It all began one night, when a friend and I sat staring at the world map. I had landed a fat assignment and finally reached my savings goal for a long overdue trip out of India. After turning down many drab international 3-4 day FAM trips that offered nothing immersive or even remotely exciting, I craved a mix of the east and the west, interesting food and the chance to experience a culture I knew little about. Romania seemed to tick all the boxes. Flights were booked, visa hurdles painfully crossed, and off we went. Into a world that continues to delight and surprise me.
I’ll let these pictures give you a glimpse of our time so far in Romania:
1. A SURREAL GLIMPSE OF EASTERN EUROPE IN BRASOV
, a big city where time has almost forgotten these Soviet-era cars and homes.
2. AT THE CONFLUENCE OF THE EAST AND WEST
with dome-shaped churches that almost resemble mosques – the Baroque style of architecture.
3. STROLLING ALONG THE STREETS OF BRASOV
taking in the traditional architecture and modern way of life; a blend that can perhaps be found only in Romania.
4. MY HOME IN A COBBLED YARD
in a restored 100-year-old house called Casa Matei in Brasov.
5. PEOPLE WATCHING AT A CHARMING LITTLE CAFE
called Bistro del Arte, in the old town of Brasov.
6. INDULGING IN VEGETARIAN ROMANIAN FOOD
available everywhere in Romania. Orthodox Catholics in the country observe a vegan fast twice a week or for 6 weeks before Christmas and Easter, so every local resto offers marcare de post (fasting menu) featuring veggie dishes without eggs or dairy. This zakuska (dips of mushroom, eggplant and beans) was a real treat.
7. TRANSPORTED TO A DIFFERENT ERA
with dinner in a wine cellar and a live violin performance.
8. A STRIKING IMAGE OF EASTERN EUROPE
caught on a train ride through Transylvania.
9. DEEP IN THE CARPATHIAN MOUNTAINS
a glimpse of the Romanian countryside, in the charming mountain village of Magura, located within a national park.
10. HORSE CARTS FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT
as though we’ve time-travelled, and not merely taken a train an hour from Brasov.
11. LIFE IN RURAL ROMANIA
where sheep breeding is the primary occupation, men still use scythes to cut grass, and people collect hay in the summer to feed their cattle in winter. Yet, everyone has modern cars and traditional houses equipped with central heating and other urban comforts.
12. MY WINDOW TO THE WORLD
; our attic in the village home of a Romanian family in Magura.
Has Romania made it to your wish list yet?
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I’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star.
In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life.
Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.