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BajaBlanca
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[*] posted on 4-13-2022 at 06:34 PM
Romania trip


Hello everyone! We have been very busy. We had remodeling done in our apartment: remodeled the ancient guest bathroom, added a master bath and built a small office for me to handle all my projects). The result is stunning but this work meant that we had to be gone for 3 weeks so we decided to go to Poland, pick up our car and drive back to Turkey. These are challenging times in the Black Sea area but the trip was smooth sailing all the way.

The itinerary was POLAND - SLOVAKIA - HUNGARY - ROMANIA - BULGARIA - TURKEY from north to south where we live in Alanya.


Romania was so much fun! One of the towns we went to was Sibiu, which is known as the City of Eyes. No one knows why the attics have these windows. One theory is that it is a vent for heat to escape and the other is that is was a lookout during the war. They are so wonderful!











In this particular town, there were so many bakeries! I mean at least 5 per block, each one with it's specialty bread, cake or something similar to a British pastee. Ohhh soooo delicious!






One of my favorite stops was Constanta. The charm exudes from every single church, bank or business. They describe every single building's history on plaques. It makes it so easy to see what the architectural style is, who designed it and what is was in the past. Just brilliant.

We stayed at the most wonderful hotel and this was our quirky room. Right on the bottom floor with no stairs! It was called the Hotel Voila and I highly recommend it if you are lucky enough to visit this town. The rooftop breakfast room overlooks the Sea and the downtown area. Stunning views.







There is a huge Archeological and History museum which was closed the day we were there but right in front were some gravestones with the most incredible inscriptions. I hope you can read them, they are a glimpse into the past, from 2nd and 3rd century Roman graves found right there in Constanta.


















St. Peter and St. Paul Orthodox Cathedral is so beautiful!

































Bucharest is huge and boasts having the second biggest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon! Who knew??








The avenues are incredibly wide, the buildings along the main drag are positively enormous. It is said that this avenue was made to outdo the Champs d'Elysee in Paris. While they (in my humble opinion) did accomplish big, it is so sad to see so many buildings falling apart and quite dirty from pollution. Some, like this one, are regal.








The absolute best about Romanian towns is that they all have pedestrian walkways. In Bucharest i found a bakery selling pastel de nata, which is a Portuguese pastry that is oh so wonderful!









Romania was great, Constanta (right on the Black Sea) was by far my favorite city since it was so easy to navigate and literally every single building had some history written in detail on a plaque, the Roman ruins are everywhere. I love seeing history so alive.

Did not see Romas (gypsies) but then again, it was really cold. All over the country, we felt very safe.

If I could return there, I would include Cluj-Naboca and Sighisoara. I saw photos and they look amazing.

Scary moment: Our first night in Romania was just a stop on the way to Sibiu, basically an over nighter. Well, we woke up to snow! It was so beautiful BUT it was not on the agenda so we did not have snow tires. We hightailed it out and the road was slippery with ice. I think this was the 2nd time in my life that I saw snow and I was very nervous but Les is a very good, experienced driver. We climb up and up and eventually see some police who ask us to stop. We can see there is a stuck truck and they are throwing salt around the tires. We slide to a stop and I think the police did not realize that we were sliding and not braking because he wanted us to stop asap and that simply was NOT going to happen. It was scary but from there on, the road went down and the further south, the safer it got as the temperature rose.


Next time, another country!












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BajaBlanca
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[*] posted on 4-13-2022 at 06:43 PM


Some history on CONSTANTA


Constanta lies on the western coast of the Black Sea, 185 miles north of Istanbul and Bosphorus Strait (Turkey) and 99 miles north of Varna (Bulgaria).
An ancient metropolis, Romania's oldest continuously inhabited and the country's largest sea port, Constanta traces its history some 2,500 years. Originally called Tomis, legend has it that Constanta was visited by Jason and the Argonauts after finding the Golden Fleece.

Constanta - History and Archeology MuseumFounded by Greek colonists from Miletos in the 6th century BC, Tomis was conquered by the Romans in 71 BC and renamed Constantiana by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in honor of his sister.
Constanta flourished during the 13th century, when Genoese merchants dominated the Black Sea but, the city began to decline two centuries later, when it fell under Turkish rule.
During the Ottoman era its name was shortened to Constanta .

