Aug 272012
 

This is a guest post contributed by Camelia and Cristiana from Romania.

When my friend Nidhi Maurya asked if I want to write an article for her blog, I said why not? In fact our travelling backpacks are filled with memories of places, experiences and beautiful people. And because we liked the idea of her article “Five Pictures, Five Colors from My Celebration On The Road”, we chose the same approach, so colors and feelings will animate here a small part of Romania.

We randomly chose to start with blue. This color has a special place in the history, culture and spiritual life of Romania. Voronet is the name of the monastery dating from 1488th and preserved with dignity until today. The original shape and the interior and exterior paintings which brought it fame, the famous “Voronet blue” prevailing the frescoes is considered unique and it still remains a mystery to painters and chemists today how the unique color was not altered by time and harsh times. Located in northern Moldavia, the monastery and nuns here, welcome their visitors and those who come for spiritual retreat, with warmth, love, devotion and “intense blue”.

What makes the Merry Cemetery from Sapanta such a unique place? Merry Cemetery in Sapanta is a UNESCO monument has no way to remain unvisited for those who arrive in the land of Maramures – Oas, in north-western Romania. You do not notice the uniqueness of the place on how they made the funerary monuments: handcrafted sculptures in oak with inlaid painted epitaphs in a mixture of naive art and popular tradition of the Maramures area.

Once you visit the open air museum, 800 “cross” captivates you and you can just either laugh or at least smile of the humorous painted epitaphs which convey a significant stage of life or describe the personality of the deceased in a funny or sarcastic way. The Merry Cemetery is a place where you can approach death from a different perspective than most people who consider it an unfortunate event.

Seaside addicted … When the sun, sand, shells and sea breezes conspire to create an addiction, you have no chance to resist. This summer I spent a few days at the Black Sea, which is otherwise very blue J and at the end I left with a nostalgia from the beautiful moments spent there: morning urging you to catch a sunrise, the freedom of the days when you can be one with the sun, the sea, lost in a book or on a terrace enjoying fish specialties sprinkled with drops of good mood. Evenings which have a different smell and flavor and that you can spice them with music and dancing or walking on the beach admiring the lanterns that are floating high in the salt air of the night.

Yes, the sea is in my heart… every time I close my eyes I breathe the sea.

What is red color significance in our lives? Red = ancestral heritage = Romanian tradition, Christianity. Do not forget about traditions and origins! These impulses from our grandparents and ancestors are words expressing pride, dignity and passion. Whether one celebrates Easter or Christmas, tradition unites us all and we are all enjoying this moments with the loved ones cherishing what God left us in this world. Painting eggs is an ancient Easter custom in our country, eggs meaning life, renewal of the nature, balance and craftsmanship.

Green: And because “the grass is green, the sun’s in the sky” I can only say that “I feel my soul whistle buds” (song lyrics from a famous Romanian bands, Phoenix) when during spring and summer the nature`s green dress fill everything with green energy, full of life and joy.

“The Horses Waterfall” from Rodna Mountains, simply delights you and hearing the crystal clear sounds of water flowing at an altitude of 1,300 m, a fall of 90 m. Is a waterfall that I admired years ago, in a trip to Maramures.

But this year I felt the green somewhere closer during a weekend spent at Vatra Dornei, a tourist resort located in the north-eastern Romania, a depressions in the Eastern Carpathians – Dorna Depression. Fresh mountain air, alpine meadows frequented by flocks of sheep, beaten paths of tourists steps willing to be outdoor are just some of the green moments you actually feel and see through the eyes of your soul.

The winter sports resort is animated by enthusiasts and lovers of winter sports. We are planning to come back in Vatra Dornei this winter for skiing and snowboarding. Come winter, come!

An unforgettable holiday in a winter dream or fairy summer spent in Sovata: At an altitude of 475 m, in the Gurghiu Mountains,  Sovata has a subalpine climate with cool summers and mild winters, a climate that has a calming action on the nervous system.

During summer time, Sovata is famous for its salty lakes. The healing power of the salt water, rich in mineral resources is complete and the special qualities of the existing mud around the lakes as well. The most famous lake is the Bear Lake, a unique natural phenomenon with a high salt concentration, which increases with the lake`s depth. Another interesting feature is the temperature of the water that increases from strong sun rays, and reaches up to 60 Celsius degrees.

During winter time you can spend a day like a white fairy tale: The Ski Slopes where you can ski, and sleigh surrounded by an impressive coniferous forest! There you can serve mulled wine, hot tea, hot chocolate at the rustic chalets located at the bottom and at the top of the slopes.

Romanian cuisine is diverse and rich in flavors, colors and aromas, strongly influenced by history and foreign traditions with which the Romanians came into contact.Romanian cuisine is identified with the notion of delicious food, the smells are so inviting that even trough photographs you can feel the flavor. What individualize Romanian cuisine is that dishes are easy to cook without requiring special equipment and the ingredients are handy.

The biggest influence was the Balkan cuisine but also other neighboring peoples, such as the German, Serbian, and Hungarian. Recipes bear the same influences as the rest of Romanian culture: from the Romans came pie, the Turks brought meatballs soup and baklava, moussaka from Greeks, from Bulgaria there is a wide variety of dishes with vegetables such as vegetable stew and the famous schnitzel coming from Austria.

One of the most common dishes is typical Romanian polenta, corn flour porridge, long considered poor food but has recently become more appreciated.

Pottery, a craft for tactile sense and soul: The raw material used in pottery is particularly so-called yellow clay. Pottery is a tedious work which requires strength, talent and special knowledge therefore, pottery craft is dedicated to men, and women are just helping with decorations and designs.

The potter`s wheel is formed from two discs, one smaller and one larger, which are connected by a vertical axis. The paste of ground is placed on the top disk while the lower disc is moved by the potter in a circular motion very fast. Vessel formation requires a special technique and high working speed, so that should not be dry paste (sometimes a vessel is made in 40-50 seconds).

How can we end an article like this other than concluding that the beauty of a place, of a country, can be seen just through the eyes of one’s soul. And as an old Romanian saying says: “man sanctifies the place”.

About the Author:

Cristiana

Camelia

Cristiana and Camelia are two happy girls sharing common passions. One of these being traveling, is also the reason why they decided to write this article together. Even if professionally speaking Camelia is working in marketing and Cristiana is a final year student at an Art University(cristianamoroz.blogspot.com), traveling always brings them together trough adventures, colors, feelings and friendly people.

  2 Responses to “Colored Postcards from Romania”

  1. Nice to hear and see images from Romania. I had been to finland and had planned to visit there, but couldn’t pull it off. Nice to see the waterfalls and other sceneries as well as the snow images. The egg painting is very interesting.

    • You are always welcome to visit Romania.You should better just know before what you would like to visit or choose one region so that you can get to know the architecture, legends, traditions, and cuisine better instead of trying to see a lot of things from different parts. All the best!

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