Archives February 2016

Romania’s most spectacular canyon – Cheile Nerei National Park

If you are looking for wild scenery and tranquility, Cheile Nerei is the place to go. A reservation known for its wild, untouched places, it offers a restful break from civilization. Between the Sopotul Nou and Sasca Romana localities, throughout around 20 km, Nera crosses a spectacular, narrow gorge, forming the longest canyon in Romania. The walls are up to 200m high, as the water of Nera and of its tributaries dug and formed into the limestone rock lakes, canyons, caves and cascades.

The most impressive spots in the park are Lacul Dracului ( Devil’s Lake, the largest karstic lake in the country, 9.3 m deep, formed by the collapse of cave roof), Valea Rea (Evil Valley) canyon, Ochiul Beiului Lake, Beusnitei Cascades which succeed one another on the gulch, Voinii Cave, Pestera Mica (Little Cave), Pestera Mare (Big Cave).

Location

The Cheile Nerei – Beusnita National Park is located in the South-West of Romania, Caras Severin County
Geographic coordinates in the central area are 44º 45 ‘north latitude and 21 ° 53’ east longitude.

Road acces
The only national road that reaches the park is DN 58, Caransebes – Resita – Anina.
The city of Caransebes is located on E 94 ( DN 6 ), between Timisoara and Drobeta Turnu Severin. You can also reach Resita from Timisoara on DN 58 B, 120 km. Points of access to the park: Oravita, Sasca Montana, Sopotu Nou, Carbunari, Bozovici, Anina.

The two access roads to the park are DN 58 (asphalt road, Caransebes – Resita – Anina, 84 km) and DN 57 B (asphalt road, Baile Herculane – Bozovici – Anina – Oravita). They reach the park but visiting the park is possible only by foot or by bike.

 

Here are the waymarked trails available in the park:

Symbol Waymark trail Duration
Red stripe SOPOTU NOU – CHElLE NEREI – SASCA ROMANA 8 – 9 h
Blue stripe SASCA ROMANA – PODUL BEl – LACUL OCHIU BEI – ANINA 7 -8 h
Blue triangle LACUL OCHIUL BEIULUI- BEUSNITA 1 h
Blue cross SASCA MONTANA – CASCADA SUSARA – CHElLE NEREI
( LACUL DRACULUI )
3 – 4 h
Yellow Stripe CHEILE NEREI – VARFUL HABATULUI – IZVORUL TISULUI
( TISIEI )
2 – 3 h
Blue dot CHElLE NEREI – POIANA MELIUGULUI- IZVORUL TISULUI 2 h
Red dot CHElLE NEREI-SAT STANCILOVA 2 h
Red cross LAPUSNICU MARE – POIANA ROSCHI – CABANA CERBU 4 – 5 h
Yellow triangle LAPUSNICU MARE – POIANA ROSCHI – VARFUL LEORDIS – POIANA FLORII – POD PAULEASCA ( CALUGARA ) 5 – 6 h
Yellow stripe TABARA MINIS – POD PAULEASCA – BEIUL SEC 5 – 6 h

 

Map of the park available here.

 

Accomodation:
rocker's-inn-small

 

Rocker’s Inn

Address: 763 Sasca Montana, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40735 532 674

Web: www.rocker-s.ro

 

 

La-vechea-moara-small

 

La Vechea Moara

Address: 530 Sasca Montana, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40723 141 458

Web: www.vechea-moara.ro

 

casa-cu-platani-small

 

Casa cu Platani

Address: 14 Brazilor, Ciclova Montana, Caras Severin county

GPS coordinates: Latitudine 45.0333333 / Longitudine  21.6833333

Phone: +4 0766 541 784

Web: www.casacuplatani.ro

 

 

cabana-sapte-brazi-small

 

Cabana Sapte Brazi

Address: Nucilor Street, Oravita, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40752 133 301

Web: facebook.com/cabana.saptebrazi

 

 

 

Where to eat:

rocker's-inn-restaurant

 

Rocker’s Inn – Restaurant

Address: 763 Sasca Montana, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40735 532 674

Web: www.rocker-s.ro

 

 

Restaurant-la-vechea-moara

 

 

La Vechea Moara – Restaurant

Address: 530 Sasca Montana, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40723 141 458

Web: www.vechea-moara.ro

Sighișoara, at the medieval core of Romania

Sighișoara citadel is one of the places one should not miss while in Central Romania. It doesn’t even have to be during the highly popular Medieval Festival that happens every year in July.

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The Case for Happy Expat Couples – on Valentine’s Day and throughout the year

The starting point is very simple: Many expats have partners and naturally they want to relocate together with them. Now three questions come up: What do you do as an expat’s partner? How can you find a new happy balance as a couple at your new destination? And should the company take care of their expats’ partners, and if yes – how?

Expatriates’ partners do not want anymore to just follow and sacrifice their own agendas. These are good news. The vast majority wants to see new opportunities for themselves.

The Everyday Side: Options for Integration

When both partners want to follow their professional ambitions as Dual Career Couples (DCCs), in many cases this works well, especially within the EU. Learning and Development are also frequent choices. Many spouses decide to register for courses of any kind – mastering the local language, or doing their MBA. (Anything is possible: In Shanghai, some spouses become ‘certified luxury shopping consultants’.)

