My cousins 18th Birthday

My cousin turned 18 years old and invited me to take a few photos as well as record a couple of moments from his big birthday party. Turning 18 in Romania is a big thing, you become an adult. :))

Here are just a few moments from Rudi’s birthday party. Enjoy!

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Romanian Street Food?

It’s been quite some time since I last wrote something. For the past four weeks, I was pretty much taking time to catch up with family, reconnecting with old friends and get accommodated with my new job.

I have exactly one month since I left the UK and yes I started noticing the differences, things I like and not so much. Probably I’ll write a separate blog about this topic, but another time.

I really missed vlogging, blogging, so I went into the city, Zalau, to explore whether there are any street food in this place or not. Lucky enough there was a traditional food event happening in the city and I was able to take a few shots of it.

You could smell the smoky air from a distance and hear the Romanian folk music. On the first day of the food event they had a traditional dish with beans and sausage and 2nd day fried cabbage with sausage. Pork is like the king of protein in Romania, its present in almost every dish.

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You can also find almost at any corner of the street the traditional hungarian / romanian so called cheese pie, which is nothing more but a deep fired dough filled with salty cheese, sour-cream and garlic sauce.

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Another street food you will find on the streets in Romanian, in specially around Transylvania is the  Kürtőskalács. This is a sweet bread borrowed from our hungarian fellows. You can have it with different toppings, like sugar, chestnut, coconut and so on.

These are only a few of the street foods I fell into while exploring my hometown, but believe me there are so much more.

A quick heads up about my plans for the next few weeks. I will most probably show you a bit more about Zalau and than I am planning to go on a hunt for the best Christmas market in Romania. This will be a trip into the major cities in Transylvania across 5-7 days.

As always, thank you so much for stepping by. Enjoy!

Leaving UK and future plans

Almost 5 years, that’s how long I’ve been living in the UK.

I was so sure that living in the UK is what I want, getting a mortgage, buying that house, settle down, and still here I am back in Romania after such a long time.

When I’ve told my closest friends, colleagues and family that I’m moving back home, they were all shocked by the news. For some it was good news and for others bitter sweet. Why?

Living abroad, in a place like England can always bounce back. A job can bounce back, and even people around you can bounce back too.

Family is one thing that does not bounce back. Does that make sense? I always wanted to give something back and that thing is me being close to them.

Their happiness is important to me and I want to contribute to that. Even if not for a long time, but for now, I wanna be there.

Then there are certain things that didn’t turn out as I expected and I strongly felt the need of a change and I really believe this is the change I need and want.

There are also things like my faith, for some time now I felt stuck and my soul craves for new purpose.

My career, I also felt that I am struggling lately in going into the direction I wanted and this change will bring me back on the track and into the direction I wanted to go.

This is very difficult for me, but I thought this trough many many times and I decided that this is the right thing to do.

It’s hard to say good bye, but there are so many things I am really excited about, and looking forward to it. A new job, reconnecting with old friends, new travel projects – exploring the Carpathian Mountains, vibrant cities and century old castles, Romania is the home to astonishing landscapes, rich history and culture and I am looking forward to discover my home countries hidden gems.

Dear friends from UK, you will always be close to my heart and I will come and visit, but for now I have to go, this new journey is calling me.

Subscribe if you haven’t done it already, let’s explore Romania together.

Ferrari Racing Day – 70th Anniversary

I never was a car fan, but Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary in the UK at the unique Ferrari Racing Days event at the world-famous Silverstone Grand Prix circuit surely got my attention. 6.1

The day was full of entertainment, from a special Ferrari Parade to the Ferrari Challenge Series and the most awaited Formula 1 show.

Ferrari displayed their latest Ferrari supercars and hundreds of Ferrari owners’ proudly showcased their horsepower under the hood.

31For me the Formula 1 show was the most enjoyable moment, failing on and on taking a picture of the cars during the race. The incredible wild sound and speed was simply mind-blowing.

The city of Oxford

With the occasion of friends visiting the UK, together with a few friends we decided to show them around Oxford.

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Oxford is a diverse and historic city where you can see fine examples of architecture from every period, from late Saxon onwards.

It is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Oxford’s complex history has given rise to its unique character. Some parts of the city have winding medieval lanes, while others have wide boulevards of Georgian houses, and others are modern housing estates.

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Oxford is a popular location for filming where much of the Harry Potter film adaptations were filmed in various Oxford colleges, as have adaptations of many other novels set in the city.

 

Thames and Cherwell run through the city of Oxdord and the need to move cattle across these rivers gave the city its original Saxon name Oxenaforda meaning ‘ford of the oxen’ in around 900AD.

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We started our trip by visiting the Pitt Rivers Museum where we traveled back in time and admired ferocious dinosaurs, but also pet brown bears and cute little animals.

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After the Pitt Rivers Museum we continued our journey walking around century old buildings and admire the great Georgian architecture.

We also decided to climb on the Carfax Tower and take a few pics with a brilliant panoramic view of the city.

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We have finished our day next to a classic Burrito and a lot of Cholula Hot Sauce at Mission Burrito.

