My first snowboard lesson – Poiana Brasov

Poiana Brașov  is one of the most popular ski resort in Romania, but not only, it also attracts many tourists from all around Europe.  I am here in Poiana Brasov because for a long time I have desired to be able to snowboard and today I am taking that first step in learning how.

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Mihai – the ski instructor from “scoala de schii” was kind enough to show me the basic things in order to quickly start snowboarding. After 2 hours of learning, practicing I was able to nicely slip down from the hill.

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After a full day of snowboarding and falling, I got soaked wet. By the time I got back to the hotel, I found myself locked out. Hmm, weird isn’t it? I knock on the door, cause I didn’t know what else to do. Five minutes passed by, no one answers, I knock again. Ten minutes, 15 minutes passed by and nothing. I decided that I should find a place to eat and warm up. Just when I started leaving, the receptionist ran after me and asked me to quickly go inside. I ran inside with her and she told me that she locked the door because two bears were outside of the hotel. Wait a minute. What??? There are two wild bears outside and you locked me out???! The wet cloths are frozen on me, I wouldn’t even be able to run in case I had too. Well, same thing happened the second day too. True story. 🙂

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The second day I explored the a bit the forest, took a few pictures and flew my drone to capture some epic views. Right after that I went up to the mountain and had a nice coffee at 1725m altitude.

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Later on in the day I traveled back home, back to Zalau.

Such a nice way to end your 2017, visiting some of the best cities in Romania and do things I wished for.

The plans for 2018, one word: Mountains. I am turning 30 years old this year, so I am planning to do 30 peaks by my 30th.

Till then enjoy my first snowboard experiences, falls and some amazing winter forest views.

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Brasov, Romania – The best winter city break

Brasov, a city in the heart of Transylvania, surrounded by the breathtaking Carpathian Mountains and a birthplace of many legends. It is known for it’s medieval Saxon walls, towers, Gothic-style architecture and baroque buildings.

On a snowfall the city becomes a story-like winter wonderland. The colorful Christmas lights adds a nice contrast to the beautiful white landscape.

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I arrived early in the morning to Brasov and although I haven’t been in the city for the past 3 years, I managed to find my way to the “Piata Sfatului” square easily. Step by step the old awesome adventure memories came to me. I remembered, ooh man…the time when I went to Brasov with Shalaka and Nandita – my really good friends from India, it was soo much fun. Braaaasov, a place of many cool memories!!!

Every time I’m in Brasov I must go to KFC too, tasty food with a brilliant view. KFC in Romania is the best in the entire world, have I told you that already?

Finding the city covered by snow, flying my drone above the city was a must do. This winter experience in Brasov was so satisfying, I totally felt like a kid.

I was really eager to go to the top of Timpa, but unfortunately the cable car wasn’t working. Probably I could have attempted climbing it? well maybe next time, cause it was quite foggy, or cloudy or wintry cause it was really snowing.

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Found a moody little coffee shop too, with a nice view over the narrow alleys of Brasov and the snow falling. The barista was really friendly and welcoming, probably because I was the only person sitting down to enjoy a nice coffee with cake.

Time is flying so fast when you walk in a place like Brasov, you barely notice the notion of time. I have suddenly seen the Christmas lights turning on, so I finished my coffee and went to the Christmas Market.

The Christmas Market definitely holds the best Christmas tree I have seen so far in my trip in Romania, but the market itself is also cosy, colorful and welcoming.

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I totally feel like I am rediscovering Romania.

After such a full day of rediscovery, remembering good old memories, enjoying a nice snow fall, I am heading towards the buss station to continue my journey to the Winter Wonderland of Romania.

Poiana Brasov is a place where I am always going back with pleasure, a true winter-land with a great view.

This time I am planning to try out something new, somethings I longed for since ever.

The hidden gem of Romania – Sighisoara – a medieval citadel

Finally I am in Sighisoara, Romania, the birth town of Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a Dracula and the most preserved , the most beautiful medieval citadel in Europe. A 12th century citadel built by the Transylvanian Saxons, a perfectly intact medieval city that you cannot find anywhere else.

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It is a travel back in time, walking on the same streets as our fellow knights did centuries back. Touching the same colorful walls touched by Dracula himself when he played “lapte gros si smantanos”(it’s a stupid outdoor game we used to play when I was a kid) during his childhood – I don’t know, I’m just saying, you never know. 🙂

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After a painful journey in a smelly train from Sibiu to Sighisoara, it was a relief and a pleasure to explore and walk on the streets of this amazing medieval citadel. The weather was a bit gloomy at first, but later on it turned into a brilliant snowy day, set the perfect mood for Christmas.

The citadel holds colorful medieval houses, towers, churches and great restaurants with traditional dishes. During the year there are medieval events and festivals organized in the citadel.