If a couple has children, some decide to focus on spending time with them, or take an international assignment as a convenient time to enlarge the family with new offspring. Charity activities are one more popular option. And in order to find new friends, the good news is: a wide range of formal and informal social platforms has emerged in all major expatriate destinations, of course including Bucharest.

The clear recommendation for employers says: Invite and include partners at an early stage of nomination and preparation of an assignment.

The Emotional Side: Finding a new balance

However, all these smooth solutions do not always come by themselves. Risks include frustration, boredom, loneliness, missing the career and the friends back home, feeling lost, and the challenge of cultural adaption in everyday life.

In order to reduce the risk of frustration and unexpected surprises, it is vital to exchange expectations in advance: How and when will we spend time together as a couple? For example: If commuting requires that on an average day the partner leaves at 7 and comes back after 8pm, this is something the partner should know in advance and learn not only when the assignment has started already. Or – even heavier: In some real cases, spouses learn only late that their assignment is planned for 3 years (as the company thinks) and not only for 1 year (as they thought).

Considering business dinners for introductions with stakeholders, kick-off meetings, and troubleshooting: attention and time for partner may suffer. Especially at the beginning of an assignment, there will be a painful gap between the available leisure time which the expat has, versus the leisure time his or her partner has. After two or three years, this situation may well be reversed – with well integrated partners, and expats having more time available than at the busy beginning.

In retrospective, many couples say that their assignment has become an especially intensive time of their relationship and that the special life situation – even including the hardships – brought them emotionally closer together.

The Business Side: How do companies address this?

Obviously, these challenges are not just ‘a private issue’. When couples are out of balance, the expat’s performance will of course suffer. Indeed, there is one main – and frequently underestimated – risk for failure of assignments, in terms of quitting early: emotional challenges in the private couple situation. Smart companies consider not only the single cases of failed assignments but also the strategic impact: Only if the overall situation was perceived positive, the expat will recommend an international assignment to his talented colleagues back home. If not, the company may have a hard time finding future expatriates.

So how do companies care for their expatriates’ partners? Some provide just financial packages, and call them for example “compensation for partners’ career interruptions”. However, more and more have decided to provide “Spouse Assistance Programs”. In the US, this has been the standard for many decades already, in Europe in the meantime the majority of companies do this as well.

These programs include three kinds of support: Practical-technical (relocation and immigration); professional (career opportunities); social (integration opportunities). In all these three areas, you find premium solutions at City Compass Intercultural Consulting, your local expert for couples who relocate to Bucharest – and count themselves lucky.

Further Reading:

Andreason, Aaron (2008): Expatriate adjustment of spouses and expatriate managers: An integrative research review. In: International Journal of Management. 25(2), S. 382-95.

Brown, Robert J. (2008): Dominant stressors on expatriate couples during international assignments. In: International Journal of Human Resource Management. 19(6), S. 1018-34.

Cole, Nina D. (2011): Managing global talent: solving the spousal adjustment problem. In: The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 22(7), S. 1504-1530.

McNulty, Yvonne (2012): Being dumped in to sink or swim: an empirical study of organizational support for the trailing spouse. In: Human Resource Development International. 15(4), S. 417-434.

Rosenbusch, Katherine / Csehb, Maria (2011): The cross-cultural adjustment process of expatriate families in a multinational organization: a family system theory perspective. In: Human Resource Development International. 15(1), S. 61-77.

 

A two-day tour of Brașov citadels

While driving on weekends to ski resorts in Brașov county, take a short detour to discover the fortresses and citadels in the area. Little jewels of history, they spread throughout the Brașov – Râșnov – Bran – Făgăraș region on a distance of about 100 km. You can reach them by car, train (and, during summer, by bike on cycle lanes).

If you want to dedicate an entire trip to visiting the fortresses and castles, here is an idea for simple two-day visit:

Day 1

Start your tour in Brașov city with the Citadel, the old defense system – the city wall, the towers and bastions, the Ecaterina and Șchei gates –, the first Romanian school. Continue with a cable car ride to Tâmpa. At its foothill, the Woodcutter’s Tower is open for visitors who can admire here old handicrafts. Pass Poiana Brașov to get to Râșnov, where you can spend about two hours visiting the Râșnov Citadel, a landmark in Romania. The Citadel’s opening hours are daily from 09: 00 to 19:00.

Day 2

On the second day, use the morning energy to visit the Bran Castle, famous for the Dracula myth (it takes about two hours as well). The museum is open on Monday from 12:00 to 18:00, and from Tuesday to Sunday – from 9:00 to 18:00. Move on to Făgăraș, where the well set-up museum of the Făgăraș Fortress is open daily from 9:00 to 17:00. Make sure to take advantage of the souvenir stands and shops and renew your wardrobe with knitted wool clothes made by the women in the area. And if you’re interested in seeing how the wool was washed in the old days – using nothing more than water and inventiveness, stop by Vâltorile de la Lisa (the Lisa Whirlpools).