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

Romania’s Painful Birth of Freedom: Long Read

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The will of the people was inevitable, most people told us. It was building to a flashpoint, waiting for a spark. We retraced the steps of people 29 years ago to find out what were the elements that ignited the Revolution. (Some photos from this post are from the Museum of the Revolution Decmber 16-25 … Continue reading Romania’s Painful Birth of Freedom: Long Read

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

Welcome Readers

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We are making our way through Eastern Europe, discovering wonderful people who are enterprising, caring, struggling with today's changing times and yet doing extraordinary things.  We invite you to meet some of them and see some of the sites we've encountered.  The focus we've adopted, "People first, places second" is a mantra that has really … Continue reading Welcome Readers

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

Circle of Friends–Part 4: The Capital

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On the road, we headed west and south from Toulcea. After a bit of GPS only guidance, I tried to find our place on the map book and eventually found it. The countryside had gently rolling hills and flat farmlands that stretched to the horizon. Farms were bigger here with fewer houses--there were times you … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 4: The Capital