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For cheap as £30 you can spend a night at a any of the cute inns. They are nicely decorated in the same medieval tone. You can walk around the citadel on and on and not get bored of it. A great experience is to walk up to the church on the hill through the covered staircase which was built in 1654 and hold around 300 steps. Later on in the 1800s it was amended and reduced the steps to 178, but still keeps the Saxon architecture appearance.

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I am highly recommending this place to anyone who is planning to visit Romania, it is unique. I am planning to come back during the summer and spend more time in Sighisoara.

My next stop will in Brasov and Poiana Brasov, the Wonder Winterland of Romania.

Thank you for stepping by and travel more!

 

Sibiu, Romania – The cultural capital city of Europe

Sibiu, one of the most beautiful places I have been so far in Romania. The old town is one of Romania’s hidden gems. Rich in color, architecture and a pleasure to get lost in.

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Before going into my next location, Sighisoara, I had a few more hours to spare in Sibiu, so I decided to roam around a little bit more in the old town.

I woke up early on Sunday morning and walked towards the town, it’s really chill outside and quiet. Perfect time to take some nice architecture photos without tourists and locals in in the way.

I have discovered some beautiful places, little colorful narrow alleys which are perfect spots for photography. While admiring these places I realize what a beautiful country is Romania. I can’t wait to discover more in the year to come.

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The silence was  broken by a warm big bang bell sound from the cathedrals around the old town. People are slowly showing up, greeting each-other on the streets and are gathering in their church congregations.

I stop at the Christmas market once more to grab something to eat and following it up with a good Starbucks coffee, although I am not a Starbucks fan…it was perfect for to boost my energy in continuing my journey.

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Sibiu, it was a pleasing and satisfying place to visit, totally recommend it.

I am taking the train to Sighisoara, the city I have been waiting to see for such a long time. I am extremely excited.

 

 

The Christmas Market in Sibiu, Romania

Sibiu was voted the European Cultural City in 2007. It’s a beautiful city in the heart of Romania. It’s known for Germanic architecture in its old town, the legacy of 12th-century Saxon settlers. Around the city are the remains of medieval walls and towers, including the 13th-century Council Tower. In the upper town, Brukenthal Palace now houses the Brukenthal National Museum, with European paintings. The nearby Evangelical Cathedral has gravestones in its walls.(Wikipedia)

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I am really exited about exploring Sibiu in specially now during the Christmas Holiday.

It was a bit of a journey for me, I left around 9am from Zalau to Cluj and from Cluj another 5 hours till Sibiu by coach.

I have arrived somewhere in the afternoon, just in time to catch some daylight and also to enjoy the Christmas lights.

Beautiful city, you don’t need a tour guide or a path to walk, because everywhere you look it looks amazing. Brilliant old architecture, well preserved buildings, it feels like going back in time.

Every click you take with your camera it turns out to be a stunning photo.

Just like in any Christmas Market the presence of good food is there, lively atmosphere and cool light-shows.

After spending a couple of hours in the city centre enjoying the lights, food and the old town, I walk to my Airbnb place, drink a good coffee and well…I am getting old, I did manage to fall asleep. By the time I walk back to the city, the market is slowly closing down, I am really disappointed in myself but, lucky enough I have time the next day till 12pm to explore a bit more the city in daylight so I am happy with that.

A destination where I will surely come back again, Sibiu is my favorite city so far.

As per the Christmas Market it is in the top, if not, the best Christmas Market I have seen so far.

Next destination will be Sighisoara, but before that I will explore the city a little bit more, so make sure to SUBSCRIBE cause the details of the stunning old town in Sibiu is yet to come.

Thank you for watching.

 

The Christmas Market in Cluj Napoca

Cluj Napoca – the capital of Transylvania and the so called Silicon Valley of Transylvania, Romania. It is the home to the best universities, vibrant nightlife, and landmarks dating to Saxon and Hungarian rule. Surrounding its central square, Piața Unirii, is the Gothic-style St. Michael’s Church and the dramatic Matthias Corvinus Statue of the 15th-century king.

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I live just about one and a half hour away from Cluj, so I often visit this place due to having most of my friends from University living here, but also because it is simply a brilliant city close to my home.

I love the old buildings, the contrast of colors and the contrast between the old and new town.

The Christmas market is beautifully placed in the heart of the city at Piata Unirii with the ice skating place surrounding the Matthias Corvinus Statue.

The good smell of food is welcoming you to the place as well as the colorful boutique with all sort of traditional and Christmasy item.

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After the lights turn on visitors from Cluj and all around Romania, as well as internationals are enjoying a cup of mulled wine and good music.

I had the chance to catch up with an old friend of mine too, Andrei and he took me a little bit outside of Cluj where we took a few shots with the drone.

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Really enjoyed catching up about good old times, but also discovering new places like this really cool looking coffe place called Joben. Highly recommended, I will surely return myself.

Because I live so close to Cluj this Christmas Market visit was more of a brake out rather than stay over, but still enjoyed it a lot and I am sure I will be back in this place soon.

