A New Circle Begins, Part Two

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This is our last post from Romania. For all the consternation I went through renting a car from a friend of Cornel’s, we had grown to like the little diesel Volkswagen Golf. Along the way, we had anthropomorphized the compact as "Alf" (those were the letters on the license plate). He had carried us up … Continue reading A New Circle Begins, Part Two

A New Circle Begins, Part One

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Some stories seem to unfold in a neat, chronological path. Others do not lend themselves to that form easily. And this is one of them. While the circle of our trip arced through Marginea passing by father's birthplace, and locating, finally, Gheorghe, Leonica, Mariaora, and Gavrila, and closed, we still had one day to return … Continue reading A New Circle Begins, Part One

Circle of Friends–Part 8: Cluj, City of Contrasts

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Cluj, City of Contrasts We drove north to Cluj to visit the newlyweds, Adrian and Carmen. Cluj is an ancient Roman settlement. The word Cluj is derived from a word meaning basin, ravine or river valley.  The official name is Cluj Napoca, the latter part added during the Soviet era, suggesting the name of the … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 8: Cluj, City of Contrasts

Circle of Friends-Part 7: Sighisoara and the Citadel

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We left Bran, Fundata Valley and Braşov knowing that nothing could ever match the magic of that experience, but... When we entered the Citadel of Siguişoara (pronounced Sigi-show-rra) it seemed like they had given us a special E Ticket to Disneyland. Not just the Matterhorn, but to the to The Magic Kingdom itself. Maria had … Continue reading Circle of Friends-Part 7: Sighisoara and the Citadel

Circle of Friends–Part 6: The Demons at the Carpathian Gate

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On to Braşov, but not for long... Packed, had a quiet breakfast, and said goodbye to Aron and headed north. It is always sad to think that you will never see someone with whom you've made friends. Even with road construction, we got to Braşov in just under an hour. We found our way through … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 6: The Demons at the Carpathian Gate

Circle of Friends–Part 5: Halloween at Bran’s Castle

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Bran and Fundata Valley This was supposed to be a whimsical stop-off at the supposed setting of Dracula's castle, (based on the real more-gruesome-than-fiction warrior, Vlad "The Impaler" Tepeş) which just happened to be on Halloween. We were headed up from the flatlands of Bucharest, through the gates of the Carpathians, into Transylvania.  Then we … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 5: Halloween at Bran’s Castle