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Notes: Wikipedia, About Oxford

 

A little bit of London

Considering the fact that London is just about 1 hour and 20 min away from where I live, I haven’t visited that much of London in the past 5 years. I thought of going to London over the weekend to meet up with some friends and for a little bit of sightseeing.

I started my little trip by taking the underground from Euston to Green Park which is just a 10 min journey and from there the plan was to walk to the Tower Bridge.

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Walking trough Green Park you can see the Autumn showing its presence by transforming the nature into a colorful painting. After just a 10 min walk through the park I ended up in the middle of the everyday group of tourists in front of Buckingham Palace. Said hi to Queen Elisabeth, took a selfie and continued my journey to Westminster Abbey.

 

 

IMG_6874There are loads of stuff that can be done and visited in London, but here I am at Westminster Abbey, an easy place to get to and you have all the famous touristy places in one place. Standing next to the cathedral you can enjoy a great view over the Big Ben, Palace of Westminster, House of Parliament and the London Eye.

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I have been on the Birmingham Eye, Paris Eye, but now I will skip getting on London eye and walk down on south bank to follow various street artists, expositions and skaters.

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After about a one hour walk I arrived to Tower Bridge where I enjoyed a little bit of sunshine, followed the cruises going up and down on river Thamese and of course taking that selfie with the bridge.

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It’s also a great spot to look at the famous modern buildings growing out like mushrooms from London’s old city.

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Yepp, after all this I set down to catch my breath over a coffer, hot dog and nice view over the bridge and The Shard.

Later on I met with Kelsey from New Zealand at Franco Manca. We had a few drinks, a pizza and had a good lough about some of our old memories.  Shared our recent travel experiences and the upcoming travel plans.

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A short but an enjoyable sightseeing tour around London.

 

Incredible Germany – Black Forest, Titisee and beautiful Lake Konstanz

Yo yo yo, what’s up beautiful people? Here we go again, really exited about this one. It seems that I am forming a tradition about visiting Germany as it is my 2nd time here and I love it.

I have been last year too in November to visit my cousins in Trossingen from where we went together on a trip to Colmar, France. If you haven’t seen the photos and videos, please check out my gallery and YouTube channel. A fairytale like city, Colmar.

This year we stayed local and visited Konstanz and the Bodensee lake which is the largest lake in Europe. A 63km-long, it borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Bodensee-Radweg cycle path encircles the entire lake in about 260km. Maybe I will plan a cycling trip around the lake one day.

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The water is amazing, a beautiful turquoise water, super clean and warm…only if I knew about it. I was so into having a swim in the lake, but had no cloths with me to change, maybe next time.

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Looking far away, as far as the skyline you can spot the Alps, an astonishing view with the mountains. Loads of boats, cruises on the lake and even a Zeppelin roaming around on the sky.

It has been said that if you are in Germany, a must do is to have some Turkish food. Turkish food is really popular in Germany, so we had to go and try something out. People suggest a good Turkish kebab, but my favorite Turkish dish is a classic iskender so if I can find it I will definitely opt for an ayran and iskender.

It was a really fun first day, loved it. I have to come back to Konstanz and plan much more stuff to do.

The second day we went into the heart of the black forest up to an altitude of 850m and stopped by the well known Titisee lake. Oh my God! Such an amazing place, the best view I have seen in quite some time. It is a must visit if you are nearby.

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Clear clean water, perfect for swimming, kayaking, a cruise on the lake, many many hiking trails to do and so much more. I bet this place is brilliant during the winter too, with a frozen lake and awesome cozy cabins.

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It was great seeing everyone again and spend some quality time with my good friends, I really hope I will be able to come for a longer period next time.

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It was a great weekend, amazing weather, but for now I must go back to my rainy and gloomy Britain.

Cycling from Worcester to Malvern Hills

Cycling from Worcester to the summit of Malvern Hills is a challenging but a very rewarding cycling route. I warmed up by cycling from Binley to the Coventry train station, which is just about 20-30 min ride. Then I took the train to Worcester and from the train station cycled to Malver Hills.

I think it wasn’t too bad getting to the base of Malvern Hills, it takes about 1 hour 15 min on an enjoyable pace, but the challenge came after I reached the base of the hill.

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I wasn’t even half way through and I got off the bike and walked up to the summit. I found the road to be really bumpy with loads of stones and rocks and it was surprisingly steep. It took me around 40 min to walk to the top.

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Once I reached to the top the scenery was really rewarding after all the effort I put into climbing the hill. Beautiful panoramic scene all around you.

After I spent some time enjoying the summit it was time to get back down and of course on the bike. It was again really steep, from time to time I felt like the bike will throw me over my head and role down from the hill. I found it very scary but full of adrenaline.

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Once down from the mountain, I could hear some music playing in the distance so I kind of followed the music and ended up in this nice little park where a local bend were playing.

I had lunch relaxed and recover my straight from the ride after which i cycled to the train station and went back home.

It might not sound to big of a deal, but things like this can be really uplifting and rewarding. I will definitely do more of these small break outs in the months to come.

