So I posted 2 expression articles last year and some of you might be wondering if I will be sharing a travel post as counterpart. Well, here it is folks. Our Romania travel diary.
As the year 2015 comes to a close, we found ourselves packing our bags and cramming our way deep into the chest to grab our winter coats and be prepared for the chill.
We are bound for Romania.
Now, before anyone raises his or her hand and ask the question why we chose Romania among many other European countries, let me share you a brief story. Nope, we did not go here to see the land of Dracula (humor me for just a second).
Early in 2015, the company I am working for launched a rewards and recognition program called ‘Corporate Exchange’ that aims to send one lucky employee off shore to immerse and learn from the guys at the other center; all expense paid! It was a reward and at the same time an opportunity to gain knowledge and make bonds with the guys whom we are only able to interact through client calls and corporate chats. This center my friends is located in Iasi (pronounced as ‘yash’), Romania.
Merchant at the Botanical Garden, Iasi, Romania 2015
Palace of Culture, Iasi, Romania 2015
Obviously, yours truly got lucky and grabbed the award. The first things that came into my mind were, how long will the trip be? How many plane changes? I mean, I have been traveling a lot lately but the average flight time was only around 2-3 hours with no layovers or plane change. To be honest, I can go on a half a day road travel with no problems but being airborne for more than 4 hours already makes me feel anxious. So travel time and all the other logistics in this case have been quite a concern. Fortunately, I found a way to address that. I had my wife joined me in the trip.
Old Town, Strada Lipscani, Bucharest Romania 2015
Street Musician, Old Town, Strada Lipscani, Bucharest, Romania 2015
Al Fresco, Old Town, Strada Lipscani, Bucharest, Romania 2015
The official business coverage of this corporate exchange in Iasi is one week. Realizing that, we’re not setting foot on any European country just for work and without having the chance to explore and roam around places. So we extended our stay for another week and decided to explore Bucharest which is more or less 6 hours from Iasi by land travel.
Once in Bucharest, we immediately researched this place called Old Town which sits right in the city proper. It is basically a tourist spot where you get to feel that old Europe vibe. It also offers a wide selection of cafés and souvenir shops. Surprisingly though, we found ourselves going back and forth to this place during our entire stay in Bucharest. The place just gives us that relaxing atmosphere on top of the 3 degree weather temperature. If you are planning to visit this place soon, be sure to check out and dine at Caru’ Cu Bere and Van Gogh. The former offers a platter of chicken breast, pork fillet, sausage, mici and a sider for 2 called ‘Platou Caru’ Cu Bere’. Van Gogh on the other hand offers set meals and sandwiches for the big tummy.
Finally, what captivated us the most was the Muzeul Satului or the Village Museum. Similar to the Korean Folk Village, the park displays traditional Romanian houses and structures. Our trip’s timing was nearly perfect as the season was at the transition from fall to winter. This was actually our first time to see fall colors and it is undoubtedly fascinating. For a travel photography hobbyist like me who loves colors and painterly patterns, this is a perfect playground.
Should you wish to visit Romania soon, be sure to check out the following places of interest:
Palace of Culture | Stefan Cel Mare | Vivo Food Bar | Trumpets for a night of drinking and good music | Palas Mall
Old Town | Caru’ Cu Bere in Old Town | Van Gogh in Old town | Muzeul Satului | Peasant Museum
Obviously, there are a lot more to explore in this country, but 1 week wouldn’t be enough. Maybe if we have the chance to return, we’ll visit the Bran Castle (hopefully before it gets sold in case the rumors are true).
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— SIGS —