Showing posts from June, 2014

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest Romania is an interesting city that is an eclectic mess of unfinished and ignored buildings and gardens, as well as beautiful, but copied examples of Parisien architecture. 
2000 years ago, the Romans crossed the Danube in search of gold.  Next came the Habsburgs (Hungarians), Turks and Russians.  In 1877 they declared independence from the Ottomans and Romania was formed.  Following WWII, they endured 43 years of communism until the revolution in 1989.  In 2007, they joined the EU and since, 3 million people have emigrated. 
The Romans brought the latin language with them, so rather than speaking cyrillic, like other eastern European countries, their language is slavic, similar to Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French.

The highlight here is the Palace of Parliament, built by Nicolae Ceausecu between 1984-1989.  (Un) fortunately?? he was executed December 25,1989 and never realized his dream of ranting from this balcony, looking towards the Bulevardul Unirii.  20,000 people …

Sighsoara, Transylvania, Romania

We spent the night in Sighsoara, Transylvania- birthplace of Vlad (Tepes) Dracul - the Impaler, who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's book Count Dracula.  This is the home he was born in, which is in the citadel town-

Here is the view from the citadel town-

There is a 14th century wall encircling the citadel town.  It also has 9 towers.  This is the square where the market and public executions were held-

The clock tower dates from 1280-

and its glockenspiel-

Bran Castle is Dracula's castle, although Vlad Dracul only stopped by once in the 15th century.  It dates from 1378 and is 60m high.  Dracul was the ruling prince of Wallachia from 1456-1462 and then again from 1476-1477.  His favorite way to punish his enemies was to have a dull, wooden stake carefully inserted into the anus and manipulated through the body, without touching vital organs, to exit via the mouth.  The death, obviously, was very painful and slow-

Inside the castle were many small, furnished rooms from t…


On the road again......  on our way to Romania to bush camp tonight.  Not!  Last year's bush camp has become a garbage dump so we pulled into a campground. 
This is the eastern Hungarian countryside-

Upon arriving in Romania, this man was racing his horse and cart down the mainstreet.  We won!

A typical western Romanian village- red roofs and always a church-

Stork nests tend to be in the villages and the more wires the better!

Some storks nest on chimneys of houses-

The Romanian countryside-


This particular village had numerous homes like this.  So far, it's the only village like it we've seen-

Notice the detail on the roof-

Valleys and pasture- I have only seen a cow or two but quite a few herds of sheep-

Heading east we got into a more fertile part of the country-

Looking forward to visiting Dracula's castle tomorrow and travelling on to Bucharest.

Budapest, Hungary

We are so lucky travelling with Madventure.  We have a fridge!  many charging apparatuses!  free weights!  a punching bag!  excellent and plentiful food!  Will has done a great job of putting a fantastic overland company together.  Thanks a lot!

We're in Budapest, Hungary.  Budapest is prononced Buda Pesht.  The west side of the Danube is the city of Buda and it is hilly.  The east side is flat and called Pesht.  The Austrians and Turks ruled the country forever and the borders have changed often too.  Today, Budapest has public baths and coffee, thanks to the Turks and beautiful architecture, thanks to the Austrians.  
Hungary lost WW1 and were allies with the Germans in WW2 but controlled by the Russians.  They suffered through communism for 45 years.  In 1956, they revolted against the Soviets.  They lost but things changed to "Happy" Communism.  During Stalin's time, the people could not worship, but during Happy Communism, they could.   The original communist m…