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My next stop is Sibiu, I did pass through the city like once or twice in my life, but never really visited so I am really exited.

Thank you all for watching, if you are new to the channel SUBSCRIBE because the Winter Wonderland places are yet to follow.

Day 2 – The Christmas Market in Oradea

I am continuing my journey in finding the best Christmas Market and Christmas Destination in Romania. My next stop is in my favorite city, a place close to my heart and this is Oradea. I spent about 5 years in this city during my studies and 1st job. It is good to be back.

Since I was in Oradea the last time a lot has been invested in the city, in its restoration and modernization. The main road from the city center was closed down and transformed into a big beautiful square and this is where the Christmas market is happening.

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The Black Eagle, The Moon Church, The city hall and so on came to live through the awesome winter projections on their wall. The skating park, the big Christmas globe and the stylish Christmas tree lights up the entire square offering a story like look to the Christmas market.

As soon as you enter into the market you can smell the good smoky sausage, stakes and the every present kurtoskalacs(sweet bread).

The locals and tourists are enjoying the skating park and the Christmas moody atmosphere. Oradea is more alive than ever before, I love it!

Somewhere 7 years back the fortress was in ruins. I remember having an office within the fortress and we had to move out due to the place falling apart. Today the entire fortress is unrecognizable, once again an important representative symbol of Oradea is fully functional and shining.

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The fortress is in a form of a star, something that can be observed from above and the edges easily can be observed from the ground.

Today you can go and observe medieval knight weapons and traditional knitting machines. The fortress also holds an outdoor theater where occasionally activities are happening, as well as holds a fortress festival once a year where fighting demonstrations are happening and other traditional shows.

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Oradea pleasantly impressed me and definitely it became one of the most attractive city’s in Transylvania.

Does it have the best Christmas market? Is it the best seasonal holiday destination? It is definitely on the top of the list, but for now let’s move on and further explore the other locations.

My next stop is Cluj Napoca.

 

Mondd el a hegyek ormán | Go tell it on the mountain

Mondd el a hegyek orman | Go tell it on the mountain

It is the season to be jolly wolly , Christmas trees and Santa Clause, Boxing Day and Winter Holidays, happiness all over the place…our favorite holiday, colorful, full of light and joy.

However, do not forget that the core reason for the season, the essence of this celebration is the fact that salvation has born into this world sometime 2000 years ago. One night the angels sang the good news to the shepherds and to the world that Jesus Christ is born.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government, will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

This is the reason to be jolly this season and all seasons.

This song tells about the same good news! Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

“Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born”

Marry Christmas everyone and may the Celebrated ( Jesus Christ ) bless you all! 🙂

Day 1 – The National Day of Romania

National Day of Romania and the beginning of my journey in finding the best Christmas destinations in Romania.

Ziua Nationala a Romaniei – Zalau | Cele mai frumoase destinatii de Craciun in Romania.

Romanians from all around the world has celebrated on 1st December the 99th anniversary of the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia, which declared the Union of Transylvania with Romania.

While enjoyed the day and the Christmas decorations in Zalau, I remembered that somewhere this time last year I was documenting my experience at the famous Christmas Markets in Birmingham and Paris. It suddenly came to me, what if I start a little trip in exploring the best Christmas destinations in Transylvania, Romania and that’s exactly what I did.

Day 1 – The beginning of my journey.

Although there is not much of a Christmas Market in Zalau, I found it only fair to start with my home town.

The marble square its the traditional city centre of Zalau, where most of the times the events and Christmas Markets happen. It was no different this year either.

The square holds the big Christmas tree decoration in the centre, electic cars for a bit of fun and many traditional products. You can find several places making the Kurtoskalacs, corn, honey, and many other things to bring you closer to the Christmas mood.

Just across the marble square at the base of the park, a beautiful Christmas tree is set up, snow man, reindeer’s and the Nativity scene.

Comparing to the other big cities probably not much going on, but for me it is enough to bring me into that Christmas mood just before the holidays.

I hope you enjoyed this short video about the National Day of Romania and Zalau.

Tomorrow I will be in Oradea where the Christmas Market goes to a completely different level.

The Best Christmas destination in Romania

Once again it is the season to be jolly! Only a few days till Christmas and I am really pumped about this one. I haven’t been home for Christmas for the past 3 years and I missed a bit of a snow, carol nights, good old friends and being home with family, so really looking forward to it.

I have seen the brilliant Christmas market in Birmingham, Paris, Colmar and a few other locations, but I wonder what Christmas markets and Winter Wonderlands has Romania to offer. This is exactly what I have been trying to find out in a 7 day trip in 7 locations around Transylvania.

There are many beautiful places in Romania with great winter locations and Christmas traditions, but for now I explored only seven locations in Transylvania, including my hometown.

Here is a glimpse into my trip, follow my here on blog, subscribe to my YouTube Channel, follow me on my Instagram as for the next couple of days I will post videos and photos about each one of the locations. Thank you.

Enjoy!!!