Archives January 2016

A weekend with snow at Straja resort

Winter sports lovers in search for new places to ski and snowboard, can choose to spend a weekend in Straja resort in Romania. Located in Hunedoara county, in the Valcan mountains, Straja has the biggest ski slopes in Romania.

The 9 km of slopes are evenly divided for skiers and snowboarders of every skill level, whether beginner, advanced or expert, everyone has a few runs in there. The longest ski run, the Telescaun is nearly 3 km and takes you all the way back into the valley if the snow conditions are friendly. The most challenging slope for experienced skiers is the Canal ski slope, a with 1.5 kilometers length. Other easy ski slopes in Straja are Platoul Soarelui (400 m), Sf. Gheorghe (700 m) and Constantinescu (1.7 km).

Above Lupeni city, Straja Ski Resort has fan-shaped runs, regular grooming and a tourist complex that offers numerous accommodation options including over 200 ski chalets, hotels, hostels and private villas. Visitors can also enjoy the 350-year-old history of the local coal-mining town, Lupeni. The nearest airport to Straja is Sibiu International Airport (SBZ).

You can reach the resort from Petrosani or Targu Jiu, which are about 230 km from Bucharest, going towards Romania’s west.

Buşteni, the popular mountain resort in Romania

One of the most popular mountain resorts in Romania, Buşteni is a little town located in Prahova Valley at the foothills of Bucegi mountains, near Sinaia. At an average altitude of 930 m, it offers great panoramas for those on the lookout for nature’s beauty and it’s an ideal starting point for hiking, climbing and skiing in the mountains.

Many tourist attractions are spread around the resort, from the natural ones: Urlătoarea (howling) Cascade, Babele and the Sphynx – rock formations on the Bucegi plateau, the National Park Bucegi, Poiana Crucii, to historical monuments such as the Cantacuzino Castle, Biserica Domnească(the Royal Church) built by King Carol I and Queen Elisabeta of Romania and the Caraiman Monastery, located right at the foothills of the Caraiman mountain. For more activities and sightseeing, also check out our Sinaia section on the website.

Buşteni is fitted with cable car transport connecting the area around the resort with the Bucegi plateau. The route by cable car has a length of 4350 m and a height difference of 1235 m. Tickets are RON 35 (EUR 8) for adults and RON 18 (EUR 4) for children, students and pensioners.

The resort is also known for the Kalinderu ski slope, one of the most modern in Romania, homologated by the International Ski Federation. It has a length of 1.500 m, an average grade of 37% and a width of 40 m. Prices for the chairlift at Kalinderu are RON 20 (EUR 4) for adults and RON 10 (EUR 2) for children, students and pensioners. Near the Kalinderu ski slope, tourists can enjoy a Fun Park with a slope for beginners (150 m), baby ski (120 m), tubbing track, slide and a carousel. A four hour pass at the Fun Park is RON 25 (EUR 5).

How to get there: You can reach Buşteni by car on DN1 (136 Km from BUcharest, 35 Km from Braşov) or by train, on the Bucharest – Braşov route.

For accommodation in Buşteni, go here. For restaurants, go here.

(Photo credit: Stefan Jurca, Wikipedia)

Experiments House aims to make science fun for all

A plasma globe, lightning recreated in a lab and a tesla coil are some of the attractions of the newly opened Experiments House in Bucharest. The venue is the first non-profit scientific center in the country and offers students the opportunity to learn in an informal environment. It has a permanent display of scientific exhibits which were created to allow learning while visitors play and interact with them.

The center aims to put to good use kid’s love for play rather than of reading and targets children in kinder gardens, schools, high schools as well as their teachers and educators, and families in Bucharest and Ilfov county with a ‘science for all’ motto. It was developed in partnership with Swiss Technorama Science Center and benefits from the know-how transfer from the Swiss Romanian Scientists Network.

At some of the workshops visitors can attend while on site, they can find out what happens when a candle burns and afterwards, what is the ‘nothing’ that surrounds us all, and what can and cannot be done with a microwave oven.

Science enthusiasts can also organize birthday or other type of parties here, with various shows in the program as the center has a dedicated Party Room.

The official opening is set for January 25th and entrance is free for the first six months.  The venue is located on Calea Vitan Barzesti.

Photo source: Casa Experimentelor Facebook page