I am off to Germany so stay tuned because next time I will explore the biggest lake in Europe and take a swim in a glacier lake at 800m altitude in the Black Forrest of Germany.

I walked 30km after I got lost in Mt. Meses

The plan was to go to the summit, but I got lost and ended up 30 Km away from home. Here is what happened:

I lived in my hometown for 20 years and never really gone to the summit of Mt. Meses. The plan was to wake up early in the morning to avoid the heat wave, but as it was heavily raining I enjoyed sleeping a bit more until the sky got clear again. When the rain stopped I started my walk to the mountain and probably it was the worst part of the day with a temperature of 40C melting my face off.

While walking down the route I had flashbacks of my childhood going to the base of the mountain for fishing, swimming in the river and even taking a muddy bath with the buffalo’s. My most recent trips to the base of the mountain was in 2012 with the youth from church where we have done 2-3 days camping trip.

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The Meses Mountains are a mountain range in Transylvania, Romania, which belongs to the Apuseni Mountains. The highest peak is Magura Priei at an altitude of 996 m, but the closest peaks to my town are at 868 m – Osoiu Mic and 873 m Osoiu Mare. The plan was to attempt climbing any of these two unless I get lost.

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It took me around 45 min from home to the entrance of the forest. It doesn’t seem that long but the heat was a challenge itself. There where so many trails I could have follow, but went with my instinct to eventually get somewhere to the top of the mountain after 3 hours. It was a matter of finding a place to call the summit, because there is a forester road on the top and you remain at the highest altitude for quite some time on that road. I think the forester road connects the two peak, but this is where I got lost.

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I loved how the forester road separated the two sides of the mountain and each side had different type of trees. On one side you had the tall pine trees the other side a mix of hornbeam and beech trees.

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Then I discovered this sign, a concrete short pillar with an inscription on it DTM 1962. I called it at that time the summit, but later on I made a research to understand what it actually was. I found out that DTM stands for Digital Terrain Model which represents the ground surface and height of the mountain. This helps making a three dimensional model of the mountain by gathering data via plane or satellite. Looking into my Strava records, I do believe that was close enough to the summit of the mountain, but I would love to go back and discover more, unless any of you reading this can advise if there is anything marking the summit.

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Right after this I started descending and found this really cool looking table with benches to sit down. I took a break and had something to it, I was already starving so I could have eaten anything.

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While I still believed to be on the right root towards the 2nd peak, I was wrong big times, because I ended up the other side of the mountain. At this point I already had about 5 hours spent on the mountain and probably would have taken me the same about of hours to go back. Instead of going back I decided to go down to the closes town and ask someone to give me a ride to a main road which goes back to Zalau.

It was worth getting lost because the view was astonishing. I was able to see far ahead the Apuseni mountains and it was this brilliant three layer of blue mountain shades.

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I went down into a town called Bodia which is 30Km from my home town and asked for some guidance. Someone was kind enough to give me a ride 10km down the road to a place from where I can easily hitch hike home. After 20 min of waiting for a car I started waling ahead for another 5km when finally someone stopped and gave me a ride to Zalau.

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I was already exhausted so I took a taxi and went back home.

Check out the journey on on my Strava Map below as well as my vlog. If you are seeing my videos for the first time make sure to subscribe to my channel and leave me a thumbs up. Usually I leave more details about my adventures and photos in my blog so follow me on this WordPress blog too. Make sure to check out my other articles and enjoy my photos.

Meses Trail

Stay with me as in my next adventure I will be cycling to Malvern Hills from Worcester, probably the steepest little “mountain” I ever climbed.

The wedding day – Csabi & Cristina

The wedding day is here. The guests have arrived, it is time for the son to say good bye from his parents, brother and friends. Most of the times it is a close member of the family who says good bye on behalf of the groom. This is done through a poem which is about thanking the parents for the sacrifices they have done their entire life for their son and in the same time to ask forgiveness for all those times he was disobedient.

Once this part of the ceremony is done, all the guests are invited to eat. There’s schnitzel, meatballs, sarmale, pork and all sort of goods served to the guests. Now that everyone had a good meal, wine and a shot of a brandy it is time to go after the bride.

It is a long journey ahead of us, about 3 hours across the mountains, so let’s make a bit of noise and let everyone know that there is a wedding in the village.

We arrived in the brides town, everyone came out to the streets to see the new married a couple and to wish them many blessings. The groom and his guests are standing in front of the brides house and family and the groom has to ask the brides hand from the father of the bride. This entire ceremony is accompanied with musicians, dance, sweets and loads of strong brandy.

After the proposal has been done, the bride comes out and meets the groom and they walk together to the church to have the religious ceremony. At the church the have to go through an entire religious ceremony, habits and than they are finally declared husband and wife.

It is time for the party to begin. Everyone goes to the wedding reception and they enjoy their time with great food, wine and a mix Hungarian and Romanian folk music.

After the wedding day, the close family members are invited back to both the brides and grooms house for more food, wine and good time.

A wedding like in the stories, an entire week of celebration and fun. Eventually the new married couple goes on their honeymoon.

Cristina & Csabi, I wish you many blessings and happiness!