Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

Romania - Sighișoara - r.g. photo

“Apart from the sights, the most special experience for me was the hospitality of the Romanians, who were always extremely considerate and helpful. Some might be surprised by the comparison, but I’ve only experienced something similar in Japan, where they never refuse a request for assistance, since to do so would be shameful.

The landscapes of Romania are breathtaking, and there are plenty of architectural sights as well, from carved wooden gates to Art Nouveau palaces.


Practicals

Transport

Driving your car or a rental car

Advantages: You can have significant autonomy of going around compared to public transport, slow and infrequent in some regions. It gives more flexibility to find accommodation which suits you best. The quality of major roads is improving rapidly. New highways (free, for now!) dramatically shorten long journeys.

Cons:  Secondary roads are in bad condition, harm your car, may cause defects. To find repair can become a headache and a waste of time.
Some sections of the roads are riddled with huge potholes. Therefore you must be extra careful, especially as Romanians drive fast and do not always obey the traffic rules. Some of them are real road hogs driving recklessly or inconsiderately.

----------

You can not entirely rely on the road signs. You may need a traditional (but newly-edited) road map because the GPS sometimes gives wrong suggestions in the countryside.
Remember to turn your lights on during the entire driving time. Avoid driving at night.



By train

The timetable of the rail network (CFR) is not reliable, delays are frequent.

Romania - secondary road - traffic jam - vg. photo

Food

Vegetables are tastier than in Western Europe or North America.

Shopping

x

Romania - craft - s.v. photo

Public safety

x

Romania - siesta of the two police officers - p.s. photo

Health

If you eat game meat, make sure that the meat has been cooked, grilled thoroughly, and for a long time.  Why is it so important? Because a disease that no longer exists elsewhere still comes about in Romania (and in some other Eastern European countries): trichinosis (a parasitic disease caused by roundworms).

Avoid skin contact with stagnant freshwater: do not wade along rivers,  even less in lakes and ponds because droppings of rodents contaminate the water. There is a risk of leptospirosis, an infectious bacterial disease occurring in rodents, dogs, and other mammals, that can be transmitted to humans.

There is a dispensary in most villages. Do not hesitate to go there and show your minor ailments, especially tick bites. Treatment is free, and you don't risk getting lost in the labyrinth of a big city hospital.


Romania - Small town business - you can stand on the scale for 0,5 LEI (about 10 dollar cent)

Others

,, I was stunned to see that many sights offer a photo option for almost the same price as the main entrance fee. It even happened that the photo fee was more than the main entrance fee. They instead should increase the main entrance fee and forget this extra photo ticket rip-off."

Commendably, the problem of stray dogs in Bucharest has been eradicated. But that did not happen in the countryside. Beware of the stray dogs because some of them are nasty.


Background

Destination in brief

Although Romania is located in Eastern Europe and is part of the Balkan region, it is an outside in both cultural and linguistic terms.
Neighbors: Hungary (west), Serbia (southwest), Bulgaria (south), Ukraine (east and north), Moldova (east) – Romania has a coast on the Black Sea.  
 
Size: 238,397 km² (92,045.6 mi²) – Romania has 4 main regions, each with their own characteristics: Transylvania, Moldova, Dobrogea and Muntenia.
 
Capital city: Bucharest with 1,8 million inhabitants (2020) - The Palace of Parliament is the second largest administrative building in the world, right after the Pentagon in the United States.
 
Population (in 2020): 19,2 million ) – Romanians are ethnically not Slavic. Most Romanians usually emphasize their Latin origins, while some claim that Romanians are descendants of the indigenous tribes living in the region way before the Roman colonialists arrived, who mixed both with the Roman invaders and with Slavs also living in the area. Definitely a hot and unresolved topic.
 
Official language: Romanian is a Latin-derived language related closely to languages such as Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese – Romanian, which is the only Latin language spoken in Eastern Europe, also has many words coming from Slavic languages, Turkish and French.
 
The Hungarian minority (about 1,4 million people) speaks Hungarian.
 
Religion: 80% Orthodox Christian - Romanians are the most religious people in Europe: 55% of the population regularly attends church.
 
Form of government: parliamentary republic with a semi-presidential regime
 
Romania is a member of both NATO and the European Union, but it is not part of the Schengen area.
 
Romania was a Communist country between 1948 and 1989.
 
Currency: Romania lei (RON) – “lei” means “lion”
 
Romania has the largest gold reserves in Europe.
 
Average net monthly salary: about 600 USD (2020)
 
Most frequent surname: Popa
 
Safety: Romania is a safe country, but tourists should watch out for pickpockets and scammers, and should definitely avoid people who propose currency exchange services in the street.
 
