majority of their movies/TV is in English, most people over the age of 10 (when the children start learning a 2nd language) and under the age of 50 can speak English.
     
  24. cr34102
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    How Great! I learned of "Bird in Space" but never realized he was Romanian.

    That's the Radisson Blu address. The cruiseline picks us up at the airport - we're fine in Western Euope but our confidence drops in Central/Eastern.

    Wow I'm really getting excited for our trip!

    Pickpockets/gypsies as much of a problem as we read?
     
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  25. agape2travel
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    Here's a JOKE: If you speak 3 languages you are trilingual. If you speak 2 languages you are bilingual. What are you if you speak just ONE LANGUAGE? Scroll down for answer....





    You are an American! Laugh with me please!
     

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