Posted by: Michelle | April 19, 2010

Romania

Even though my family comes from “somewhere in Eastern Europe,” I’ve never had a big interest in seeing it. The cliché romance and sophistication of Paris or Barcelona always seemed more appealing to me. But then a post from Leif Pettersen’s Killing Batteries blog made me question my preconceived notions. He said, “I can confidently inform you that Romania is among the greatest destinations in Eastern Europe and boasts, on a whole, more bang for your buck than just about any other country on the continent.” I decided to check out Leif’s Romania and Moldova Travel Guide that he referenced in his blog post to do some further investigation.

Transylvania is the main highlight of Romania. Most famous for being the birthplace of Dracula, Transylvania actually has a lot more to offer! The Bucegi Mountains (below, left) look stunningly beautiful. The mountains are ideal for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing (one of my favorite winter activities!). Then there’s Székely Land, a very traditional region with a lot of original Habsburg architecture. One town in particular, Targu Mures, looks particularly old-fashioned and charming (below, right).

Another alluring option in Romania are the painted monasteries in Southern Bucovina. The buildings are uniquely painted on the outside and inside, and they date back to the 1400s. Sucevita seems to be the best monastery to see because the incredible views from the road on the way there are apparently as special as the monastery itself. Below is a close-up of the intricate art on the outside of Sucevita.

Overall, I would say Leif was right! Romania (and I’m sure the rest of Eastern Europe too) is a worthy travel destination. It will definitely be a part of my journey someday!!

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