Fine mansions and hotels were built in the 19th century when King Carol I decided to revive Constanta as a port and seaside resort.

The third largest city in Romania, Constanta is now an important cultural and economic centre, worth exploring for its archaeological treasures and the Old Town's architecture. Its historical monuments, ancient ruins, grand Casino, museums and shops, and proximity to beach resorts make it the focal point of Black Sea coast tourism. Open-air restaurants, nightclubs and cabarets offer a wide variety of entertainment.

Constanta is the fourth largest port in Europe, after Rotterdam, Antwerp and Marseille.





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[*] posted on 4-13-2022 at 07:09 PM


I love all of the information that you include in your reports. At first look on a map, it looked like such a long ways! Well, it is, but not as long as I thought. Roughly 1800 miles. Did you have enough time to take your time getting back?
Did you fly from alanya to Warsaw?
Thanks for the report.





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[*] posted on 4-13-2022 at 07:56 PM


Very cool.

I worked at a company for 5 years that had an R & D center in Romania. Met lots of folks from there over the years.

Always wanted to go see it.


[Edited on 4-14-2022 by JZ]




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[*] posted on 4-14-2022 at 03:09 AM


We did take our time, kind of, since we did now know exactly when the remodeling would be done, we just had an estimate. I would easily have stayed one more day in almost every town we were in but the cost would have been prohibitive.

In total Les drove 4,500 km or 3,000 miles! I did not get behind the wheel once but I am a terrible co-pilot. I get jumpy when we take a one way street the wrong way or when Les simply stops in the middle of the road (he sees that there is no one behind us) but by the time he transmits that info, I have had a melt down. He is, mind you, an excellent driver!

We flew to Warsaw then caught a local bus to Gzicko and after that a small van to Wegorzewo where Les's brother and sister in law live. We were there by 3 pm.





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https://sites.google.com/view/bajabocanahotel/home

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.
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[*] posted on 4-14-2022 at 07:27 AM


Lots of Midwest cities sandblast marble façade buildings to remove the industrial grit.
Can you comment on inflation costs, like sunflower oil, flour, sugar, etc.




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[*] posted on 4-14-2022 at 07:45 AM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaTed  
Lots of Midwest cities sandblast marble façade buildings to remove the industrial grit.
Can you comment on inflation costs, like sunflower oil, flour, sugar, etc.


Good question, Ted.
Also Blanca, what about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the results of that in Romania and the other places you are touring in, such as the refugees pouring in?




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[*] posted on 4-14-2022 at 10:33 AM


Beautiful, thanks Blanca.

I read somewhere that the reason buildings and stadiums in the US were falling apart was because the rebar used is rusting. That's why so many Roman constructions from years ago last so long they did not use metal that rust. That may be the reason buildings in Romania are falling apart.
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[*] posted on 4-14-2022 at 11:55 AM


Quote: Originally posted by TMW  
Beautiful, thanks Blanca.

I read somewhere that the reason buildings and stadiums in the US were falling apart was because the rebar used is rusting. That's why so many Roman constructions from years ago last so long they did not use metal that rust. That may be the reason buildings in Romania are falling apart.


Roman structures that lasted until today were typically stone. Stone construction typically is more durable (longer life expectancy) than concrete.
Good maintenance can extend life of concrete. Also, for concrete durability you need to start out with appropriate mix design and proper placement… (you get what you pay for)

[Edited on 4-14-2022 by mtgoat666]




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[*] posted on 4-14-2022 at 08:21 PM


Inflation is really high here in Turkey. I imagine in Romania too. Now that we are home, I will see what is happening and report back.

We saw one busload of refugees at the Romania/Bulgaria border.

We saw busloads of Bulgarians visiting Turkey - tourists.

Marble is the material of preference here. It is everywhere. Huge slabs of mountainside missing when one drives around.

Glad you enjoyed the excursion. Still to come: Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria!





Come visit La Bocana


https://sites.google.com/view/bajabocanahotel/home

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.
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