Call of Romania (2): Târgu Mureş

July 2008 Unlike Sighişoara, Târgu Mureş doesn’t have, at least in my books, too much of a “touristic” conotation. Top of mind I know only about the medicine univesity, and picture many blocks of flats. That is, till yesterday. You can’t cover much in any city during a one-hour stay. Still, I think we covered…

Call of Romania (1): Sighişoara

The mini-series on Romania was born out of the question that bugged me during the Northern trip: “how does all this compare to what we have at home?” In short, if you look at size, architecture, importance in European history, it doesn’t. We don’t have anything like the urban architecture of the city of Tallinn,…

Call of the North (29): Auschwitz

7 august I had thought of various titles for this post, but after being there I felt there is no room for any metaphor, or any subtlety. Yes, we all know the story. Nazis killed ~6 million Jews and other nationalities in concentration camps during world war 2. Problem is, we cannot think in numbers.…

Call of the North (27): The Warsaw Pact

Aug 5, 2008 Scandinavia is no adventure. Not even the Baltix are an adventure. Arriving at 6am, after a torturing night in the bus, to an unknown place, suburb-looking, where almost everything is closed, nobody speaks any language you might understand, the local language has nothing to do with anything that might sound familiar, you…

Call of the North (25): Rīga

Aug 3 First impressions of Latvia were Finlandlike: lakes and forests. At least that’s as much I could see from the bus, when waking up just before arriving in Riga. First surprise, in the bus station – i can’t draw money, from 2 different cash machines. Hm. It’s raining. Maybe that’s why people on streets…

Call of the North (20): Helsinki

July 29 The first target in Helsinki was the railway station, to buy tickets for the next destination. The lady at the counter was called Ms. Ruotsalainen, which I found very cool :). That’s when I felt it – I’m in Finland! When you leave your luggage at the railway station, you should be careful…

Call of the North (19): Åland

July 28, 23:41 Announced by a lighthouse and overtaken by a boat, We reached the Åland islands around 11pm, the first and last stop on the way to Helsinki. Funnily enough (or maybe not), the red light had moved from west to north, falling behind the harbor where another Viking Line ship was anchored, empty.…

Call of the North (18): Stockholm

July 28, 21:13 Live transmission from the deck of the ship Marinella: sunset. Before getting here though, the highlight of the short visit in Stockholm was meeting Stefan. Very pleasant, ideal for battery-charging before the Final Call of the North. I’m sorry that I haven’t spent one more day here. After a “recovery sleep” till…

Call of the North (16): Fjords

July 25-26 The simplest way to see some of the fjords is “Norway in a nutshell”, a package trip taking you to the most famous UNESCO heritage fjords. Train from Oslo to Myrdahl, one of the most scenic train routes in the world, from there bus to Voss, and then by boat to I dont’…

Call of the North (15): Oslo

July 23 The first words I heard in Oslo were “stai, ţine asta”. Turned around – 2 blondes. I thought I heard wrong. But then – “La cât vine autobuzul?” Come on, that’s too much Romanian to be just in my mind. So I turned to them and asked them for the Storgata street –…