Call of Romania (6): Pro Etnica

August 2008 The “Pro Etnica” festival I stumbled upon in Sighişoara is a fine thing. Most minorities in Romania send artists who perform on a scene in the main square of the medieval citadel, songs, dances and what not. The crowd is not as big and crazy like at the medieval festival, creating a very…

Call of Romania (5): Braşov, the Romanian Krakow

August 2008 Constrasting with the crowded capital, always in a hurry and pointedly materialistic, a oasis of beauty and color, with historic and spiritual focus, but without losing the atmosphere and energy of an “important city” – that is Krakow for Poland, and that is Braşov for România. I’m pleasantly impressed by Braşov (read: Brashov,…

Call of Romania (4): Luduş

July 2008 A small city lost in the Transylvanian hills, on the road from Târgu Mureş to Turda-Cluj, Luduş is completely off the touristic track. Even for Romanians – as for foreigners, I don’t know if you need more than two hands to count foreign tourists who’ve evere been there. But for those related in…

Call of Romania (3): Turda

I had very few images about Turda in my head. Knew that it has some chemical industry, a football team that won once the Romanian cup while playing in 2nd league, that it was an old roman city, and – that was about it. My cousin told me about the thermal baths, and then I…

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 (31): Logistix, and the end

For those interested, some logistic details of the northern trip, never know when they can be useful. Accomodation I stayed in hostels, with 2 exceptions, when I reserved lastminute and didnt find any beds in hostels. Most reservations were made through hostelworld.com, one through booking.com and one through hotels.com. I recommend reserving beforehand. If not…

Call of the North (30): The long way home

8/9 august Maybe it’s better that I missed the train. It would have been an 18 hours ride, no sleeping wagon. Would have gone mad. Nevertheless, at the moment I was very frustrated. Had thought the train is at 22:54, but it was 22:45. I checked on the way to the train station, at  22:44.…

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 (24): Talllinnnnn

Aug 2 The day started leftfooted. Couldnt fall asleep last night, so woke up late, credit card machine at the hotel didnt work, so i lost 10 vital minutes, ultimately i reached the harbor at 7:31, the boat was at 7:30.  So I had to wait for the boat at 9am to finally cross the…

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.…