Some important tourist attractions:
 
Danube Delta, medieval fortified churches in Transylvania, wooden churches of Maramures, historic center of Sigishoara, painted monasteries of Bukovina, Monastery of Horezu, Transylvania’s picturesque landscapes, the Transfogarasan (one of the most scenic roads in Europe).

Romania - national flag colors - ata photo

Geography

In Romania, you can find all types of natural attractions: sea and river deltas, mountain ranges, untouched forests, wild animal species which are extinct elwhere in Europe.

Nowadays

It is markable how many churches there are in Romania, including a lot of new ones.

Rich people benefit from low taxes on property, capital, profit, and dividends.

Romania globally ranks first for private homeownership. 96% of its people live in owner-occupied dwellings (44% in Switzerland,51% in Hongkong).  

,, While corruption is still an issue, things have improved considerably during the last 10 years. Lots of high-profile politicians and rich people have been sentenced to prison on corruption charges. Though the question remains on how sustainable this fight against corruption is, whether Romania will be able to continue cracking down on corruption, no matter which political coalition will be in power. " (2019)

Romania - village life - v.g. photo

Romania - donation after mass - s.v. photo

Romania - gypsies search the garbage can - s.v. photo

People

Stereotypes:

In Romania, a big majority over 40–50 of age are very religious.

Many Romanians like to show off wealth, even if it is just an appearance. Even those who can hardly afford it are buying expensive clothes, watches, and cars while living in a low-quality apartment and eating unhealthy food. (However, owning a home is also a must.)

Romanians are mostly very sociable people, easy in relaxing, making friends.

Romanians are mostly homophobic and like to make rude comments on homosexuality.
The public view about cheating a spouse is mainly tolerant.

Many gypsies in Romania: no education, dumpster divers (rummaging in the trash), shoplifters, pickpockets, selling contraband (cigarettes, fake perfumes, fake or stolen phones, etc.)

Orthodoxy takes a huge role in Romanian society, people go to church and pray for salvation instead of going to the doctor.

The Romanian language (Latin sound) is much more beautiful than the Hungarian, Czech and Slovak languages.

About two-thirds of the Romanians act super lovely in front of you, but they gossip about you when you are not there.

At least two-thirds of the young Romanian girls are gold-diggers. A larger proportion of Romanian men are sexist, macho than the European average.

Romanians have a saying: “Romania is beautiful, too bad it’s inhabited.”

Romania - woman with the dog - s.v. photo

Romania - family - s.v. photo

Romania - gypsies - s.v. photo

Tourist etiquette

1. Romanians are typically outspoken, don't like to hide their opinions. They mostly don't intend to insult the other with such straightforward speech. They don't want to use too much euphemism, like the Brits. The foreign visitor should not feel offended by such behavior and react nervously.  

2. When talking to locals, avoid express regret about their Communist past. Some Romanians still harbor a kind of nostalgia for the paternalistic rule of those times. Most Romanians are happy about freedom, but - as patriots - may not like it if a foreigner makes judgments about their history. The topic of the Ceausescu-era is sensitive. Ask as much you wish, but don't necessarily initiate a debate. You can expect that most of your conversation partner will be open to being critical about their country's past and presence.

Attractions














Romania - Transylvania - near Brasov - Dracula's Castle - Bran Castle - r.g. photo

Romania - Sinaia - r.gy. photo

Churches

Romania - Izvoru Muresului - Orthodox monastery of Virgin Mary - Elter photo

Romania - Transylvania - Brasov County - Viscri - A Lutheran fortified church - Elter photo

Romania - Valea Mănăstirii - Ramet Monastery (Mănăstirea Râmeț) - Elter photo

Romania - Blaj - Greek-Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Trinity - Elter photo

Romania - Oradea - Catholic Cathedral St Antony of Padua - Elter photo

Romania -Sibiu - Holy Trinity Cathedral (Catedrala Sfânta Treime) - Elter photo

x

Romania - Târgu Mureş - The Ascension of the Lord Cathedral (Catedrala Înălţarea Domnului) - Elter photo

Romania - Cluj-Napoca - St. Michael's Church, a Gothic-style Roman Catholic church - Elter photo

Romania - Izvoru Mureșului - Orthodox church - Elter photo

Southern Bukovina - Eight painted churches included on UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Romania - Vatra Moldoviței - The Moldovița Monastery (Romanian Orthodox) (built in the 16th century) - Byzantine frescoes - one of the eight painted churches included on UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Viktor Ohotin's photo

Romania - Southern Bukovina - Voroneţ Monastery (built in the 15th century), nicknamed as the 'the Sistine Chapel of the East' - a UNESCO World Heritage site - Viktor Ohotin's photo

Merry Cemetery

Romania - Maramureş county - Săpânța village - Merry Cemetery (Cimitirul Vesel) - Viktor Ohotin's photo

Related posts

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.